Kenyan Nurses are now able to relocate to the UK with their family members

As per the Ministerial Statement presented to the UK parliament, International nurses ‘now exempt’ from immigration health surcharge and will be eligible for fast-track entry to the UK under a new visa scheme set out by the Home Office

Things are getting easier for overseas nurses migrating to work in the United Kingdom! Yes, the process of accessing The United Kingdom Nursing jobs has always been easier, cheaper and faster as compared to other Overseas Countries like America, Canada and Australia and this is much sweeter now that the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge Fee has officially been scrapped off making it possible for these nurses now to be able to fly with their dear family members at the same time.

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on your work visa. A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  1. your husband, wife or partner
  2. fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
  3. Your child under 18
  4. parent
  5. relative who’ll provide long-term care for you

However, their family members need to have the following :-

1. Birth Certificate 

2. Passports – 5k 

3. TB Certificate – 14k

4. UK Visa (Family Visa) 

5. Flight Ticket fee – Ksh. 40-50k

Kenyan Nursess should make use of such avenues and start preparing to benefit from such opportunities by undertaking the IELTS Training so that they sit for the exam by September to meet the English proficiency requirement.

This is made possible by the fact that The UK government through its various institutions like NMC, NHS, Home Office have applied changes progressively to the process to reflect the current dire need of Nurses and after keenly listening to the Nurses walking the journey. However, most nurses faced a challenge whenever applying for Family Visas for their family members because of the Healthcare Surcharge Fee of £1,200 that one was required to pay for each family member. Yes, legally such nurses were allowed to fly with their family members but were technically disadvantaged because of the cost and now that the IHS fee is scrapped off, our dear nurses from Kenya will now be able to fly with their lovely family members without incurring too many costs, apart from the UK Visa and Air Ticket alone.

As per the Ministerial Statement presented to the UK parliament,  International nurses ‘now exempt’ from immigration health surcharge and will be eligible for fast-track entry to the UK under a new visa scheme set out by the Home Office on Monday.  It came after prime minister Boris Johnson’s pledge made in May this year to scrap the fee for health and social care professionals – just one day after refusing to budge on the policy. Since then, the government has faced requests for more information about how the exemption would work and a timescale for implementation, including from the Royal College of Nursing.

Ministers today offered further details about the scheme after coming under pressure from unions, opposition politicians and other organisations to provide clarity on the situation. The home secretary and health and social care secretary today confirmed that health and care staff would “now be permanently exempted from this charge”, and that refunds would be offered to those who had paid the fee as part of their Tier 2 visa since 31 March 2020.

They said, going forward, the exemption would be applied automatically as part of the new “health and care visa”, which is being introduced in 2021 under the new post-Brexit immigration system. Those eligible for the visas will also benefit from reduced visa application fees and will be able to expect a decision on whether they can work in the UK within a “fast-tracked” time of three weeks. However, while registered nurses across both health and social care sectors will qualify for the visa, care workers will not

Under the new Health and Care visa, those eligible will also pay less in application fees and will be able to access “dedicated support” in filling out their forms.

The exemptions will also apply to their families and dependents, according to the written ministerial statement. Health and social care professionals who are not eligible for the visa will instead have to pay the immigration health surcharge upfront and claim a reimbursement – but may have to wait up to six months for the money.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was working with the sector to set up a system for reimbursing health and social care professionals outside of the scope of the visa, to launch on 1 October. Reimbursements would be issued every six months, it added.

In the meantime, the department said it would be publishing details on the website for people to request a refund. Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our health and care system has always had a proud tradition of welcoming overseas staff to work, train and live in the UK, and I’m proud that the NHS is a destination of choice for talented people from around the world. “The unwavering commitment, skill and compassion staff have shown during the fight against this deadly virus is nothing short of phenomenal, and the reimbursement of the immigration health surcharge recognizes the enormous contribution of those who have come to the UK to work in health and social care.”

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