Official figures have shown that over 2,300 visa applications submitted by doctors have been refused in 5 months. The doctors who submitted the visas wanted to work in the UK.
Doctors have submitted a total of 3,597 requests for tier 2 visas. The visas have been submitted between November 6th and April 5th. However, only 34% of them were successful.
The figures have been obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request by the law firm Eversheds Sutherland. They have been published after Sajid Javid said that he was “taking a fresh look” at the cap on skilled migrants. Sajid Javid is the UK home secretary.
Refused visa applications affects health shortages
A warning from the NHS said that the limit is exacerbating staff shortages. At the same time, hospitals in the UK struggle to cope with record demand. Also, Jeremy Hunt has lobbied for it to be lifted. Jeremy Hunt is the UK health secretary.
A total of 2,360 visa applications submitted by doctors from outside the European Economic Area were denied in the period covered by the request made by the FOI. Junior doctors have seen more remote chances of success. Among registrars, 90 of 97 applications by consultants were successful. However, only 733 out of 2,341 (31%) were granted a visa.
The results show that doctors fared worse than the average applicant for a tier 2 visa. Overall, there were 18,517 applications during the 5 months. Out of the 18,517 applicants, 8,330 (45%) were successful.
The prospect of a review of the tier 2 visa system was welcomed by Danny Mortimer. On the other hand, he said that “a speedy, effective solution is urgently needed to clear the backlog” with the August intake and changeover period for many trainee doctors approaching. Danny Mortimer is the chief executive of NHS Employers.
According to the NHSE, during May, a big number of its employers were not able to obtain certificates of sponsorship for doctors.
Hospitals affected by visa applications limit
At the beginning of June, a thinktank said that hospitals require as many as 3,500 additional doctors every year to deal with shortages. But this would change if they are removed from the skilled worker visa cap.
The thinktank found that 1 in 11 health service posts were unfilled and thousands more doctors and nurses will have to be recruited in the next 10 years. This is due to an increasing demand.
In 2011, Theresa May introduced the 20,700 annual limit for the tier 2 visa. Theresa May is the Prime Minister of the UK and, in 2011, she was home secretary.
A report from May said that the prime minister was blocking requests by at least 3 government departments to lift visa quotas temporarily. The prime minister was requested to lift the visa quotas to allow more overseas doctors to come to Britain to fill NHS staff shortages.
A spokesperson from the British Medical Association declared: “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”.
The spokesperson then added: “This is a situation that we can ill afford at a time when the NHS is under unsustainable pressure from rising demand, stagnating budgets and widespread staff shortages”.
Policy under review after Javid comments on visa applications issue
A No 10 source said that the policy was under review after Javid commented on the visa issue.
The Home Office responded to the latest figures. Thus, the Home Office referred the British press to comments made by Caroline Nokes in the House of Commons on June 11th. Caroline Nokes is the immigration minister of the United Kingdom.