Thousands of Visa Applications of Doctors Rejected in UK, Figures Reveal

There were 3,597 requests from doctors for tier 2 visas between Nov. 6, 2017 and Apr. 5, 2018, but only 34 per cent were successful.


Over 2,300 visa applications of doctors from foreign countries looking to work in the United Kingdom were rejected from December 2017 to April 2018, figures obtained by a UK law firm through a freedom of information (FOI) request revealed, the Guardian reported.

Out of the 3,597 requests from doctors for tier 2 visas between Nov. 6, 2017 and Apr. 5, 2018, only 34 per cent were successful. As many as 2,360 visa applications by overseas doctors who are from outside the European Economic Area were denied in the period covered by the FOI request made by the law firm Eversheds Sutherland.

These findings come after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said recently that the United Kingdom will review the country’s visa system for highly skilled immigrants. Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of National Health Service Employers, had then welcomed the move of the review of tier 2 visa system, urging for a speedy, effective solution which he said is required to clear the backlog.

The figures showed that the chances of success for junior doctors were even worse. While 90 of 97 applications by consultants were successful, only 733 out of 2,341 (31 percent) among registrars were granted a visa. In total, there were 18,517 applications made during the five months, out of which 8,330 were successful, the Guardian reported.

The number of applications from December 2017 to April 2018 for doctors who would earn annual salaries below £50,000 was 3,004 and the number of applications approved was 890, the figures showed.

“These figures demonstrate that the tier 2 visa cap is resulting in thousands of highly trained, experienced doctors being blocked from taking up empty posts in the health service that the NHS is unable to fill,” a British Medical Association spokesman was quoted as saying by the publication. The spokesperson added that the National Health Service (NHS) is under unmanageable pressure from increasing demand, stagnating budgets and huge staff shortages.

Data obtained by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) released on May 16 revealed that the UK government refused 6,080 applications for skilled overseas workers holding a job offer because of an arbitrary cap on visas since December 2017. This included Indian professionals such as engineers, tech professionals, doctors and teachers.

As many as 1,226 IT or tech professionals were refused visas in this period, with 429 refusals in March this year. The corresponding figure for medical professionals was 1,518, with 487 refusals taking place in March this year.

Reports had emerged earlier that 100 Indian doctors who had been recruited for 30 NHS trusts in the north west of England were not granted a visa to enter the United Kingdom.

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