The time of globalization and mass immigration is continuing. In their search for having a better lifestyle and receiving better payment for their work, people are looking into moving in other countries. They wish to settle themselves there, earn their money legally – and become a part of their culture. Among those who commonly go to the United Kingdom in search of work are nurses as doctors, as the healthcare system is generally among the most convenient.
This is why the hype in regard to the new NHS (National Health Service) visa is so high. But what is this visa exactly – and what makes it superior to any other kind of work visa? Well, this article will tell you, overall, what you should expect from this visa in the near future.
What Is NHS Visa?
This new visa – the NHS visa – is one that will be introduced by the Tory government in the future, allowing medical staff to come work in the U.K. It is said that the introduction of this visa has the purpose of bringing more people in the medical field from overseas, in an attempt to plug in the shortage of workforce that has been occurring in the healthcare system.
The Conservatives claim that they wish to make it easier for nurses and doctors from all over the Globe to work in the U.K., even after Brexit, provided they win the elections. Home secretary Priti Patel claims that the measures were part of a points-based immigration system plan which, and we quote: “permits them to control the numbers, but still remains open to crucial professions such as nurses.”
The Purpose of the Visa
According to Patel, the result of this visa would be to take the “best of both worlds.” This means that they wish to attract the talents from all over the world using the NHS services, all while ensuring that things are not put under the strain of opening Britain’s borders to the rest of the world.
In other words, while other immigrants might be prohibited from working under a different visa, they will still be allowed and protected to work there if their profession is that of a nurse or a doctor. A decision should be guaranteed within two weeks, and the applicants for the NHS position should receive preferential treatment, along with extra points.
At this point, there are a total of 100,000 vacant jobs in the U.K. healthcare system – which is why the public medical system cannot perform at its maximum efficiency. 41,000 of those vacancies are on the posts of nursing. These posts will have to be filled – but there is not enough medical staff in the United Kingdom, and the shadow of Brexit looming over the nation is preventing people from the outside from coming to work there. This puts the UK in a bind, as the healthcare system keeps declining with every day that the posts remain unoccupied.
The Costs of the NHS Visa
Those who apply for the NHS visa, which is associated with healthcare professionals, would only have to pay half the usual fee. While applicants would normally have to pay £928 to obtain their visa, now they would only have to pay £464 to obtain it.
With the benefits of this visa, immigrants would also be able to cover the costs of the Immigration Health Surcharge. These are costs in which immigrants are charged for defraying their own NHS system – in instalments from their own salary.
The aim here is to ensure that the lower-paid individuals from this field, such as the nurses, are not faced with an upfront that is too large – or so the officials say. Under normal circumstances, the applicant will have to pay a lump sum in advance – which can be fairly big. For instance, for a five-year visa, the visa would cost the applicant an advance lump sum of £2,000.
The Results and Expectations of the Visa
All of this sounds very promising. The smaller fee is definitely a great step, and perhaps a sign that that the U.K. government is finally ready to accept the fact that the immigration system that is currently going on is exorbitantly expensive.
The fast-tracking process does not hold as much excitement, as most work visas can be immediately processed through a priority service. That being said, this can be done in exchange for a £250 fee. What we will have to see later on is whether the general processing fee is offered free of charge or not, or if we would see hidden costs written in the fine print. These fees may seem small beforehand, but over time, it might actually sting the applicants.
That being said, the system is still welcomed. The new visa category marks the United Kingdom’s second effort in the last 18 months to change the visa system and make it a bit more accommodating to the people working in the healthcare system.
This system has become a quite significant break – not only for the applicants but also for the overall good of the United Kingdom. Before this, the monthly cap for visas was constantly reached, and many good doctors along with nurses received a rejection for their visa application. They lost to high-paid professionals, who had a better score in regard to the points system under the quota.
The campaign that marks the start of this visa is still on-going – and depending on the results, we will see whether this visa will be put in motion or not. However, it is clear that filling these key posts is something that the United Kingdom still has to do.
True enough, the current visa has difficulties in filling these posts – but with baby steps, it is expected that there will be a growth in the number of staff people occupying full-time jobs. This will take place under the promise that nothing will happen to their positions – even after Brexit occurs.