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UK limits nursing student visa requests


Veronica Uy


First Posted 12:01:00 02/27/2009

Filed Under: Nursing matters, Education, Overseas Employment

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MANILA, Philippines - Overwhelmed by the 47,000 student visa applications it received in 2008 mostly from Filipino nurses, the United Kingdom has decided to restrict their number under the National Vocation Qualification (NVQ) from its Manila office.

"At the moment, we are processing 10 NVQ applications a day, subject to review," Oya Arriola, spokesperson of the British embassy in Manila, said Friday.

In an announcement, the embassy said the UK Border Agency International Group noted the 22 percent increase in these applications.

Most Filipino nurses choose to take health-care courses in the UK and apply for NVQ visas to get jobs as professionals in the field in the UK.

"In accordance with this decision, instructions have been given to our commercial partner, VFS, who operate the Manila Visa Application Center, to put these restrictions into immediate effect," the advisory said.

"Our reason for doing so is the overwhelming increase in the number of applications that we have received over the past year," it said, noting a 22-percent increase over 2007 applications.

The British embassy said increasing Manila's staffing for 2009 was decided.

In a related development, Philip Leonard, chairman of the International Student Advisors Corp., a recruitment consultancy firm, said that starting April, the British embassy would implement a point-based system for Filipino nurses and other health-care professionals wanting to work in the UK.



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