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Nurses (International Recruitment)

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of visa granted by Work Permits UK to overseas nurses seeking employment in the UK was in each of the last three years for which figures are available; whether it is possible for such a visa to be extended at the request of the applicant; and how many overseas nurses, having successfully been granted a working visa for the UK, have sought to extend this visa in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [103075]

[holding answer 17 March 2003]: Figures for the average length of work permits granted to overseas nurses in each of the last three calendar years are unavailable due to the nature of the information recorded on the Work Permits (UK) Management Information system.A work permit for an overseas nurse can be extended at the request of the UK-based employer that originally recruited the nurse.

In November 2002, I established an Illegal Working Steering Group, which includes representatives from a range of business sectors, the Trades Union's Congress and Commission for Racial Equality. The group has the potential to become a key player in the prevention of illegal working, by ensuring that there is greater awareness of the problems that this form of illegality creates. The group will also be involved in ensuring that the guidance for complying with the amended legislation will be clear, concise and practical.

The figures for the number of overseas nurses who have received an extension on their original work permit in each of the last three calendar years are given as follows:

  • 2002: 6,228
  • 2001: 3,036
  • 2000: 1,529

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications Work Permits UK received from overseas nurses wishing to work in the UK in each of the last five years, broken down by nationality. [103076]

[holding answer 17 March 2003]: Applications for work permits are made by UK-based employers on behalf of overseas nationals.The figures for the number of applications received from UK-based employers to recruit overseas nurses in each of the last five calendar years, broken down by the top 10 nationalities are given in the following tables:

2002
NationalityNumber of work permits approved
Philippines11,921
India4,957
South Africa4,039
Zimbabwe2,994
Nigeria1,875
Ghana700
Australia691
Pakistan606
Zambia465
Kenya444
Others3,992
2001
NationalityNumber of work permits approved
Philippines10,887
India3,416
South Africa3,185

2001

Nationality

Number of work permits approved

Zimbabwe2,068
Nigeria1,289
Australia760
Ghana564
Pakistan532
Trinidad and Tobago410
Zambia368
Others3,559

2000

Nationality

Number of work permits approved

Philippines6,973
South Africa1,997
Zimbabwe1,223
India1,195
Nigeria1,027
Australia571
Trinidad and Tobago475
Jamaica338
Ghana334
New Zealand278
Others2,198

1999

Nationality

Number of work permits approved

Philippines1,103
South Africa974
Nigeria542
Zimbabwe529
Trinidad and Tobago394
Australia371
India219
Mauritius184
New Zealand158
Jamaica157
Others1,019

1998

Nationality

Number of work permits approved

Nigeria284
South Africa221
Mauritius216
Trinidad and Tobago210
Zimbabwe210
Australia207
New Zealand100
Ghana66
Malaysia58
Canada46
Others351