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Business News/ News / World/  New UK visa rules: Half fees, fast-track approval for health professionals

NEW DELHI : Migrating to the UK will soon be easier for health professionals as the United Kingdom plans to introduce a new fast-track visa scheme for health professionals. Under the National Health Service (NHS) visa scheme, application fees would be halved to 464 pounds ($595) from 928 pounds at present.

Medical professionals joining the NHS would receive extra points and applicants would be fast-tracked under the plans with preferential treatment and faster decisions, news agencies reports said.

"These measures are part of our plan for an Australian-style points-based immigration system that allows us to control numbers while remaining open to vital professions like nurses," Home Secretary (interior minister) Priti Patel said in a statement.

She said that the UK wants to attract talent from around the world so that the NHS continues to provide brilliant service while ensuring that it isn't put under strain by opening Britain's borders to the entire world.

The special visas will make it easier for UK’s National Health Service to recruit doctors and nurses from other countries after Brexit.

About 153,000 of 1.2 million health workers are non-British. About 52,000 of current NHS staff are Asian nationals including those from India.

The government said the new NHS visa would allow it to control immigration while ensuring there would not be a skills shortage for the health service.

The UK government had earlier said it has relaxed rules for doctors, nurses, dentists and midwives applying for Tier 2 (General) visas and they will not need to sit for English language tests like TOEFL and IELTS as Occupational English Test (OET) scores are enough for them.

The plan to relax rules for NHS staff comes after Britain said in August it would relax immigration rules to attract more scientists.

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Updated: 08 Nov 2019, 01:56 PM IST
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