26 June 2012 Return to news listings
We have been granted a licence by the UK Border Agency to sponsor international pre-registration optometrists under Tier 5 of the Government Authorised Exchange.
As a result of changes implemented earlier this year by the UK Border Agency, many non-European Economic Area (EEA) international students studying optometry at universities in the UK would have been forced to return home after graduating, preventing them from completing their pre-registration period. Under the new licence, we will be able to act as a sponsor for non-EEA trainees while they complete the Scheme for Registration.
Jackie Martin, Director of Education, said: “We are delighted to support students and universities in this way. With the co-operation of the British Universities Committee of Optometry (BUCO), Universities UK and the Department of Health we have been able to find a solution which protects and invests in the future of the profession.
“Now that the College has succeeded in getting this licence, we have put the required processes in place as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary uncertainty and delay for international trainees and those practices who have offered them placements. I recommend that international optometry graduates enrol on the Scheme for Registration and apply for sponsorship immediately.”
The requirement of the UK Border Agency scheme will be that the trainee is in the United Kingdom to temporarily work or train through an approved exchange scheme and does not intend to establish a business in the UK. The fee per trainee is £500, which covers the cost to the College of administering the scheme.
Trainees wishing to apply for College sponsorship should visit www.college-optometrists.org/tier5 for further information and to download the application forms.
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