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PLAB,IELTS and UK Experience
Tuesday, 21 March 2006
New Visa Rules For Overseas Doctors
Dr Anustup Bannerjee forwarded this mail to the group:

It needs no explanation...

Changes to the Immigration Rules for Postgraduate
Doctors and
Dentists

On 7 March 2006 the Department of Health announced
that the Home
Office would be making changes to the immigration
rules for
Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists

The changes, which will come into effect on 3 April,
aim to amend the
current specific category within the immigration rules
which relate
to Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists. In future, the
only doctors and
dentists who will be covered by the existing ("permit
free")
arrangements are those who have completed their
medical degree in the
UK and have been appointed to a 2 year Foundation
Programme.

The Home Office has also announced its longer term
policy on managing
migration, based on a points based system for people
coming to the UK
to work, study and train. The Home Office aims to
introduce the new
system in stages to replace the current arrangements
and simplify the
system for employers and migrants.

What does this mean for future recruitment?

You need to ensure that any offers of appointment you
make are line
with the new rules. When you advertise your post,
applicants are
likely to be British Citizens or fall into the
following categories;

• EEA nationals
• Doctors and dentists with existing leave to remain
under the
current immigration rules for Postgraduate Doctors and
Dentists
• Doctors and dentists who require a work permit
• Doctors and dentists who have leave to remain under
the Highly
Skilled Migrant Programme
• Doctors and dentists who are in the UK by virtue of
another
immigration category e.g. those with leave as a
dependent – each
specific case would need to be checked

EEA nationals have the automatic right to work in the
UK and should
therefore be considered in the same way as UK
applicants for posts.

Doctors and dentists who have existing leave to remain
as a
Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist will be allowed to stay
and train in
the UK until that leave expires. Therefore, if the
post on offer will
be completed within the period of the
doctor's/dentist's existing
leave, the employer (and the doctor/dentist) will not
need to seek
permission from the Home Office for the doctor/dentist
to take up the
post. However, from 3 April doctors and dentists will
only be
eligible for leave as a Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist
for their
Foundation Programme, and then only if they have
studied in the UK
and meet all the other requirements. If you have
offered a post to a
doctor or dentist who currently has leave as a
Postgraduate Doctor or
Dentist, but their leave will expire before the end of
the post, then
they will need to apply for a different category of
leave to complete
the post. It is likely that the work permit system
would be the most
appropriate category - see the information on work
permits below.

The majority of candidates for posts will require a
work permit. This
means that you need to apply to Work Permits (UK) for
a work permit
before you can employ the candidate. When you make an
application for
a Work Permit you will have to demonstrate to Work
Permits (UK) that
there are no suitable EEA nationals who can take up
the post. In
practice, this should involve very few adjustments to
your
recruitment processes. However, once your closing date
has passed,
you will need to review how many applicants are EEA
nationals and how
many would require a work permit. Depending on how
many posts you are
filling, and how many applicants fall into each
category, you will
then need to decide whether to assess the EEA
candidates first or
whether to assess all of the applicants at the same
time. The
important thing is that, before making any offers of
employment, you
make sure that the suitable EEA nationals are
considered in advance
of those who require a work permit.

If you are advertising a popular post, you may wish to
restrict
applications to only those doctors who do not need a
work permit to
take up the contract. This should reduce the number of
applications
you have to deal with.

Where a work permit is required, you, as the employer,
need to apply
for a work permit on behalf of the doctor/dentist.
When this is
issued, the doctor/dentist themselves will then need
to apply for
leave to remain as a work permit holder. If the
doctor/dentist
currently has leave under another category of the
Immigration Rules
(for example leave as a Postgraduate Doctor or
Dentist) then they
will not be able to take up the post until both the
work permit has
been issued and the doctor/dentist themselves has been
granted leave
to remain as a work permit holder.

Not all doctors and dentists will be able to change
the basis of
their stay (switch) within the UK. Those in the UK as
a Postgraduate
Doctor or Dentist can switch into leave as a work
permit holder, but
those with leave as a Visitor or as the dependant of
another migrant
cannot switch into leave as a work permit holder and
will need to
leave the UK and make the appropriate application for
entry clearance
from abroad.

Some doctors and dentists may have been accepted onto
the Highly
Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). Doctors and dentists
who have leave
under HSMP can take up any training or employment
posts you offer,
without the need for you or they to ask the Home
Office for
permission

Posted by nrsmc at 4:38 PM GMT

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