OET and Tier 2 visas: Only one test now required for both UK registration and visa purposes.
Doctors, nurses, dentists and midwives applying for Tier 2 (General) visas no longer need to meet a separate English language requirement where they have already done so as part of registering with the relevant regulatory body. This means that these healthcare professionals will be exempt from the English language requirement for their visa application where they have used their successful OET results for registering with the relevant healthcare regulator. The test was recognised by the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council and the General Medical Council almost two years ago.
In their media release on Gov.UK, the Home Office announced: “The Home Office has also streamlined English language testing ensuring that doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives who have already passed an English language test accepted by the relevant professional body, do not have to sit another test before entry to the UK on a Tier 2 visa. This change will make sure that hospitals and medical practices across the country will be able to access the staff they need more quickly.”
The change will apply to all Tier 2 (General) visa applications submitted on or after 1 October 2019.
Sujata Stead, CEO of Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment (the owners of OET), said: “We are absolutely delighted that healthcare professionals can now take OET for both visa and registration purposes. This will enormously reduce the burden on overseas trained professionals seeking to work in the UK.”
“I congratulate the government on taking this step and we look forward to working further with the NHS and healthcare recruiters to fulfil their staffing requirements with overseas trained healthcare professionals who have the communication skills to deliver safe and effective care.”
OET has been increasing in popularity among test-takers, recruiters and employers, who value the ability of a healthcare-specific test to best prepare candidates for the English-speaking healthcare workplace.