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Skilled Migration brings together over 65 years of collective experience in UK immigration law and combines cutting edge legal expertise with a commercially minded, practical approach to immigration problem solving. Three of Skilled Migration’s barristers are recognised by the leading independent guides to the legal profession (Chambers UK and the Legal 500) as experts in the field and regularly train other specialist immigration lawyers keeping them up to date on the latest legal arguments and developments.

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Nurses to Remain on UK Shortage Occupation List

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The UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has ruled that nurses should remain on the Shortage Occupation List after carrying out an investigation into the alleged shortage of nurses and skilled medical workers in the UK.

Nurses had been added to the list on an interim basis in October 2015 to make sure that there was an appropriate number of staff to deal with any issues or illness over winter. Following the temporary measure, the MAC was commissioned by the government to investigate whether or not there was a risk of a continuing shortage, or whether roles could be filled by UK nationals. However, following the conclusion of the investigation, it has been ruled by the MAC “with considerable reluctance” that nursing should remain on the skilled shortages list.

Shortage of Nurses "Should have been Foreseen"

Although it was ruled that nurses should remain on the skilled shortage list, thus allowing the NHS to recruit from outside the EU, the MAC also stated that the lack of UK nurses had been caused by health officials not learning from previous shortages. In their report, the MAC said that there was “no good reason why the supply of nurses cannot be sourced domestically.”

The group ruled that the shortage should have been foreseen by the Health Board and that the shortage could have been prevented. According to UK Health Sector, it will take another three years before there is a sufficient number of nurses to remove the occupation from the shortages list.

It was determined that there were many reasons for the lack of nurses with budget cuts being one of the major contributory factors. It was also determined that low wages and funding issues with training nurses were also factors in the shortage.

Annual Cap on the Number of Nurse Applications

Following the proposals from the MAC the UK government announced that there would be an annual cap on the number of nurses with at most 5,000 new Tier 2 applications accepted each year. Despite the occupation being on the shortage list, those recruiting a non-EEA nurse will also be required to complete a Resident Labour Market Test.

Although the news of more recruitment was seen as a positive for the NHS and nurses looking to come to the UK, it was criticised by some who felt that the increase in the number of nurses would restrict the number of applicants of Tier 2 workers in other fields. Many expressed concern that an influx of nurses could take up a significant portion of the 20,700 cap on non-EU skilled workers.

While the NHS and health boards were criticised, a Department of Health spokesperson said it was “delivering on our plan to train more home-grown nurses”.

Making a Tier 2 Visa Application: Contact Us

If you require legal advice or representation regarding a skilled visa application, settlement in the UK, or if you are an employer looking to recruit from outside the EU, our team of legal experts can help. Get in touch with our team today using our online contact form.

Skilled Migration brings together over 65 years of collective experience in UK immigration law and combines cutting edge legal expertise with a commercially minded, practical approach to immigration problem solving. Three of Skilled Migration’s barristers are recognised by the leading independent guides to the legal profession (Chambers UK and the Legal 500) as experts in the field and regularly train other specialist immigration lawyers keeping them up to date on the latest legal arguments and developments.

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