Proposed changes to UK immigration laws will force Asian immigrants earning under £35,000 to leave Britain

Thousands of Indian nurses in NHS face deportation under new 'illogical' immigration rules

India News Bulletin Desk

Planned new changes to the UK immigration laws – where people from outside the Europe must be earning at least £35,000 to stay in the UK – will deport thousands of Indian nurses and force many NHS nurses to leave Britain and return to their home countries, Royal College of Nursing has warned.

Indian nurses face deportation under new Immigration rules by UK government

The proposed changes to UK immigration law requires immigrants in Britain from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) must be earning £35,000 or more before they are allowed to stay in the UK after six years. The effects of the new changes, which will affect thousands of Asian immigrants, will be felt as early as 2017.

The new border control rules will immediately affect up to 3365 nurses currently working in the UK.

According to Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the new UK immigration laws will result in immediate severe shortage of nurses in the UK, compromise patient safety and cost NHS millions. RCN estimatd that the NHS would have spent more than £20 million in recruiting these foreign nurses and all that will have been wasted if these nurses are forced to leave the UK.

“There are thousands of overseas nurses in the UK who have contributed to the health of the nation and built lives here who will be worried and saddened by the Government’s continuing position. The RCN repeats its call for nursing to be added to the shortage occupation list and for the Government to reconsider the £35k salary threshold," said Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN.

"Without a change to these immigration rules the NHS will continue to pay millions of pounds to temporarily rent nurses from overseas." 

The RCN study revealed that the figures for future years are even more worrying, particularly if overseas recruitment continues to rise as a result of a shortage of home-grown nurses and a crackdown on agency nurse spending.

"The immigration rules for health care workers will cause chaos for the NHS and other care services. At a time when demand is increasing, the UK is making it harder to employ staff from overseas. The NHS has spent millions hiring nurses from overseas in order to provide safe staffing levels. These rules will mean that money has just been thrown down the drain," Carter added.

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