Nurses from non-European countries including India could be forced to leave the UK under new immigration rules. India is the second largest supplier of nursing staff to the UK after the Philippines with over 15,000 filling nursing shortages within the NHS.
The Conservative Party led government is planning to introduce new stricter requirements for non-Euro migrants, including a minimum pay bar for workers, which means they would have to leave the UK after 6 years if they are not earning at least 35,000 pounds annually.
Nurses on an average in the UK earn between 21,000 and 28,000 pounds a year. Due to cuts to training venues trusts are being forced to rely on overseas recruitment and temporary staff.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned that a new salary threshold of 35,000 pounds a year could affect over 30,000 non-Euro nursing staff. The cut-off date for the new rule has been set at 2011, meaning the first batch of nurses earning less will be sent home in 2017.
The UK Home Office claims the new rules will help reduce demand for migrant labour.
Earlier there was no income threshold. The RCN estimates 90 percent of nurses hired by the NHS outside Europe will not have hit 35,000 pounds within six years.
One India origin NHS staff nurse warned that NHS Trusts are continuing their hiring drive in India despite this impending job uncertainty.