expected to take health workers off immigration limit

Campaigners have welcomed reports that the UK government plans to remove doctors and nurses from an immigration cap – which could also make it easier for businesses to recruit IT workers from outside the EU.

Home secretary Sajid Javid is expected to reveal the policy shift tomorrow, various outlets have reported, as the government bows to pressure over the number of non-EU doctors and nurses that have been turned away at a time when the NHS is facing staff shortages.

At the moment, healthcare professionals – along with other skilled workers including IT specialists, engineers and teachers – enter the UK via the Tier 2 (General) visa route, which caps entry at 20,700 each year.

However, in recent months this cap has been hit repeatedly, meaning people that businesses would like to hire are not allowed into the UK because of what campaigners describe as an arbitrary cap.

Figures obtained by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) showed that, between December 2017 and March 2018, some 1,226 applications for IT and technology roles were rejected.

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