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Tier 2 Doctors

Tier 2 is an immigration route for non-European Economic Area (EEA) migrants who wish to work in the UK. These migrants must be sponsored by an organisation or company that holds a Tier 2 licence. A licence is a permission given to an organisation to sponsor workers in its business. The organisation is known as a sponsor.

Tier 2 GP trainees are sponsored by Health Education England (HEE), but that sponsorship ends when they complete training and so must find employment with a new sponsoring organisation or must return to their home country.

NHS England is providing financial support to newly qualified tier 2 GPs to help them remain in the UK – plus financial support for practices who wish to become tier 2 sponsoring organisations.

NHS England North Midlands is providing administrative support for practices who wish to become or already are sponsoring organisations, plus support in bringing together soon to be qualified GPs and sponsoring practices to ensure that GPs can continue to be employed in this area.

Update (Sep 2019)

Resident Labour Market Test

Previously it has been advised that GP practices who wanted to employ an international GP did not need to individually undertake the Resident Labour Market test as this had been done centrally. The Home Office has just published the updated Shortage Occupation List which now includes ALL medical practitioners under SOC 2211. This means that as of the 1 October 2019 practices no longer have to undertake the resident labour market test for recruiting non-EEA GPs.

English Language Testing Requirements for Tier 2 Visa

The Home Office has also streamlined English language testing ensuring that doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives who have already passed an English language test accepted by the relevant professional body, do not have to sit another test before entry to the UK on a Tier 2 visa. Previously, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) would only accept IELTS, so if a non-EEA GP or Nurse passed the OET for the GMC or NMC, they would still have to take a separate IELTS test for immigration purposes. This is no longer necessary, which is good news.

For further information regarding tier 2 please contact Claire Gooder (NHS England North Midlands) by email.

Update (Oct 2019)

NHS England have extended the deadline for Tier 2 visa reimbursements from 31 January 2020 to 31 March 2020. The updated guidance pack and form, which talks about the process for applying as a sponsor and for applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship when you have identified a candidate can be viewed by clicking on the Resources section below.

For training practices with ST3 IMGs, now is a good time to apply if you want to keep your registrar when they quality in 2020. The reimbursement deadline is now 31 March 2020.

Q: Although the reimbursement deadline has been extended, as becoming a sponsor and getting a certificate of sponsorship for a specific doctor can take 4-6 months, would this potentially prevent any practice deciding to start the process in the next few months from being able to claim?

A: The National team have advised that getting approval as a Tier 2 sponsor takes up to 8 weeks. Once approved, sponsors can access the Sponsorship Management System and start to issue Certificates of Sponsorship straight away. The fee is due at the point of submission or of assignment in the case of CoS. Practices can claim as soon as they submit their application at the point they pay the fee as NHS England will reimburse this even if their application is rejected.

NHS England will only reimburse costs incurred and fees paid up to and including the 31 March 2020. There is some flexibility for claims submitted following 31 March but fees must have been paid within the 2019/20 financial year. If a practice becomes a sponsor and then recruits an international GP after the 31 March deadline NHS England would not reimburse the costs of any subsequent CoS fees, immigration skills charge or visa fees for the GP. This would need to be funded from the practice’s recruitment budget or by the GP themselves.

If this position changes for the next financial year 2020/21 and further funding is available we will let practices know. If practices are considering employing an international GP, including international medical graduates qualifying from GP speciality training in February 2020 we recommend that practices look at becoming a sponsor sooner rather than later in preparation.

Resources

Tier 2 Factsheet for Practices

Tier 2 sponsorship is an opportunity for practices that are having difficulty recruiting to vacant GP posts, to employ migrant Drs who will generally have completed their training in the UK.

It doesn’t guarantee that you will fill your vacancy, but it opens up a new pool of Drs who are then able to apply for your vacancies.

Click on the highlighted link to view the NHS England factsheet.

Tier 2 Factsheet for Trainee GPs

Tier 2 is an immigration route for non-European Economic Area (EEA) migrants who wish to work in the UK. These migrants must be sponsored by an organisation or company that holds a Tier 2 licence. A licence is a permission given to an organisation to sponsor workers in its business. The organisation is known as a sponsor.

Click on the highlighted link to view the NHS England factsheet.

Tier 2 Presentations and Expenses Form

The Department of Health and Social Care have produced a PowerPoint presentations about guidance for practices looking to become tier 2 sponsors and for applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship when you have identified a candidate.

Click on the highlighted link to view an expenses reimbursement form.

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