News Archive - September 2019

International GPs Won't Need to Take Second Language Test

18 Sep 2019 | Carl Thomas

Following UK work permit changes intended to bring more skilled individuals into the country after Brexit, the rules around GP language tests are changing.

According to the latest news from the Home Office, International GPs applying for a tier 2 work permit will not have to an English language test before they can enter the UK. These new guidelines will be in place from October onwards.

According to officials, the change to the tier 2 work permit regulations will help to reduce costs and complexity for the healthcare professionals that want to come and support the NHS in the UK. This change in guidelines come after many recruitment agencies have shown that international recruiting is slowing in the wake of Brexit. It's becoming increasingly less likely to see professionals applying for UK visas.

Under the current visa rules, overseas doctors applying for a tier 2 work permit are required to prove their knowledge of the English language by sitting an immigration test in addition to a new test accepted by the GMC. Home secretary Seema Kennedy announced that the Home Office had streamlined the test to ensure that health professionals don't have to sit a secondary test.

The update to the immigration UK rules should mean that professionals who have already passed a significant English language test with identity checks included will not have to separately sit another low-level immigration language test on top of that. The Home Office also believes that the change will support the government's desire to continue attracting the best global talent in the world into the UK. The Home Office also noted that the change will allow medical practices and hospitals around the country to access the skilled staff that they need as quickly as possible.

Today's medical groups hope that the change will reduce the burden on overseas professionals who want to come and contribute to the healthcare industry here in the UK.