Overseas health professionals

This section contains information for overseas qualified 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 skill shortages. Unless you have the right to work in the UK, NHS organisations in most instances 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.

Despite restrictions related to COVID19, employers are still keen to recruit from overseas and a range of opportunities are available.

Do you need a visa to work in the NHS?

If you are not a British citizen, or 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 the immigration rules.

The Home Office is responsible for governing the way individuals from outside the EEA can work, train or study in the UK. See information for all new applications from non-EEA nationals on our points-based system page. 

See how to apply for skilled worker status or for a health and care visa.

New points-based system

A points-based immigration system applies to everyone from outside of the UK who wishes to live and work here. This excludes people from the Republic of Ireland and individuals who were already in the UK by 31 December 2020. 

EU nationals who arrived in the UK by 11pm on 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU settlement scheme.  

Visit the gov.uk website for more information. 

Is there a limit on the number of non-EEA nationals entering the UK to work?

Yes, there is currently a limit on the number of migrants allowed to enter the UK to work, unless they meet the skilled worker criteria to apply to live and work here. 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 category under which individuals apply, but will reflect their qualifications, experience, age, previous earnings and language competence.

Under the points-based system, UKVI will decide who is admitted to, or allowed to stay in, the UK. Information about the points 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.

Visit the .gov.uk visas and immigration page for more information on the points based system and eligibility.

Where can I find information specific to my profession?

We have developed information unique to specific healthcare professionals from overseas: 

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