Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Nurse Shortage in the UK- Immigration Rules Relaxed

March 9, 2018 Leave a comment



  • Nurses and midwives who have trained outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and want to work in the UK as a nurse or midwife must gain professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Applicants are tested for competence through a two-part process to gain registration. 


  • Part one – computer-based multiple-choice examination which is accessible around the world for applicants to access in their home countries.
  • Part two – practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which will always be held in the UK.

The immigration rules changed in March 2015 to allow for an individual nurse to come to the UK to prepare for the OSCE.

Rules for employers and overseas nurse applicants

  • All overseas applicants need to pass a computer-based test (CBT) and comply with all other initial requirements of the NMC overseas nursing process (including achieving language capability requirements) to be eligible to sit the OSCE and complete their registration. In October 2017, the NMC issued revised guidance on how an overseas applicant can meet the required level of English language capability.
  • An individual entering the UK to take a nursing role has up to three months from the employment start date noted on the certificate of sponsorship (CoS) to sit the OSCE exam. During this period they can be legally employed as a pre-registration candidate.
  • Employers must ensure that before a certificate of sponsorship is applied for:
    • the individual has passed part one of the NMC test of competence
    • the individual has been issued with an offer of employment, and
    • the individual has achieved the required level of language capabiilty.
  • In any applications for restricted certificates of sponsorship, you are required to send the following evidence to in support of the application:
    • a copy of the employment offer letter
    • a copy of the email confirmation from the NMC to show the individual has passed the CBT, and
    • evidence that a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) has been carried out.
  • The general Tier 2 minimum salary requirement of £20,800 is temporarily removed in these circumstances, though employers are still advised to place nurses in an interim position with a salary at least equivalent to that of a band 3 role.
  • Applicants may sit the OSCE up to three times as part of one application (applies to applications started after 06 April 2017).
  • If an applicant is unsuccessful at their first OSCE, they must wait a minimum of 10 working days before they can take the examination again.
  • If an applicant is unsuccessful at their second OSCE, they must wait a minimum of three months from the date of their second attempt before they can take the OSCE for the third time.
  • If the applicant is unsuccessful after their permitted attempts, the employer must stop sponsoring them and as a result their leave to remain period will be shortened.
  • Upon successful completion of the OSCE and awarding of NMC registration, employers need to commit to ongoing employment of the individual as a registered nurse on a salary of at least £20,800.
  • Employers must be able to provide evidence of the above arrangement if requested.

Employers or individuals with queries about individual NMC registrations are advised to contact the NMC directly.

Nursing included on shortage occupation list

Nursing was added to the shortage occupation list on 15 October 2015 but in a change to the rules, employers have been required to still carry out a RLMT before recruiting a non-EEA nurse from 24 November 2016. Find out more information in our Tier 2 policy changes section.

The continuation of nursing on the shortage occupation list means:

  • applications for restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS) will be prioritised by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) points allocation system – increasing the likelihood of nursing applications being granted
  • the requirement to earn £35,000 or more to qualify for permanent settlement in the UK (indefinite leave to remain) will not apply to individuals for whom nursing has appeared on the shortage occupation list at any time during their employment in a nursing role – they will still need to meet all the other settlement criteria.

Applying for a certificate of sponsorship – need to know

  • The first allocation panel to consider nurses as a shortage occupation was in December 2015.
  • The Home Office has been clear that employers must only apply for certificates when you need them and when you are certain they will be used. The individual being sponsored must have a job offer from you and either:
    • have obtained full registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
    • have passed the NMC’s CBT of competence (part one)
    • have obtained the NMC’s permission before 30 April 2015 to undertake the overseas nursing programme, and be sponsored to undertake a supervised practice placement as part of the programme, which has been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
  • You are required to provide evidence of the above in any applications for restricted certificates of sponsorship. You must send a copy of the employment offer letter and a copy of the email confirmation from the NMC to show the individual has passed the CBT. This evidence should be sent to to support your application.

We are still working within an overall cap of certificates. The inclusion of nursing is likely to have an impact on the success of other applications from health and other business, its therefore really important that we uphold these requirements from the Home Office to ensure we do not create a surplus of unused certificates.

Categories: General, International, Jobs

Express Entry into Canada

February 19, 2018 Leave a comment


If you are skilled and fancy the opportunity to relocate to Canada, this is your opportunity to do so. As a newly introduced scheme, it will probably come with some drawbacks, but it is worth doing your homework and evaluating whether this route if for you or not. The government of Canada would only invite the best candidates, including those with in-demand skills or with job offers, to apply for a visa. In other words opportunities will go to the best candidates.

Do not believe everything you hear. The CIC website has all the information you will need to make this decision. If you feel you would like an agent to walk through the process with you, so be it.

Below is a little bit of information taken from the Canadian Immigration website.

In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)  launched a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence in certain economic programs. Canada needs high levels of immigration to meet current and future labour market needs, which will ensure our economic growth and long-term prosperity the Federal Skilled Worker Program,

the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
the Canadian Experience Class.

Provinces and territories will also be able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry system for a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs. Under this new system, employers will also have a key role in selecting economic immigrants. Employers will access candidates through Canada’s new and improved Job Bank and through provinces and territories where applicable.

The Express Entry system involves two steps:
Step 1) Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile

Potential candidates will complete an online Express Entry profile where they will provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details. Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry will be placed in a pool of candidates.

Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool. Only the highest-ranked candidates (those deemed to have the best chances for economic success), and those with qualifying offers of arranged employment or provincial/territorial nominations, will be invited to apply for permanent residence.

If a candidate does not already have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial/territorial nomination, he or she must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank which will connect him or her with eligible Canadian employers.

Where applicable, employers will be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada. There will be no fee for Labour Market Impact Assessments for permanent residence applications under the Express Entry system.

Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

Step 2) Citizenship and Immigration Canada will invite certain candidates to apply for permanent residence and process their electronic applications within six months.

Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence if they rank among the top in the pool, based on their skills and experience. Candidates who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process in place at that time) or have been nominated by a province or territory will be given high scores in the ranking system.

Candidates will have 60 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence through one of the following programs:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP);
Canadian Experience Class (CEC); or,
A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete applications (i.e. applications including all the necessary supporting documents) within six months or less.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after 12 months may resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria. This provision will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times.

Express Entry will result in faster and more efficient service to potential skilled immigrants. It will also allow the Government of Canada to be more flexible and responsive to Canada’s changing economic conditions and priorities.

This will speed up the process of relocating to Canada

Drawbacks of Express Entry

There are two drawbacks to this scheme, one of them being that if your name doesn’t make it into the top pile, your application will sit there for a year while you wait in limbo. After a year, you will need to make another Expression of Interest.

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Categories: General, International