PUBLISHED: 12:48, Fri, Nov 8, 2019 | UPDATED: 12:58, Fri, Nov 8, 2019
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: REUTERS/Phil Noble)
The new visa will ultimately form part of the Conservatives' planned points-based immigration system after Britain leaves the EU. The move reflects concern within the NHS that it will struggle to attract the staff it needs after Brexit. Under the scheme, the cost of a visa for health professionals would be halved from £928 to £464, while applicants would be guaranteed a decision within two weeks.
Applicants coming to work in the NHS would receive preferential treatment with extra points under the points-based system, and no cap on numbers entering through the NHS route.
They would also be able to pay back the cost of the immigration health surcharge through their salary if the charge is not already covered by the NHS trust offering the job.
The Tories said they want to launch the scheme before the points-based system comes in in 2021.
They have already announced a fast-track visa route to attract specialists in