UK Home Secy promises new fast-track visa for doctors from countries like India
London: Britain's Indian-origin Home Secretary Priti Patel has hit the general election campaign trail with a promise to make it easier for medical professionals from countries like India to be able to address shortages in the UK's state-funded National Health Service (NHS).
The so-called NHS Visa will be part of a new Points-Based Immigration System (PBIS), which the Conservative Party government plans to introduce if it is voted to power in the December 12 polls.
The main features of such a new visa would be a halving of fees and a quicker processing time of just two weeks for qualified doctors and nurses.
"These measures are part of our plan for an Australian-style points-based immigration system that allows us to control numbers while remaining open to vital professions like nurses, said Patel. "That means the best of both worlds attracting talent from around the world so our NHS continues to provide brilliant service while ensuring that it isn't put under strain by opening Britain's borders to the entire world, she said. Boris Johnson had announced plans for an Australian-style points based immigration system in his maiden speech as British Prime Minister in July, saying the UK would put it in place once it leaves the European Union (EU) and is free of the EU freedom of movement rules. The features of the proposed NHS Visa will include fees halved from 928 ponds currently to 464 pounds; a fast-track process for applicants with a guaranteed decision within two weeks; preferential treatment in the the new system with extra points awarded for anyone coming to work in the NHS; and payment support in the form of applicants being able to pay back the cost of IHS via their salary.