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Visa Sponsorship - Process for Visa Extension post GP CCT

As of June 2023, GP trainees who are completing training are able to avail of a 4-month post CCT extension at the end of their current visa, to give extra time to secure a work with a new employer and arrange sponsorship.

This is not an alternative to securing sponsorship with a new employer after completing training; the scheme is only to allow GP trainees to legally remain in the UK while looking for employment and waiting to start work.

The immigration team will contact eligible trainees in advance of their CCT to offer the extension.  All trainees should ensure that they respond to the immigration team to advise whether they wish to avail of the extension or not.

We are very keen to keep you in Northern Ireland as part of our workforce.

Click HERE to view the list of practices that currently hold a Visa sponsorship licence.


Who should/shouldn’t apply?

  1. It will be your decision about whether you should apply for the additional four months post CCT extension.
  2. If you have already secured employment and sponsorship with a new sponsor by the end of your training, you will not need to apply.
  3. If you have a new immigration status by the end of your training (for example ILR), you will not need to apply.
  4. If you do apply and your application is successful, the additional four months will be added to the end of your current visa, however a new BRP will not be issued.
  5. You cannot apply more than 1 month prior to the expiry date of your current visa or your CCT date. Applications submitted too early will be rejected by the Home Office.

For general information relating to the process of NIMDTA sponsorship for GP specialty training, please follow this link Immigration (nimdta.gov.uk)

All GP specialty trainees who have NIMDTA as their Visa sponsor should receive an email from NIMDTA approximately 12 weeks before their CCT date.

This email will ask if you wish to apply to NIMDTA for a 4 month extension after you CCT to allow you more time to find a Visa sponsor.

How to apply for a Visa Extension

When it is time to apply, please follow the steps below:

If your visa is due to expire at your CCT date

 

  1. Make a Skilled Worker Visa application (using the health and care route) via the UKVI website: https://www.gov.uk/health-care-worker-visa/extend-your-visa Please note you will need to pay the associated visa application fees at this time, but will be refunded later - see point 7

 

  1. As part of this application, you will need to use the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) number currently issued to you for your training (or the most recent one if you’ve had an extension before your CCT date) and NIMDTA’s sponsor licence number (you will also find this on your CoS).

 

  1. Add the start date as the day after your visa expires (i.e. if your BRP is due to expire on 01/02/2024 please add 02/02/2024).

 

  1. Add the end date as your start date plus 4 months (i.e. if your start date is 02/02/2024 the end date will be 01/06/2024).

 

  1. Notify NIMDTA at nimdta@hscni.net that you have applied for the 4-month extension.  Forward your UKVI application reference number and the full name and reference numbers for each dependant (as per the application form/passport).  NIMDTA are required to inform the UKVI of trainees who wish to take up the offer.
  2. The Home Office will then ‘hold’ your application for a period 4 months.  Please note they will not assess your application and you will not be given a decision or a new visa. Your application will just be placed in a holding position so that your stay in the UK will not be curtailed and you will not be asked to leave.

 

  1. When you find a new employer, they will issue you a CoS for you to apply for a further Skilled Worker Visa. You will then need to make an application for a further Skilled Worker visa directly with UKVI, with the relevant start and end dates of your new employment and pay the associated fees.

 

  1. Once your second application is received, the Home Office will refund the cost of one of the applications directly back to you.

 

If you have additional leave remaining on your current visa

 

  1. Notify the immigration team at NIMDTA that you would like to avail of the 4-month post CCT extension. The immigration team will notify the UKVI that you have completed training and will be switching to the post CCT extension.

When you secure employment and a new sponsor, please notify the immigration team.

email: immigration.nimdta@hscni.net

 

Visa Extension - Frequently Asked Questions

 

What happens if I don’t submit a new CoS before the end of the grace period?

Your visa application will be considered on the basis of the information you have already provided, and may be refused.

 

Should my dependants apply at the same as me?

Yes. Your dependants should apply at the same as you to extend their visas. If your dependants apply later their applications may not be considered in line with your application, and may be refused.

 

Will this affect my application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

No. Any extension taken under this scheme submitted before the expiry date of your visa will extend your permission under Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971, and this time period within the UK will be counted as Skilled Worker permission for the purposes of calculating eligibility for settlement. Section 3C extends the person’s existing permission until the application is decided (or withdrawn).

 

Can I continue my training using the additional four months offered by this scheme?

No. If your training is extended (i.e. your CCT date is delayed), you will need to apply for a normal extension visa with NIMDTA. You can then use the additional 4 months post CCT date should you need it (and follow the process above) once you have successfully completed your training.

 

Can I undertake locum work during the additional four months offered by this scheme?

Yes. You will be able to work as a locum GP whilst you are seeking permanent employment in the field. However, the purpose of this scheme is to find permanent employment at a Skilled Worker licenced employer.

Can I travel overseas during the additional four months offered by this scheme?

 

If your current visa is due to expire at your CCT date

No. If you were to leave the Common Travel Area (consisting of the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) whilst your application is outstanding it will be treated as withdrawn and you will be unable to return the UK.  Any ongoing immigration status you have under Section 3C (see above) will lapse as soon as you leave the UK, even if you remain within another part of the Common Travel Area.  If you were to leave the Common Travel Area during this period you will need to make an application from overseas once you have been offered a job.

 

If you have additional leave remaining on your current visa

As you don’t need to submit another visa application to take up the extension, you can travel during the extension period for the purposes of a short holiday, however the purpose of the extension is to remain in the UK to secure further employment.

 

What happens if I change training specialty before my CCT date?

This scheme is only being offered to those who complete their training in the GP specialty. If you change specialty before this, you will no longer be eligible.

 

Will I receive confirmation that my post-CCT extension has been approved?

You will not receive confirmation from the UKVI, however the immigration team will confirm when they have notified the UKVI that you have submitted an application.


If you have any queries, please contact the immigration team at 028 9536 0224 or  immigration.nimdta@hscni.net.


Visa Sponsor Job Opportunities

To explain the current Visa sponsor (Job) opportunities better (January 2024), please watch the webinar at link Careers After CCT Information Webinar on Vimeo

For the password, contact gpcpd.nimdta@hscni.net

The webinar includes Visa sponsor organisations talking about the jobs they offer, and you will also hear from 2 IMGs post CCT who have taken roles in NI with 2 different Visa sponsors

The presentations in the video are available here;

IMG Visa Sponsor

GPNI - IMGs Job Opportunities


You can also find more information on our GPNI Careers website at this link Visa Sponsor Job opportunities — GPNI Careers

For more information on job options post CCT contact louise.sands@hscni.net