Navigating Changes in UK Immigration Policy: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals

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On December 4, 2023, the UK government announced significant changes to the immigration system, impacting the migration of healthcare professionals. These changes will take effect in Spring 2024 and will affect both NHS staff and care workers.

Impact on Healthcare Professionals

    • No Changes to Dependant Policy: Healthcare professionals will continue to be able to bring their eligible partner and children as dependants to the UK.

    • Unaffected by Salary Threshold Changes: Healthcare professionals will not be affected by the increased salary thresholds introduced for the Skilled Worker Visa route.

    • Exempt from Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): Healthcare professionals will remain exempt from paying the IHS, a mandatory levy for non-UK residents accessing publicly funded healthcare.

Impact on Care Workers

    • Care Workers Unable to Bring Dependents: Care workers and senior care workers will not be able to bring their dependents when migrating to the UK under the Health and Care Visa route.

    • Sponsorship Limited to CQC-Registered Providers: Only CQC-registered providers in England will be able to sponsor Health and Care Visa applicants.

Advice for Healthcare professionals

    • Current NHS Offers Remain Valid: If you have a job offer with the NHS, the new immigration rules will not affect your current employment plans.

    • No Earlier Start Dates: You will not be able to accelerate your arrival date in the UK to avoid the upcoming changes.

    • Continued Support: NHS Employers will provide ongoing guidance and support to ensure a smooth transition for NHS staff affected by these changes.

Advice for Care Workers

    • Referral to Care Worker Resources: The UK government is working to provide dedicated resources for care workers to address their specific concerns arising from the new immigration rules.

    • Stay Updated: Regularly check the NHS Employers and .GOV websites for the latest information and updates on the evolving immigration landscape.


While the upcoming changes may raise concerns among healthcare professionals, it's crucial to note that NHS staff will remain exempt from the most significant impacts, such as salary threshold increases and IHS requirements. The government has affirmed its commitment to international healthcare professionals, and NHS Employers will continue to provide comprehensive support during this transition period.

*info provided by NHS Employers

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