Tier 2 sponsorship is an opportunity for practices that are having difficulty recruiting to vacant GP posts, to employ international doctors who will generally have completed their training in the UK.

It doesn’t guarantee that you will fill your vacancy, but it opens a new pool of doctors who are then able to apply for your vacancies.

What is Tier 2?

  • Tier 2 is an immigration route for International doctors who wish to work in the UK. These doctors must be sponsored by an organisation or company that holds a Tier 2 licence. A licence is a permission given to an organisation to sponsor workers in its business. The organisation is known as a sponsor.
  • Trainees are sponsored by HEE, but that sponsorship ends when they complete training and so must find employment with a new sponsoring organisation or must return to their home country

How to become a sponsor?

To become a sponsor you will need to:

  • Complete an online application - slide pack is available from NHE England along with support
  • Pay a fee
  • Identify key personnel in your organisation to have Tier 2 responsibilities
  • Send specific documents within 5 days of making your application 

Now that my practice is a sponsor

Once you are a sponsor you will need to:

  • Keep records/documents for each sponsored doctor (this is normal employee information)
  • Report a doctor’s non-attendance, non-compliance or disappearance
  • Maintain your organisation information online.

The maximum time that a Tier 2 doctor may be in the UK under a Tier 2 visa is 5 years. After 5 years, the doctor may apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain). An international Tier 2 doctor who has also trained in the UK will have already been in the UK under Tier 2 for a few years and so the period of sponsorship may be limited before indefinite leave to remain may be granted.

Reimbursement process

NHS England is currently reimbursing costs relating to tier 2 visa sponsored GPs and their immediate family:

  • Relocation costs for the sponsored GP and immediate family up to £5000 (from outside the UK only)
  • Tier 2 visa application costs for the sponsored GP and their family

In order to apply for reimbursement, please contact NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough - contact details below.

Further Information

The latest information regarding Tier 2 sponsorship is available online and you can apply online too.

Home Office contact details – 0300 123 4699, or email BusinessHelpdesk@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Key contact

We would be more than happy to guide you through the application and reimbursement processes - even come out and visit the practice!

If you have any questions or would like some support, please contact our Primary Care Quality & Workforce Support Manager- Janet Nix on 07943 594 604 or janet.nix@nhs.net