New UK Rules Leave Foreign Nurses, Including Filipinos, at Risk of Deportation


The nursing union warns more than 3,000 foreign nurses, including Filipinos, outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to return home under new immigration rules.

New measures recently unveiled by the UK government reveal that by 2017, any nurse earning less than £35,000 a year would be sent home. According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), nearly 3,365 nurses in the UK may be affected by the new migration cap and that £20.19 million in NHS money will have been wasted in recruiting them.

Reports claim that if international recruitment remains alike as it is now, by 2020 the number of nurses affected by the threshold will be 6,620, employed at a cost of £39.7 million.

Meanwhile, RCN general secretary Peter Carter aired BBC Radio 4 that most nurses earned “nowhere near” the required amount and were paid amounting to the range of £21,000 to £28,000 in a year, while a “very experienced” nurse takes home about £31,000-£35,000.

Nurse Pay and Roles
Band Pay Range Typical Role
5 £21,692 – £28,180 Entry level nurse or midwife
6 £26,041 – £34,876 Staff nurse, such as theatre nurse
7 £31,072 – £40,694 Senior nurse, such as ward sister / team leader
8 £39,632 – £81,618 Nurse consultant or matron


To get through with this dilemma, the National Health Services (NHS) and RCN said that these nurses must first arrive at the senior nurse position or made either a nurse consultant or matron to make the required £35,000.


According to the UK’s immigration office, the implementation of the said policy is to reduce the demand for migrant labor and had given hospital four years to adjust to the changes.

“We changed the settlement rules in 2011 to break the link between coming to work in the UK and staying here permanently,” a Home Office spokesman said in the report.

On the contrary, RCN claimed the scheme will only intensify a severe shortage of nurses and leave hospitals with nothing. However, David Cameron, referring to the Migration Advisory Committee, defended their decision.

“They haven’t put nursing on that shortage occupation list and I think we should listen to their advice above all,” he said.

There are more than 400,000 nurses working in the NHS and over 600,000 registered to work. The Philippines is reported to have the highest number of foreign health workers in the UK at more than 20,000 nurses in 2015, according to the Nursing & Midwifery Council.


Gil Wayne graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of science in nursing. He earned his license to practice as a registered nurse during the same year. His drive for educating people stemmed from working as a community health nurse. He conducted first aid training and health seminars and workshops for teachers, community members, and local groups. Wanting to reach a bigger audience in teaching, he is now a writer and contributor for Nurseslabs since 2012 while working part-time as a nurse instructor. His goal is to expand his horizon in nursing-related topics. He wants to guide the next generation of nurses to achieve their goals and empower the nursing profession.
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