Relocate from Nigeria to the UK as a Nurse

Relocating to a new country is both an exciting and challenging experience, especially when you’re moving with your family. People relocate for a series of reasons one of which is the socio-economic reason. People seek greener pastures and an atmosphere that will breed security for their families. For Nigerian nurses seeking to relocate to the UK, the process even though very stressful but once successful, can be immensely rewarding.

In this blog, we have highlighted the comprehensive steps you need to take as a nurse seeking employment opportunities in the United Kingdom. 

1. Understand the Requirements and plan yourself

Before you begin the process, it’s crucial to understand the requirements for working as a nurse in the UK. The key steps include:

Educational Qualifications

Ensure you have a recognized nursing qualification. The UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recognizes nursing degrees from accredited institutions.

Language Proficiency

You must demonstrate proficiency in English. This typically involves passing the IELTS or the OET exams with the required scores set by the NMC.

Professional Registration

Register with the NMC. This involves providing proof of your qualifications, passing the English language test, and completing the NMC’s Computer-Based Test (CBT) and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

2. Secure a Job Offer

To move to the UK, you need a job offer from a UK healthcare employer. Here’s how you can secure one:

Research and Apply

Research NHS trusts or private healthcare providers in the UK that are known for hiring international nurses. Websites like NHS Jobs, Health Careers, and recruitment agencies can be invaluable resources.

Interview Process

Be prepared for virtual interviews. Highlight your experience, skills, and why you’re an ideal fit for the role.

Employment Contract

Once you receive a job offer, carefully review and sign the employment contract. Ensure it covers details about your role, salary, and other benefits.

3. Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)

Your employer will need to provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS), a crucial document for your visa application. This certificate confirms that your employer is willing to sponsor your visa.

4. Apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa

With your COS in hand, you can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa. This visa allows you to work in the UK for up to five years. Here’s how to go about it:

Gather Necessary Documents

Prepare documents such as:

  • Valid Nigerian passport
  • COS from your UK employer
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Proof of personal savings (unless your sponsor can support you)
  • Tuberculosis test results 

Online Application

Complete the online visa application form on the UK government website. Pay the visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which gives you access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Attend a Biometric Appointment

Schedule and attend an appointment at a Visa Application Centre to submit your biometric information (fingerprints and photographs).

Wait for a Decision

Visa processing times can vary, but you can track the status of your application online. Once approved, you’ll receive a vignette in your passport to enter the UK.

5. Plan Your Move


Research housing options before your arrival. Some employers provide temporary accommodation, while others offer support in finding permanent housing.

Schooling for Children

If you’re moving with children, explore schooling options. The UK has an excellent education system with both public and private schools.


Ensure you have access to funds for initial expenses. Setting up a UK bank account should be a priority upon arrival.

6. Settle in the UK


Upon arrival, collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the designated post office within 10 days.

Register with the NMC

Complete the OSCE within three months of your arrival to finalize your NMC registration.

Community Integration

Engage with local communities and support groups, especially those for Nigerian expatriates and healthcare professionals.


There are several processes involved in moving to the UK as a Nigerian nurse, from understanding the prerequisites to settling in the country. The UK offers you and your family a multitude of prospects and a good standard of living, even though the processes involved are quite daunting but, with careful planning and research it is all worth it in the end.

Are you looking to discuss your relocation plans with a professional? send us a DM today and let’s help you get started.

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