New Immigration Rules for Nurses
Whilst the guidance from the Home Office regarding changes to the rules for nurses is not clear, the statement of changes does, however, confirms that the rules are (or will be) amended to reflect the changes in practice by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
We have summarised the relevant sections below, though this point in time we remain uncertain whether these are up-to-date or whether more changes are still to come.
In addition, it looks like anyone making an application under the previous process can continue under that process as long as all mandatory requirements of the first stage are submitted by 14 November 2014. All requirements of the second stage (assessment) must be submitted by 31 January 2015.
The registration fees to the NMC will increase from £100 to £120 from March 2015: http://www.nmc-uk.org/Registration/fee-increase/
- For those sponsored by an employer, it is anticipated the sponsorship will formally start from the date of the scheduled OSCE, with arrival permitted up to 14 days ahead of that date. The sponsor may choose to continue to offer sponsorship in cases where the individual needs to re-sit the OSCE.
- For those without sponsorship who wish to travel to the UK to take the examination, a visitor visa provision is being put in place. This will allow nurses and midwives to enter the UK on a six-month visitor visa specifically to take the OSCE.
Applicants must be able to show that they can communicate clearly and effectively in English. They must complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and achieve a minimum score of at least seven in all areas. There are no exceptions to this requirement, even if English is their first language.
At the time of the application, the applicant must have practiced as a registered nurse or midwife for at least 12 months (full time or the part-time equivalent) after qualifying. This post-registration experience must be relevant to the field of practice the applicant is applying for. Any practice that is not covered by registration cannot be considered for the requirement of 12-months post-registration experience.
If the applicant has been qualified for longer than this, they must have also practiced for at least 450 hours in the previous three years. Practice can include administrative, supervisory, teaching, research and managerial roles as well as providing direct patient care. This can also include volunteer work as long as any practice is registered. If the applicant is a midwife but has not practiced midwifery in the five years prior to their application, they must do a return to midwifery practice course in their home country before they can apply to register with us.
Applicants must hold a current registration or licence without restriction with the licensing authority or registration body in the country in which they qualified or have been practicing.
If applicants have worked as a nurse or midwife in more than one country or state, the Home Office requires them to be registered with the licensing authority or registration body in all the countries/states where they have worked. The Home Office will require verification from that authority regardless of the length of their employment.
Applicants must provide the details of all practice undertaken as a registered nurse or midwife including verification documents and registration certificates.
Applicants must have successfully completed at least 10 years of school education before starting a post-secondary education nursing or midwifery training programme, leading to registration in their home country as an entry-level registered nurse or midwife.