Immigration Information

To access the Tier 2 sponsorship page, please click here

I require a visa to work in the UK and my interviews have now been postponed. What does this mean for me?

NIMDTA is working with all stakeholders to confirm contingency plans for recruitment processes and a revised timetable will be shared as soon as possible, however a change to the post start dates is not anticipated.  Due to changes to the shortage occupation list, with the exception of Public Health, there is no longer a requirement to start in post within 6 months of the publication date of the advert for the specialty.  As such, changes to the recruitment timeline are unlikely to have a significant effect on your visa application if you are new to the HSCNI, however these may impact on your start date in post.  If you are not currently sponsored by HSCNI, you are required to have your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) in your possession before you are able to commence training. Time is needed to allow the team to process your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and the Home Office need a minimum of 8 weeks to process your application (unless a priority service is used). In light of this, processing of visa applications may mean that you are unable to start until after August 2020.

I am currently living in the UK, but am not sponsored by nimdta or a HSC Trust and would need to travel to my home country to apply for a visa. Given the pandemic, is there anything in place that would allow me to obtain a visa without travel to my home country?

Not at this current time. The Home Office would need to advise on travel related to your visa application.

Where can I find further information regarding immigration queries related to coronavirus?

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have set up a Coronavirus Immigration Helpline, for immigration queries related only to Coronavirus:  Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Calls are free of charge.  Email:

I may not be able to submit my visa application before the expiry date of my certificate of sponsorship (CoS) due to closure of Visa Application Centres during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Do I need to get a new CoS? 

The Home Office is aware of the impact of the closure of the visa application centres (VAC), which may mean that a number of customers who have existing CoS which will expire prior to them being able to submit an application. In light of these extraordinary circumstances UKVI will be liaising with sponsors when visa application centres reopen and will ensure no applications are unfairly prejudiced as a result of an expired CoS due to the closures that have taken place worldwide.  This means that you will be able to apply with your current CoS once the visa application centres reopen, even if it has expired.

For up to date advice on VAC services in each country, you should check the website for the relevant commercial partner: 

The latest travel advice can be found here:

I am currently in the UK and have applied for my new visa, but I’m not sure if I will receive it in time to start my post at changeover.  Will I be able to start work at changeover? 

You may start work before your visa application has been decided if:

  • You have been assigned a certificate of sponsorship
  • You have submitted your application before your current leave expires
  • The role you are employed in is the same as the one on your CoS

You will be asked to provide your UKVI application reference number to the Tier 2 team to enable them to carry out a right to work check using the UKVI Employers Checking Service.  A satisfactory ECS check will be required so that you can commence work at changeover.  Your consent to carry out this check will be sought.  If your visa application is subsequently rejected as invalid or refused your employment will be terminated.

I am applying for a visa to enter the UK, but I don’t think I will be able to start at changeover due to the closure of visa application centres and travel restrictions.  What do I do?

You will need to submit your visa application as soon as the visa application centre opens.  If you are unable to start on the date on your certificate of sponsorship, the Tier 2 team will notify the UKVI of your delayed start date.  You will need to keep the Tier 2 team updated on the progress of your visa application and you wil need to notify the relevant specialty team within NIMDTA and Medical HR of the trust you have been posted to.