The Home Office has announced that foreign medics will be excluded from the government’s cap on skilled migration (currently set at a limit of 20,700 non-EU skilled workers a year operated on a monthly quota).
Since December 2017, the cap has been exceeded every month which has meant only the top earners make it through the monthly quota. Over 1,000 IT specialists and engineers have missed out on places. NHS workers currently make up 40% of all Tier 2 places. NHS bosses warned immigration rules were hampering their ability to find workers. Over 2,000 doctors have also missed out on places.
The proposed change will only apply to doctors and nurses, but this would mean it would free up hundreds of spaces a month for workers in other industries. By increasing the number of available spaces by taking doctors and nurses out of the cap this should result in either sufficient places for applicants or at the very least a significant drop in the salary level required to get through the cap.
UK government policy currently aims to reduce net migration to below 100,000 a year; however this announcement could also encourage others to argue for this target to be abandoned.