Nurses: Philippines

Home Office written question – answered on 12th January 2016.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to continue with the visa scheme which allows Filipino nurses to come to the UK to work on its current basis; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Tier 2 of the Points Based System for immigration - the skilled work route - allows non-EEA workers to fill graduate level occupations, and is the main route used by Filipino nurses wishing to work in the UK.

In June 2015, the Government commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on restricting Tier 2 to genuine skills shortages and jobs which require highly-specialised experts, but with sufficient flexibility to include high value roles and key public service workers. The MAC has now reported and the Government is currently considering the MAC’s advice.

In October 2015, the Home Secretary agreed, exceptionally, to place nurses on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) as an interim measure, pending a full review of the evidence by the MAC. The MAC will advise separately on whether nurses should remain on the SOL by 15 February and we await their recommendation with interest. Skilled jobs which are not on the SOL may still qualify for Tier 2, provided the sponsoring employer has carried out a Resident Labour Market Test.

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