Changes to skilled-worker visas could help NHS

Pro-Palestine activists turned out in central London today to mark the now traditional end of Ramadan Quds day protest against Israel

The British government will loosen immigration rules to allow more doctors and nurses from outside the European Union to come and work for Britain's National Health Service (NHS), the BBC and other national media reported on Thursday.

"Regardless of the cap on tier 2 visas, there remain significant barriers for Global Positioning System to employ doctors from overseas".

Mrs May's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister will in due course be setting out our long-term plan for the NHS".

Whether Javid will prove to be a new broom at the home office remains to be seen.

Businesses and employers will be able to recruit an extra 8,000 skilled migrants a year from other professions including IT experts, engineers and teachers, effectively increasing the cap by 40 per cent.

Home secretary Sajid Javid said: 'I recognise the pressures faced by the NHS and other sectors in recent months. Doctors and nurses play a vital role in society and at this time we need more in the UK.

To that effect, on Wednesday the government announced a new "start-up" visa for technology entrepreneurs, which will replace a visa route that was previously only open to graduates.

This is about finding a solution to increased demand and to support our essential national services.

The British Medical Journal says this has led to more than 1,500 doctors with job offers being refused visas in recent months. Our workload is escalating both in terms of volume and complexity, yet despite the government's pledge for 5,000 more family doctors by 2020, the number of Global Positioning System working in the NHS in England is actually falling.

The cap was introduced by PM Theresa May when she was the home secretary.

Sunder Katwala, director at immigration think-tank British Future, said: "Perhaps this is a sign that Sajid Javid is willing to take a bolder and more flexible approach to immigration, and deliver the kind of system that Britain will need after we leave the European Union".

'This builds on steps we have already taken to make sure the NHS has the staff it needs for the future - boosting training places for home-grown doctors and nurses by 25% and giving over a million NHS employees a well-deserved pay rise'.

The cap now restricts "tier two" visas for non-EU workers to 20,700 people per year, rules which have been criticised amid growing pressures on the NHS and escalating patient demand. Migrant workers who have secured a skilled job in the United Kingdom can apply for a visa under the Tier 2 rules as long as the salary for the role is a minimum of £30,000 and they have a certificate of sponsorship from the proposed employer.

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