THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of NHS Employers has welcomed news by the Home Office that there is to be a review of the cap on the number of Tier 2 visas issued, writes Neil Gordon.
Danny Mortimer made the comments after the Home Secretary and Bromsgrove MP, Sajid Javid, said he was ‘taking a fresh look’ at the annual cap of 20,700 visas granted by the Government under the ‘general’ category.
Mr Javid made the comments whilst being interviewed on the Andrew Marr show on BBC One on Sunday, saying that he could ‘see the problem’ with the cap.
“It is something that I’m taking a fresh look at. I know a number of my colleagues certainly want me to take a look at this, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
“And I hope to think about this more carefully and see what can be done.”
The Tier 2 visa is the main UK immigration route for skilled workers coming to the UK to take up employment for a salary of at least £20,800.
In order to apply for this visa the applicant must be from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and have a job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer.
Mr Mortimer said: “Many of our employers could not again get certificates of sponsorship for doctors during May.
“It is now six months since we first started having problems, along with other sectors.
“The NHS is fast approaching the major August intake and changeover period for many doctors in training.
“A speedy, effective solution is urgently needed to clear the backlog, account for any increase in applications linked to the August changeover and provide a sustainable approach to the management of the system.”
Allocations under the cap have been reached every month since December, resulting in more than 6,000 overseas workers with job offers in the UK being refused entry, including more than 1,500 doctors.
With about a third of all Tier 2 (General) visas going to doctors and other medical professionals, the National Health Service has been particularly badly affected and, last week, a Parliamentary petition was launched calling for physicians to be put on the Shortage Occupation List, which would mean they would not be subjected to the cap.
The Andrew Marr show containing the interview with Mr Javid is available via the BBC iPlayer at bbc.co.uk/iplayer