David Amess – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by David Amess on 2015-10-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department was consulted by the Home Office on the impact assessment for the proposals that Tier 2 visa immigrants from outside the European Economic Area must be earning £35,000 or more to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Ben Gummer

The Secretary of State for Health and the Home Secretary have discussed the Government’s policy on immigration when it has been raised at internal government meetings.

The Home Secretary asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the operation of the Tier 2 route of entry into the United Kingdom and they held a public consultation, which closed on 25 September 2015.

However, on 15 October 2015 the Home Secretary announced that the Tier 2 restrictions will be temporarily changed for nurses so that they can be recruited from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to ensure safe staffing levels across the National Health Service.

Nurses will be added to the Government’s Shortage Occupation List (SoL) on an interim basis. The temporary rule change, which will apply to applications considered from December, will mean that nurses from outside the EEA who apply to work in the UK will have their applications for nursing posts prioritised.

While nurses remain on the SoL they will be exempt from the requirement to earn £35,000. The exemption will continue to apply whilst the role is on the SoL.

The Home Secretary has also asked the MAC to carry out a review of the evidence about whether nurses should remain on the SoL and to report back to the Home Office by 15 February 2016.