The NHS is the largest single employer in the UK, employing over a million people, five per cent of the UK's working population. Our workforce is extremely diverse and multicultural - just like our patients. And we often look beyond the UK and Europe to attract the best talent. Applications are particularly welcome from professionally-qualified healthcare staff from outside the UK.
Here are the main things to be aware of if you are applying for a job with the NHS from overseas.
You will find a 'person specification' on all jobs advertised on the site. This sets out the minimum requirements you will need to have to be considered for the role. Make sure you have the relevant experience and qualifications before applying for a job. Only applicants who demonstrate clearly in their application form that they meet the essential criteria for the post will be considered for interview. For very popular posts, employers may only consider those applicants who also meet the desired criteria outlined on the person specification.
NHS Jobs follows the code of practice for the international recruitment of healthcare professionals. This promotes the best possible standards in international recruitment, and discourages any inappropriate practices that could harm other countries' healthcare systems or the interests of those who apply for posts. Find out more on the Department of Health website.
If you are applying for a post that requires professional registration, you will need to register with the appropriate regulatory body. If you are registered in your home country, but do not have UK registration, some NHS employers may be able to help with this. Detailed information on what you need to do can be found on the NHS Careers website
A new points-based system for assessing immigration applications for the UK was introduced in February 2008. This system simplifies routes to employment and education in the UK to five tiers. If you come from outside the EEA, you need to gain points to qualify for a specific tier before you can apply to work in the UK. The number of points required varies for each tier but reflect the applicants' qualifications, experience, age, previous earnings and language competence.
Tier 1: highly skilled workers. This tier allows highly skilled migrants to apply for permission to work or train in the UK without a job offer.
Tier 2: skilled workers. This category enables NHS organisations to recruit individuals from outside the EEA to fill vacancies that cannot be filled by a British or EEA worker. If you are currently a work permit holder, you can continue in your post or change jobs providing you meet the full eligibility criteria for this route of entry.
Tier 3: low skilled workers. This category is not currently available as a route of entry to the UK.
Tier 4: students. UK education providers will act as the sponsor for students from outside the UK or EEA. If accepted for study you will be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). All students will need a visa to enter the UK, which also allows you to work part time during term time and full time during vacations.
Tier 5: temporary workers and youth mobility. The temporary workers part of tier 5 allows NHS organisations to employ you if you are in the UK from outside the EEA for up to 24 months as part of a government-authorised exchange programme. The youth mobility part replaces the working holidaymaker visa. If your country is part of the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS), they can act as sponsors to issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship.
Changes to the immigration rules in 2008 mean that many international medical graduates (IMGs) are not able to take up medical training posts in the NHS based on their right to work under Tier 1 (General) or existing HSMP immigration status.
However, IMGs and doctors from outside the EEA are free to apply for and take up any post, including training posts, that may qualify for sponsorship under Tier 2 of the Home Office points-based immigration system.
NHS Jobs is working with NHS employers across England and Wales in a pilot scheme to help promote suitable opportunities to doctors from outside the EEA that could qualify for sponsorship under the Tier 2 rules.
You can find these vacancies by:
The NHS Careers website includes lots more information for overseas healthcare professionals wanting to work in the NHS.