On October 15 2015 the home secretary agreed to include nurses on the shortage occupation list on a temporary basis.

The Migration Advisory Committee has been commissioned to conduct a review of nursing shortages for a report to the home secretary due by February 15 2016. However, this interim measure will be put in place with immediate effect.

The implications for the health industry are significant:

  • Employers will be exempt from undertaking a resident labour market test when offering a nursing position to overseas candidates.
  • Requests for restricted certificates of sponsorship are much more likely to succeed. These requests will be prioritised over other occupations that require external advertising. Shortage occupation roles score 130 points, rather than the previous 20 points (where resident labour market testing is required).
  • The requirement to earn at least £35,000 from 2016 to qualify for settlement in the United Kingdom will not apply to migrants who are nurses on the shortage occupation list or who appeared on the list during any time that the applicant was being sponsored for the role.

Demand for certificates is expected to increase as a result of this interim measure. The increase in the request for certificates may also have an impact on other occupations which are not on the shortage occupation list, as the annual limit on certificates has not changed.

For the November panel, 1,808 certificates are available.

For further information on this topic please contact Ben Sheldrick at Magrath LLP by telephone (+44 20 7495 3003) or email (ben.sheldrick@magrath.co.uk). The Magrath LLP website can be accessed at www.magrath.co.uk.

This article was first published by the International Law Office, a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. Register for a free subscription.