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.