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NVQ Student discusses ONP options in UK | Immigration Matters

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NVQ Student Visa holder, Jacqui, reports to her educational provider the very day she landed at Heathrow Airport.

The Filipino Nurse is in the UK on a 3 year student visa and will start her course in NVQ Level 3/4, Health and Social Care (National Vocational Qualification) at Majestic College this week.

Immigration Adviser Bison UK have arranged paid work placement, which runs along side the vocational course, in a UK care home and she will stay with a Filipino host family in London.

As a qualified Nurse back home in Makati, Manila, Jacqui discusses her options to register with the NMC and take the ONP (Adaptation Course for overseas nurses) at a later date, which could qualify her to work as a registered Nurse (RGN) in the UK.

She will also need to pass an IELTS English test at band score 7.00, which, judging by her spoken English, should not be too much of a problem!

Qualified overseas Nurses taking NVQ courses have a number of options:

  • Obtain an NVQ Level 3 and apply under Tier 2 for a permit as a Senior Care Worker, which is on the Shortage Occupations List.
  • Obtain an NVQ Level 4 – Leadership and management award (LMC) and apply under Tier 2 for a permit as a Care Manager.
  • Register with the NMC and pass the Overseas Nurses Programme (ONP) and apply under Tier 2 for a work permit as a Regsitered Nurse.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recently published its first review of the shortage occupation lists , which recommended that the qualification threshold for overseas Social Care Workers be changed to NQF (National Qualification Framework)/NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Level 2 and the minimum salary cut from £8.80 to £7.80.

See: The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) revise Shortage Occupations List – Video

If the Government adopts the recommendations, it will be possible to obtain permission to work as a Care Assistant under Tier and switch from the Tier 4 Student Visa category.

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:  or visit

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21 Responses to “NVQ Student discusses ONP options in UK”
Read them below or add one

  1. Check the NMC website for ONP details

  2. I am a nurse graduate in Nepal. I am studying PGD Health and social care. I meet the IELTS criteria to apply for ONP. Do the nursing homes and hospitals still sponsor for the nurses??? If yes could you give me some names of them??
    Thank you!!

  3. aubrey uy says :

    Good day, my name is Aubrey Uy, a registered nurse from the Philippines. I would like to work as a nurse in UK. I already passed my ielts with above 7 in all parts. I also have 3 years working experience in the adult icu department. I am planning to apply for the NMC asap. With regards to the ONP program, I do know the schools that offer it but I would just like to know, do I need to first look for a sponsor and then apply for the ONP or will the school that offers the ONP program be the one to look for a sponsor for me? After the ONP program, I will be absorbed by my sponsor right? Thank you very much.

  4. I am a nurse from In India and a tier 4 student of post graduate diploma in health care management level 7 and I am working as a senior carer in a care home for 1 year. my visa expiring on april 2012. My employer have sponsorship licence.Can I apply for a workpermit?Please give me a good reply for me . thanking you.

  5. You can only work as a domestic worker in the UK if your employer relocates here. You will not get a work permit for this type of work so beware of scams.

  6. im looking for employer im domestic helper here in lahore contrac will be finish on dec.2011im a hard worker pilipino 51yrs old.pls help me to find job there in strong and healhty can do all house work im good in cooking

  7. kayelle says :

    Hi Charles kelly, I have my decesion letter already with 20 days protective learning and 3-6 months supervised practise. Is there any nhs hospital that will sponsor nurses for onp? Hoping to hear from you, thanks a lot.

  8. It depends on the job. You will need to find a Tier 2 sponsoring empoyer to sponsor you for a working visa.

  9. chet limbu says :

    i am student of nvq 3 and i am working at care home as a senior care worker. I came here before tier 4 rule. I would like to know about work permit? How can i change my student visa to work permit visa in uk ? Is it possible if company sponserd me?

  10. bikash rai says :

    hello sir,
    i am doing NVQ level 3 and its going to be finished. I am working at support living home before 2yrs. Is it possible to get work permit?

  11. Jinish says :

    I am Mr Jinish, I received The Decision letter from NMC. Is there anybody here can help me to get a placement to start with the ONP?

  12. I am currently doing my NVQ 3 in hastings. I received my decision letter from an agency last august but i still havent found a placement. I would like to know if you can help me find a placement to do my adapatation and obtain a tier 2 visa as a nurse

  13. ashraf says :


  14. I just finished my IMIS Foundation course with good result. Since my college is still suspended, i like to change my college and course into NVQ Level 2 as because i ve been working as a care assistance in nursing home. Its my interested field as well. Other hand, my visa is going to be expired by first week of april 2010.
    Would i able to change my course & college? If so, what documents do i need to submit?
    I look forward to your good advice. Thans. Madan.

  15. I just finished my IMIS Foundation course with result. Since my college is still suspended, i like to change my college and course into NVQ Level 2 as because i ve been working as a care assistance in nursing home. Its my interested field as well. Other hand, my visa is going to be expired by first week of april 2010.
    Would i able to change my course & college? If so, what documents do i need to submit?
    I look forward to your good advice. Thans. Madan.

  16. hi,
    i am a registered medical technologist in the philippines for almost 7 yrs and i am here in england for more than 2 yrs working as a care assistant i already obtained my HSC-NVQ2 and 3 and currently enrolled in level 4. i just want to enquire if in these case there is a possibility that i could get a sponsor in order to obtain a working visa? or what is the best thing you can advice me..
    thank you very much

  17. I am Victor Cudia,I am a licensed Teacher in the Philippines and had a qualification in Caregiving.I am studying here in the Uk taking up NVQ level 3-4.I already recieved my qualification, Certificate in NVQ level 3 Health and Social care,i am studying NVQ 4 under Inverhome ltd.I done my training in one of the best Nursing Home here in the UK which is MORTONGRANGE NURSING HOME .I am a qualified and responsible care assistant. i am nearly finished with my course and i am worried about my visa because my visa is about to expire this coming September.I would like to ask some advice at your office if you could help me to extend and switch my student visa to a sponsorship visa.I would also ask if you have connections with some employer who is willing to give an sponsorship.i am willing to come at your office and have an appointment with you.Hope you could help me to sort out my problem and help me to attain my dreams for my future career development.Thank you very much.TO GOD BE THE GLORY…GOD BLESS…

  18. ONP programmes are now run by Universities and you can approach a provider.
    ONP (Overseas Nurses Programme) Providers are listed on the NMC website.

  19. Ma. Theresa Paloma says :

    Im a Registered Nurse in the Philippines. I went to Uk for a student visa and finish my NVQ3. I have also received my NMC deision letter last January 2010. I have worked as a Care Asssitant mor than a year now. I would like to ask from your kind office if do you have an employer who can sponsor me to do my ONP Program. Thank you so much for the attention regarding this matter. Hoping for a favorable response.

  20. Princessita Manatiga says :

    Dear Sir/madam
    I’m a Registered Nurse in Philippines, I graduate and passed the local board exam last june 2007, I’m looking for a job in UK, I’m Residing in Morocco at the moment. I’m looking for employer to sponsored me, I’m a single mom and don’t have money to start the course and I want to be all legalized. I’m a hard working Filipina.

    Hope your kind and consideration

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