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The UK has added new healthcare roles to the Shortage Occupation List. 

Overseas-trained pharmacists and other healthcare professionals will now find it easier to register, work and live in the UK 

Pharmacists have also been given an added boost with the recognition of OET by the General Pharmaceutical Council in the UK.  

New roles, easier path 

Alongside pharmacists, senior care workers and nursing assistants have been added to the Shortage Occupation List.  

The official list is set by the UK government and prioritises occupations where there is a shortage of domestic workers. Overseas-trained healthcare workers who fill a skilled job on the list are more likely to obtain a skilled worker visa.  

With the UK’s points-based immigration system, an overseastrained healthcare worker needs to reach 70 points to be eligible for a work visa.  

A job from the list is worth 20 points. Successful OET results, an offer from a sponsor and required skills amount to 50 points, meaning healthcare professionals on the list can reach the 70 points needed.  

You can find a full list of occupations on the Home Office website 

More opportunities to work in the UK  

Despite the NHS employing more than 1.2 million healthcare professionals and support staff, the UK is still facing a shortage across a range of areas.  

According to The Kings Fund, NHS hospitals, mental health services and community providers are reporting a shortage of close to 84,000 FTE staff. Unfortunately, 38,000 of these are nurses, meaning one in ten posts going unfilled are nursing roles.   

In response, the UK government is implementing changes to help healthcare professionals immigrate to the UK.  

The changes to the Shortage Occupation List follow on from the introduction of the Health and Care Visa last year. Both aim to provide a clear pathway for healthcare professionals to work and live in the UK.  

Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said overseas trained healthcare professionals play a crucial role for the NHS.  

“Every year we welcome healthcare workers from across the world to our United Kingdom, with many having played a key role on the frontline of the NHS during the recent pandemic,” Mr Foster said.  

“This latest set of changes, combined with our Health and Care Visa, will ensure they can easily get the immigration status they deserve.” 

If you’re looking for information on working in the UK, you can download one of our UK Destination Guides. Each is packed full of information on registering, working and living in the UK.