The Government has announced that its new visa for foreign medical workers will open for applications on 4 August 2020.

Under the new scheme, qualified doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who have been trained to a recognised standard will benefit from fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families.

The new visa will still operate within the existing Tier 2 (General) immigration category so applicants will still need a Certificate of Sponsorship for an employer holding a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. Further details of the new visa can be found in the Tier 2 Policy Guidance. Sponsors will be required to include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship setting out how the employee meets the Health and Care Visa requirement.

Applicants will only be eligible for this new scheme if the role they are coming to do in the UK falls within an exhaustive list of 18 eligible occupations, including medical practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedics. The full list can be found in the Tier 2 Policy Guidance. Additionally, the sponsoring employment must be with an NHS Trust or Health Board, for NHS commissioned service providers, and in eligible occupations in the social care sector. Again, the full list of circumstances in which the employment will qualify under this Scheme is set out in the Guidance.

Applicants will still have to meet all the usual Tier 2 (General) criteria, including the English language requirement. The Government has confirmed that applicants for this visa and their dependants will be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge as will all health and social care workers even they do not qualify for this particular visa.

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