Information for internationally trained applicants

Applying for health and social care jobs in the UK from abroad

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance for international applicants when applying for health and social care jobs in the UK.

It provides you with information about the process of recruitment, working rights and standards and to help you have what you need to make decisions.

There are some people and organisations who may try to take advantage of you during the recruitment process and this guidance provides advice on how to make sure you avoid any pitfalls.

Further details can be found here.

What Brexit means for nursing and midwifery

The United Kingdom (UK) has left the European Union (EU)

This page sets out what this means for those on, or applying to join our register with EU qualifications.

If you're already on our register

Please know that if you're already on our register there is nothing more that you need to do.

You will continue to be a highly valued part of the nursing and midwifery professions, delivering quality care to patients and the public even though the UK has left the EU.

Applying to join our register 

If you trained in the EU, EEA or EFTA (excluding Switzerland)

In December 2020, the UK Government introduced legislation setting out how EU, EEA and EFTA qualifications are assessed.

This means that if you hold a qualification gained in an EU, EEA or EFTA country and you want to join our register you’ll need to follow the same application process as those trained outside the EU.

You may have to pay different fees and a small number of people with certain qualifications may have their skills and knowledge assessed by a Test of Competence.

Adult nurses or midwives

If you’re a nurse responsible for general care (known as an adult nurse in the UK) or midwife who has a qualification that meets the EU requirements for automatic recognition, you’ll be able to have your qualification recognised by us, and you won’t need to take a Test of Competence.

The total cost for application and registration of those with a qualification that meets our requirements is £293 (an assessment fee of £140 and initial registration fee of £153).

EU specialist nurses

As EU specialist nurse qualifications - such as children’s or mental health nursing - have never held automatic recognition under EU law, new applicants holding these EU qualifications will need to take a Test of Competence.

The total cost for application and registration is £1,170. This cost could be higher if you need to resit tests. 

The breakdown of costs for different stages is:

  • Qualification evaluation fee - £140 (non-refundable)
  • Test of Competence part one: Computer-based test (CBT) - £83
  • Test of Competence part two: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) - £794
  • Registration fee for entry onto our register - £153

Further information

Find out more about the overseas application process for:

If you're a Swiss national

The UK Government reached an agreement with Switzerland for a new relationship which started on January 2021.

This means that if you’re a Swiss national, or a dependent or spouse with acquired rights in Switzerland, and you hold a qualification that would previously have been automatically recognised by EU law, you will still be able to use this qualification to apply for registration with us as long as you started training before 31 December 2020.

This process will continue for up to four years under the terms of the agreement.

If you're working or looking to work in the EU

If you're a UK-trained nurse, midwife or nursing associate and you're already registered by an EU member state, your registration in that country will not be affected.

If you want to apply for registration in an EU member state after the transition period, there may be some changes depending on the result of the UK Government’s negotiations with the EU and the individual registration requirements of the country which you’re looking to work in.

Humanitarian Practice Permit Ireland

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) has introduced a ‘Humanitarian Practice Permit’. This means that if you are a nurse or midwife who trained outside of the European Union (which includes people who trained in the UK before it left the EU) you will be able to practise in Ireland for up to 30 days. This will apply in instances where:

  • You are supporting patient transfers (emergency and acute clinical care);
  • You are taking part in a healthcare education programme which requires the nurse/midwife to be in a clinical area;
  • You are accompanying a client/person for a social event; or
  • You are providing patient support for short term respite care.

It is very important to note that in other circumstances you will need to apply to the NMBI for full registration.

You should apply for this permit before you carry out any work in Ireland. However, in emergency cases, the NMBI will accept a permit request you make within three working days of providing one of these services.

If you have any questions, and to apply for a permit, please take a look at the NMBI’s website.