How to Immigrate to the UK as a Nurse

Let’s answer the question, “How to apply for a UK visa as a nurse?” To work to the UK as a nurse, you must go through the following steps:

Step 1. Check Your Eligibility

Ensure you meet the basic requirements to immigrate to the UK as a nurse. To work as a nurse in the UK, you need:

  • A nursing degree or diploma
  • Registration as a nurse in your origin country
  • An official certificate from your current nursing council stating that you are in good standing

Step 2. English Language Proficiency

To move as a nurse in the UK, you must be proficient in English at a minimum B1 level. Commonly tests are:

  • IELTS. Scores of at least 7.0 in each area, with a minimum of 7.0 overall.
  • OET. In each subtest, a minimum score of B is required.

Step 3. Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Registration

Nurses work under the supervision of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the UK. A valid nursing council certificate from your current nursing board and documentation of your nursing qualifications are required for NMC registration. 

You might also need to take a Computer-Based Test (CBT) and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in the UK. Taking these exams ensures that your nursing qualifications meet UK nursing standards. 

Step 4. Find a Job

To immigrate to the UK as a nurse and start working, you’ll need to find a job. Indeed, NHS Jobs, Totaljobs, and Reed are good places to start your job search. Professional recruitment agencies like HCL Healthcare, Pulse Nursing, and Your World Healthcare often specialize in healthcare placements. To find the best UK nursing jobs, check various sources.

Step 5. Visa Application and Entry Clearance

Once you’ve been registered with the NMC, you’ll be able to apply for a visa in the UK. Tier 2 (General) visas are appropriate for most nurses. In addition to providing you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS), your employer will assist you in applying for a visa. You can enter the UK once your visa has been approved. 

The process is as follows:

  1. You receive a COS from your UK employer outlining your job details.
  2. Online applications must have a photocopy of the COS, a passport, and proof of language proficiency.
  3. You must go to a biometrics appointment to get your fingerprints and a photo taken.
  4. The UK government’s website provides estimated processing times for your application.
  5. Your passport will get stamped with a visa vignette once approved.

Step 6. Post-Arrival Requirements

In the UK, post-arrival requirements for nurses include:

  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). The BRP must be collected within 10 days of obtaining your official residence status.
  • Supervised Practice (OSCE). To ensure that your nursing skills are up to UK standards, complete the OSCE.
  • Induction and Orientation. Get familiar with local healthcare procedures by participating in hospital orientation.
  • NMC Registration. Stay current with continuing professional development (CPD) requirements and maintain your NMC registration.
  • Settle and Accommodation. Get settled in your new home, understand the tax and healthcare systems, and secure housing.
  • Professional Networking. Become a member of nursing associations and build professional networks.
  • Cultural Adaptation. Engage with local communities and make friends to support your adjustment to a foreign country.

Step 7. Settle in the UK

To settle in the UK, start by 

  • Choosing a suitable housing option within your budget.
  • For financial management, open a local bank account.
  • Become familiar with the UK tax system and National Health Service (NHS) to gain access to healthcare.
  • Make sure you are aware of any legal requirements.
  • Becoming involved in the local community will help you adapt and integrate smoothly.

Step 8. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

To immigrate to the UK as a nurse, you must continue professional development (CPD), fostering continuous skill development and expanding knowledge. NMC mandates continuing professional development, which includes workshops, courses, and reflective practice. Through continuing professional development, Nurses must stay current on healthcare advances, guidelines, and regulations. The NMC requires CPD compliance to maintain registration, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to quality patient care and professional development.