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Which route? Which profession?

This quick guide helps employers identify which immigration route the different professions fall under, when recruiting individuals from overseas.

24 September 2021

This quick guide helps employers identify which immigration route the different professions fall under, when recruiting individuals from overseas who require a sponsor to work in the UK.

Key points

  • The immigration health surcharge does not apply.
  • The certificates of sponsorship (CoS) cap is suspended.
  • The resident labour market test no longer applies.
  • Applicants can be issued with either a visa if from the EEA, or a physical biometric resident card/permit if they are from outside the EEA.
  • 70 points are required.

The visa includes a dedicated support service from UK Visas and Immigration which supports individuals and their family member applications. Sponsors can contact UKVI’s NHS team directly at UKVINHSteam@homeoffice.gov.uk.

All other overseas clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals, regardless of whether they qualified in the UK or abroad, need a skilled worker certificate of sponsorship unless they already hold a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa that allows them to undertake employment for up to two years while visiting and travelling in the UK.

Medical roles

 

Foundation programme role

 

International graduates of UK medical and dental schools.

Student visa – Health Education England is responsible for providing sponsorship.

International graduates of non-UK medical and dental schools.

Skilled worker route (health and care visa).

Completed foundation programme moving into specialty training or other medical posts

 

International graduates of UK medical and dental schools.

Skilled worker visa – resident labour market test is not applicable. Health Education England is the single sponsor for all new trainees who require skilled worker sponsorship.

International graduates of non-UK medical and dental schools.
 

Skilled worker route – Health Education England is the single sponsor for all new trainees who require skilled worker sponsorship.

Specialty doctors / staff grades / consultants.

Skilled worker.

Medical Training Initiative (MTI) trainees.

Temporary worker – the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges administers the scheme.

All locum doctors.

Skilled worker.

 

Observers and visitors

 

Individuals undertaking a clinical attachment or dental observer post.

Visitor (standard).

Doctors taking professional and linguistic assessments board (PLAB).

Visitor (standard).

 

Academics taking part in formal exchange arrangements.

Visitor (standard).

 

 

Other healthcare professionals

All other overseas clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals, regardless of whether they qualified in the UK or abroad, need a skilled worker certificate of sponsorship unless they already hold a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa that allows them to undertake employment for up to two years while visiting and travelling in the UK.

Nurses and midwives who need to complete the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) overseas registration process must enter the UK under Skilled Worker health and care visa or the Visitor (Standard) route in order to complete the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) test.