From outside the UK

This section contains information for overseas qualified UK/European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA healthcare professionals, including information on registration and immigration.

International recruitment is an option mainly used by employers trying to fill vacancies in certain geographical areas or professions with recognised shortages. Unless you have the right to work in the UK, NHS organisations are first required to fill vacancies from the resident labour market (including a national of a country in the EEA) before looking to overseas candidates.

Do you need a visa to work in the NHS?

If you are not a British citizen, a national of a country in the EEA or Switzerland, you will need permission from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)  to work in the UK and may also need entry clearance before you travel to the UK. UKVI is responsible for managing migration in the UK; to obtain a visa or entry clearance, you will need to meet its requirements. Find out more about immigration rules.

The Home Office UKVI is responsible for governing the way individuals from outside the EEA can work, train or study in the UK. Further information for all new applications from non-EEA nationals can be found on the points-based system page of this website.

Is there a limit on the number of migrants entering the UK?

Yes, there is currently a cap on the number of migrants allowed to enter the UK to work. Applications are assessed using a points system that is intended to only allow entry to those whose skills will benefit the UK. The number of points required, and the way the points are awarded, depend on the tier under which individuals apply, but will reflect their qualifications, experience, age, previous earnings and language competence.

Individuals can check if they have enough points to qualify for a particular tier, by carrying out a self-assessment of their eligibility on the Home Office website.

Under the points-based system, UKVI will decide who is admitted to, or allowed to stay in, the UK. In order to assess this, you will need to provide evidence of a sponsor in the UK who is licensed by the UKVI. Information about the points-based system is available on the UKVI website and may be subject to change. You are advised to check the website to establish which route of entry you are eligible to apply for.

What if you are a refugee healthcare professional?

The ROSE website provides information to refugee healthcare professionals about gaining employment in the UK. There is also help for agencies supporting refugees and employers.

Is there anything wrong with this page?

Help us improve Health Careers

If you would like us to recontact you about the issue, make sure you are logged in before submitting.