The Migration Advisory Committee has advised that the UK is short of almost every type of healthcare professional, and that all medical professions should be placed on the shortage occupation list. Previously only Consultants in Clinical Radiology, Emergency Medicine and Old Age Psychiatry were on the list.

What does this mean for healthcare professionals?

It provides the recognition that there is a workforce shortage across the NHS. If the UK Government acts in line with these significant findings, it could help all those who are looking to come to the UK with a Tier 2 Visa.

Can Brexit have an effect on this?

Until 31st October 2019, the Tier 2 Visa scheme appears to operate in the same structure as it has done so already. This means that your plans to relocate to the UK will remain unaltered and that if anything it will be even easier for foreign healthcare professionals to work in the UK with a Tier 2 Visa.

What is a Tier 2 Visa?

A Tier 2 Visa is the main immigration route for working in the UK and is for skilled workers with a job offer to enter the country on a long-term basis. Applicants require the employer to sponsor the visa which must be linked to a specific occupation. When applying for the visa if your occupation falls under the ‘Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List’ it can greatly benefit your application although it does not guarantee your visas approval.

What is the shortage occupation list?

This is the list that the UK Government publishes of where there is a shortage of skilled workers for a specific occupation, which employers are likely finding difficult to fill this type of vacancy. Skilled jobs in the UK would normally need to be advertised within the UK and European Economic Area (EEA) before a professional with a Tier 2 Visa can be employed, this is also known as resident labour market test.

How can this help my Tier 2 Visa application?

The scheme operates on a points-based system, to be eligible for a Tier 2 Visa you must score 70 points. This can be achieved through various actions such as meeting the language criteria, having a salary over £159,600 or even proving you have the funds to help pay for your living costs.
Click here to find a full breakdown of the UK Government’s Points-based system

With this change, if your occupation falls under the shortage occupation list then this equates to 130 points on its own already, making your application process even easier and speeding up the process of relocating to the UK.

If you’re looking to relocate to the UK or want to find out more on how Athona can help you find your next healthcare role, get in touch with the team today, or send over your CV and we’ll be in contact to help you find your new role.

All information stated above has been sourced from and is correct as of 30/05/2019.