International Frequently Asked Questions.

International Frequently Asked Questions
International Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

Registration and relocation

What are the minimum requirements to get an interview for a nursing role in the UK?

The minimum requirements for a nursing role are a Nursing BSc Hons or MSc degree, a nursing registration from your home country and passing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET). Depending on the NHS hospital, previous experience of working within a nursing role is also required.

What are the minimum requirements to register with the General Medical Council (GMC) as a doctor?

The minimum requirements are having a primary medical qualification and a post-graduate qualification. For international workers, the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB).

What’s covered in your relocation package?

  • Visa

  • Immigration health surcharge

  • Flights to the UK

  • 1-3 months of accommodation

  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) test and free training

  • Reimbursement of the IELTS or OET test, and the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration

Can I bring my spouse/family when I relocate to the UK?

Yes – once you’ve been issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) which is a Tier 2 skilled visa, by your hospital. You’ll then be able to sponsor your immediate family (e.g. husband/wife and children under the age of 18) to be relocated with you. You will need to pay the cost of sponsoring your family as the hospitals don’t pay these costs. Find out more information on applying for a family visa, which usually takes 3-4 weeks (working days).

What’s the process to get my children, who are relocating to the UK with me, registered at a school?

If you’re applying from your home country, you will need to contact the local council in the area where you’re going to live. Follow your new local council’s application process to apply for a primary and/or secondary school place. You may need to provide proof of your new address (e.g. a rental agreement) and that you’ll live in the area before the start of the next school term.

What are the typical school holidays in the UK?

School holidays in the UK vary between regional local authorities. School calendars are split into three terms, with most schools having additional half-term breaks in the middle of each term, meaning that children usually get six breaks per school year. Generally, the holidays are:

• Autumn break: one week between October – November
• Christmas break: two weeks between December – January
• February break: one week between February – March
• Easter break: two weeks in April
• May break: one week in May
• Summer break: six weeks between July – September

How do I apply for jobs?

Please email an up-to-date CV to our international team at along with your IELTS/OET results. We’ll be in touch.

Working in the UK

As a nurse, what salary can I expect?

Nurses recruited on Band 4 = £21,089 (pre OSCE) and on Band 5 = £24,214 (passed OSCE).

What support will I receive from Sanctuary International?

We will support you by reviewing your CV to ensure it meets the required criteria and arrange for you to interview at an NHS hospital (also providing mock interview prep). We’ll give you CBT study material, help with the NMC registration and connect you with your hospital for general questions. We also help with the visa application process as well as settling you into the UK.

What help is there when I start working?

A representative from the hospital will meet and greet you at the airport and take you to your new accommodation. You’ll then be given a corporate induction into the Trust, introduced to an OSCE trainer (training is approximately 4-6 weeks), receive a welcome pack and a loan, if needed. You’ll also have a bank account set up for you, as well as being registered with a local doctor and dentist.

What are the normal working hours and holiday entitlement?

Working hours are 37.5 hours per week with a rotating shift pattern of Monday-Sunday (for doctors this may differ). There is the option of bank work too. You’ll be entitled to 27 days annual leave per year.

What sort of team will I be working in?

You’ll be working alongside a team of multi-disciplinary workers including healthcare assistants, Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), doctors and consultants.

Life in the UK

What are the house prices and living costs, and how do they vary nationally? And, what tourist attractions are there?

This depends on where you’re based, geographically. Read our blog on what to expect from life in the UK.

What’s the benefit of working and living in the UK?

There are many! The main benefits are the exciting professional opportunities that are available to you, enabling you to support your family. There’s also the stability of working for the NHS; one of the largest employers in the world.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch.