As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to interrupt many aspects of life, including the usual processes for international nurses looking to relocate and work in the UK, the NHS have shared a handy guide to everything international nurses need to do before entering and once they have arrived in the UK. We have highlighted some important parts below, but for more information please click here to view the full brochure.

Travelling to the UK

From Monday 18th January 2021, to be able to travel to England you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19. You must take this test three days before you start your journey.

COVID-19 vaccination

Nurses are part of a priority group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. This includes bank, locum and agency staff. Once you are working in the UK, you will receive your vaccination from the Trust you are working in – even if you are not yet registered with a GP and have not obtained your NHS number. Make sure you speak to your human resources (HR) team if you have any questions or concerns. Please note in the UK regular COVID-19 testing is available for patient-facing NHS staff, with or without symptoms.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance

PPE is available across all healthcare settings and for every shift you will be provided with appropriate PPE, as well as training and support in using it. Face masks will also be provided for non-clinical settings.


Due to the ongoing pandemic, you may find yourself being asked to volunteer to redeploy to another department, ward and fulfilling a slightly different role. If additional training is required, this will be provided to you. If you have any concerns, please raise these with your line manager or team leader.

Visa extensions

There are currently temporary measures that the UK Home Office have put in place to extend the visas of all regulated healthcare professionals (nurses included) across the NHS, where their visa is due to expire before 31st March 2021. If you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years, you will be eligible to apply for EU settled status. The deadline to apply for EU settled status is 30th June 2021.

Support from trade unions

Don’t forget alongside your recruitment consultant at Athona, trade unions are able to provide additional support to healthcare workers, including providing access to legal services, immigration advice and other professional services. Contact your local union representatives to find more about the benefits of joining a union.


Phone: +44(0)1277 217777

[Source:  Information taken from NHS Employers. For full details, visit here.]

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