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NVQ Student Visa holder who wants to take IELTS and ONP | Immigration Matters

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NVQ Student Visa holder, Joanne, reports to London’s Majestic College the same day she landed at Heathrow Airport – on a 3 year student visa – to start her course in NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Health and Social Care Level 3/4.

Immigration Adviser Bison UK has arranged paid work placement in a UK care home and she is staying with a Filipino host family near Majestic College in north London. She likes her host especially her food! 

As a qualified Nurse (RN) back home, Joanne 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 needs to obtain an IELTS score of Band 7.00 to work as a qualified nurse in the UK.

She hopes her studies will give her practical and cultural knowledge of life in the UK. 

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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39 Responses to “NVQ Student Visa holder who wants to take IELTS and ONP”
Read them below or add one

  1. purnika says :

    Dear Sir,
    i’m registered nurse in sri lanka,Now i’m in london.I’m oping to work as a nurse in uk,or work in health secter,i have 3 years diploma in nursing certificateand 5 year experence in cardiothorasiic theatre.I’m 31 years old,so should i follow NVQ course?should i do IELTS?ow can i apply NVQ course? I’m hearing from you as soon as posible.

    thank you,
    yours sincerely,

  2. Dioynisous says :

    Hi, I have IELTS 6.5 passed in the year 2009. It was valid only for 2 years. In order to apply for Indefinite leave to remain in 2012 october do I need to take Life in the UK test or other ESOL examination.

    Help me please…………. Thanks in advance

  3. Register with NMC

  4. smriti paudyal says :

    I am a registered nurse in back home with 1 year work experience as staff nurse and currently studying B.Sc. (Hons) Nursing and Healthcare- top up level-6 and working part time as a care assistant. My dream is to be a RN in UK. what next step should I take to achieve my goal? can you please help me to fulfil my dream.

    thank-you very much

  5. You would need to be a nurse or midwife to register with the NMC. Look for jobs in residential homes where RGN’s are not needed.

  6. Olutoyin Hussain says :

    I am a qualified Senior Care Worker with NVQ levels 2 – 4 certificates in Heath and Social Care and another Btec Diploma Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Level 7 (no Nursing background.)
    I want to take up appointment as Deputy Manager/Manager in care but all advertisement agencies are insisting that I must register with NMC and have a valid Pin.
    How can I register?

  7. NINI P KOSHY says :

    i am a nvq level 4 studentform india. i need to bring my spouse to here. please tell me what are the documents that we do have to submit and where we have to submit. i have a part time job.My salary slip is required ?.Please help me.Please tell me what are the documentaton. Please guide me i am helpless here.

  8. dear sir,

    myself jomon jose. i have recieved my decison letter two months ago. i want to start my onp programme. but, unfortunately i am a student who pursues nvq level 3 here in the united kingdom. can i switch to another course with out a course completion.

  9. You could come to the UK as a student and take a nursing top up degree and ONP. You will need to upgrade your English to IELTS 7.00.
    See UKUS website:

  10. lijomol c john says :

    sir,i am lijomol.i am working as a registered nurse in india.My ielts band score is 6.i wish to work as a health care assistant in it possible?

  11. Gajenthy Selvaraja says :

    hello madam/sir, i got IELTS overall band 5, can i apply uk student visa, please inform me very soon. Thank you,,,,

  12. Jishadh backer says :

    I am a graduate in nursing with 14 months experience as a OT scrub nurse.I cleared Ielts exam with over all 7.5 band(list-7.5 ,read-7.5,writ-7,spea-7).I am planning to do adaptation course in UK.I dont know anything about this course.So please tell me about this course and the way to apply for it.

  13. sukhdeep kaur says :

    Hello sir i am sukhdeep kaur from india .I have done my GNM&four years experience in ILETS band score is 5 or now i am student in uk but i want to change my student visa in work i ask you how can i do for this procedure .thanks

  14. Deepani says :

    Dear Sir,
    i am a registered nurse in Sri lanka and hoping to work as a nurse in U.k. or work in health sector in U.K. So should I follow NVQ course? Should I do IELTS in Sri Lanka? I am having Diploma in Nursing 3 year certificate and 07 years experience in nuro surgical, urological and cardiology age is 34 years. How i can apply for NVQ course? i am hearing from you as soon as posible.
    Thank you,

  15. actavia Farhat says :

    Hi I am nurse from my country and I am pin holder for nursing diploma as uk pin. Our pin also recognised with UK.Only I could not get 7 band in IELTS and can not become a nurse. My all nursing and nursing pin is wasting. But I am doing same job in care sectors and doing mdication and communicating with service users . please help us to become a nurse.

  16. Hi! I just want get an advise. I came in UK year 2006 as a student and I don’t have any idea if I have a work permit or none. My present employer got me 4 years working visa which will be due this September 2011. My concern is do I have to apply for an ILR or apply as tier 2 to extend another year. ‘hope someone could help me.

  17. Ajeesh Sebastian says :

    hi sir
    I am NVQ level 3 student in UK and I would like to apply for senior carer post in a nursing home.Let me know IELTS is require for tier 2 general visa,if needed what is the score

  18. sir, i would like to know about how to apply for a student visa if there is an overall band score of 6 for IELTS. kindly reply which all courses can be applied for by a person with the above mentioned score.

  19. Hai sir,
    I am a registered nurse in India,& i have ielts only6 overall.I am doing my NVQ LEVEL3 in london .have i any chance to get a work pemit& also i wish to get my husband to London . kindly give some suggesions
    Thanking you,

  20. nidhin says :

    hello sir i am from india,i am coming there for doing pg dip in health care management course.although along with that i am trying to get ielts 7 band in all module, already i got 6.5 bit i am really bad in my writing will u plz direct me how much effort i want put to make the score.

  21. Priyesh Lakhani says :

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am a student here in the United Kingdom and willing to change my visa from Student Visa to Working Visa. Are there any chanceS?? I need your advice as early as possible as my visa is expiring in November 2010.. Plz let me know soon..

    Hoping to hear from you soon..

  22. Sharif says :

    I am a student of health and social care adult level- 3 in UK, Now I would like to bring my wife in UK. Is she allowed to work in UK? I have come here in September in 2009 under tire 4 student visa. After completing level-3 can I apply for work permit?
    Thank U.

  23. Hi.. i m anil want to apply for nvq health and social care but dosnt have any idea to take addmision pls guide me..pls reply.

  24. HI.My name is Lena.I am working in UK as health care assistant. doing this job for 5 years.have NVQ 3.I am nurse from Ukraine.I wanted to undertake adaptation course for nurses but it seems like i am not qualified for that.Wtat shall i do to be nurse in UK? Thank uoy for your respond.

  25. Mark Jayson Sy says :

    Good day! I am a registered nurse in the philippines with 9 months clinical experience, i am currently studying NVQ 3 and 4 here in the U.K. will i be qualified to take adaptation course? thank you.

  26. Dear Sir,
    I am a registered nurse in the Philippines and I am here now in UK as a dependent of a student. Am I qualified to get an adaptation course for overseas nurses? What are the requirements I have to provide? thanks

  27. Dear Sir,
    I am a registered nurse in the Philippines and I am here now in UK as a dependent of a student. Am I qualified to get an adaptation course for overseas nurses? What are the requirements I have to provide? thanks

  28. rachel ann arceo says :

    hi..i’m currently taking NVQ 3 and 4 here in uk since nov 2009,i’m a registered nurse in phil with 1 year 8mons work exp but still didn’t had ielts exam..what steps should i need to take..tnx

  29. myra ignacio says :

    hi sir1,
    i’m a registered nurse in the philippines and i’m applying for a student visa to UK. do i need to take ielts exam before my application?tnx

  30. Rosalie Trinidad says :

    Dear Sir,
    I am here in Australia as a student visa, and nearly finished with my course in Certificate 3 in Aged Care, here in North Sydney College, TAFE on 25 November 2009. I already had my Senior First aid certificate done also in the same College. I am doing my 40 hours practical work for the completion of my Certificate 3 course.

    I am a graduate of Nursing (1993)and Caregiver (2006) with TESDA certificate in the Philippines. I am inquiring because my student visa will runs out on March 2010. So I am preparing myself to be productive instead of waiting for another ages in looking for an option before my visa expired. I had my IELTS with a band score of 6.0 last 20 November 2008 in the Philippines. I don’t have any experience yet, but I have certificate for the courses I finished.

    I am interested in NVQ program, study while earning. Am I qualified to be a carer and an NVQ student. How long it will take to get a visa? How much money do I need for all the expenses. What are the necessary requirements that I need to provide? is it possible that my papers will be process while I am still here in Australia instead of going back to the Philippines.
    Hope you will attend to my concerns.

  31. i am a nvq level 4 studentform india. i need to bring my spouse to here. please tell me what are the documents that we do have to submit and where we have to submit. Can we produce income statments in indian bank accounts.i have a part time job.My salary slip is required ?.Please help me.Please tell me what are the documentaton. Please guide me i am helpless here.

  32. lormie says :

    hi sir! im a qualified nurse in the Philippines and i’ve been here in england for a year now, im planning to apply for a working visa and my employer is willing to sponsor me in my application, what band score do i need to meet in my ielts exam? i am currently doing my nvq 3, does it matter to finish it before applying my visa application? thank you and God bless!

  33. karamjit says :

    hello sir i am karamjit i am here in uk on student visa i want to apply dependent visa for my husband after marriage

  34. ranjit kaur says :

    hello sir i am here in uk on student visa i am doing nvq 3 my visa going to expir in feb 2010 how much fees for extending visa i want to apply work visa whats a procedure

  35. kqrqmjit kaur says :

    hello i am karamjit from punjab i have done GNM i have got 5.5 bands in ielts 6 in speaping i am now in uk with student visa i am doing a nvq 4 please tell what can i do to get worke permit in uk

  36. Your IELTS score should be high enough for the NMC, but check their website before parting with your registration fee and remember that you also need work experience in the Philppines

  37. Dear Sir,

    I am May, a registered nurse in the Philippines.
    I have taken my IELTS with a band score 0f 7.5 (reading-8, listening 8.5, writing 6.5, speaking 7). Are we required to get a score of 7 or higher in all items before taking or applying for ONP?

    Hoping for your response.
    thank you very much!

  38. Hello sir
    I am Satnam singh from Punjab I want to know that I have not done IELTS
    but i have done 10+2
    I want to go to abroad for study or work please tell me how can i go to abrod prefer country is NZ, aus, USA, UK Please tell me immidiatly

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