Despite the shortage of NHS staff, only one third of the Tier 2 visa requests for overseas medical personnel is being approved by the Home Office

Over the past five months, more than 2,300 doctors wishing to work in the UK have been denied Tier 2 visas. In total 3,597 applications for Tier 2 visas were submitted between 6 November 2017 to 5 April 2018. Only 34% of them were approved.

These figures became available to public after Home Office Secretary Sajid Javid expressed his determination to revise the system of issuing Tier 2 visas, including reviewing the visa cap. Tier 2 visa system was introduced by Theresa May in November 2008 to set the limit of non-EU skilled workers with job offers from UK based companies. In order to recruit overseas workers, companies should firstly look at the UK resident labour market. There is a limit on the number of approved visas in Tier 2 category: 20 700 visas per year or about 1,600 visas per month. Representatives of the NHS have repeatedly noted that the visa cap has worsened the shortage of medical staff.

Overall in last 5 months 18,517 applications were submitted under Tier 2 category. 8,330 (45%) were successful.

Last week “Global Future” think tank confirmed that hospitals require up to 3,500 additional doctors a year to cope with the shortage of staff.