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The relocation benefits you will receive as an international nurse working within the UK

  • November 20, 2018

How do I register as a nurse within the UK?

To work as a nurse within the UK, you will need to register with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council).

What is the process of relocating to the UK and working within the NHS?

To work within the NHS, you will need:

  • A minimum of 7 in IELTS or Grade B in OET

  • Pass the NMC’S Computer-Based-Test exam

  • Interview with an NHS hospital via Skype and receive an offer letter

  • Send the required documents to the NMC

  • Receive your Certificate of Sponsorship (Cos) and apply for your Tier 2 visa

  • Book your flights to the UK

  • Arrive in the UK and begin working as an NHS healthcare assistant

  • Take the NMC’s OSCE exam

  • Start working as a nurse within the NHS

Will I be given accommodation in the UK?

Typically, most NHS hospitals offer 2-3 months’ free accommodation. Please note, hospital accommodation facilities are limited and so often they will only be able to provide you with single occupancy accommodation and your family will have to make alternative plans. Depending on how long the hospital can accommodate you for, the cost of the accommodation will typically be credited into your bank account and then you will then be responsible for paying for it.

If you do not want to live in hospital accommodation and would prefer to stay with your family you will have to find private accommodation.

Do I receive any other benefits?


Most NHS hospitals will pay for your initial flight to the UK. This will differ from hospital to hospital, so please confirm what is included in your relocation package prior to signing your offer letter. Please note, the hospital will often only pay for your flight, not your entire family.

IELTS/OET Reimbursement

The NMC requires you to evidence your English language skills and if you choose the IELTS/OET route you may be entitled to have the fees reimbursed to you.

IELTS - £170

OET - £349

Health Surcharge Reimbursement

When you apply for your Tier 2 visa, you will have to pay a healthcare surcharge (also known as the ‘immigration health surcharge or IHS’) to allow you to use the NHS’ services. Please note, you will still need to pay additional fees for other types of services, such as prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and assistance with conception.

Cost - £200 per year, per person. For example, £1,000 for a five-year visa.


The final stage of obtaining your NMC Registration is to sit the OSCE exam. Once you start your new healthcare post, you will have three months to pass the exam.

Often, the hospital will provide you with revision resources, pay for a revision course and pay for you to sit the exam.

Cost of OSCE - £992

Advance on first month’s salary

When you first arrive, there will be a lot to organise and pay for. Therefore, most NHS hospitals offer you your first month’s salary upon your arrival in the UK. This will help you with the costs of airport transfers, deposits on accommodation, rent, food, transport etc.

Disclaimer: Your eligibility to receive any of the above relocation benefits must be confirmed by the hospital. Confirm what is included in your relocation package before signing an offer letter. Once you start your NHS post you will need to complete an expenses application form and the funds will be reimbursed if they have not already been given to you.

All expenditure incurred must be substantiated by the production of original receipts.


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