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Is UK for me? Reasons why Filipino Nurses chose to stay in the UK

Updated: Jul 12, 2022



Demand for Filipino nurses is increasing as ever. Nowadays, Filipino nurses can have job offers for work in the UK, Germany, US, Australia and other parts of the world. UK still remains to be one of the countries of choice. We ask a number of nurses who had offers in other countries but chose to stay in the UK.


Why did you choose to stay in the UK?


"Healthcare is a big factor for me why I chose UK as my new home. Here I don’t have to worry about funding for our medical expenses should anything happen. The NHS is a service which my family and I are very grateful for. More so, I am diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and would require continuous medications and check-up. Considering my condition, I am eligible to get state funded medication and consultations with the doctor and/or nurse diabetes specialist."- Greg


UK has the National Health Service. Residents can avail government funded healthcare. Residents meeting a certain criteria (ie- age under 16 and over 60, pregnant women, those diagnosed with Diabetes), can also be eligible for free medication/prescription https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-prescription-costs/free-nhs-prescriptions


"As a member of LGBTQ+ community, I feel more accepted and respected here in the UK. Back in the Philippines, I could not come out of the closet so to speak. I feared of being judged but when I moved in the UK, I saw that people are not just tolerant but more accepting. It’s also reassuring to know that the UK government has equality laws, where its unlawful to discriminate anyone based on their gender or sexual preferences." - Annie


UK is a progressive country. Although there is still a lot to improve on, UK has already enacted Equality Act 2010 where gender and sexual orientation are considered “protected characteristics” and no one should be discriminated based from these characteristics. Same sex marriage is legal in the country. The UK also boasts one of the biggest Pride parades in the world.



"I feel that my kids are safer here. With what’s happening with the world nowadays, I can’t help but worry for the safety of my family, especially my young kids. Although there are still crimes in the UK, they have strict firearm regulations which is reassuring. Now that is major thing I don't have to worry about."- Marie


UK is considered safe. According to crime rate.co.uk, the crime rate in the United Kingdom was 79.52 per 1,000 people in 2021–2022, although there are crimes that still happens, UK’s rate of violence has been considered relatively low. There are also laws in place to ensure children’s safety-from car seat law to safeguarding laws.


"I feel that my future is more stable here. I worked in the middle east where I had a high disposable income. Money was good but future is not bright. Unfortunately, even if I work really hard back there, it was impossible for me to become a citizen of the country or have a permanent resident status. The fear that one day they will just end my work contract was very real. So I decided to go to the UK and now we are enjoying the benefits of being a British Citizen."- Amy


After 5 years of continuous stay in the UK, you can apply for an ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) which gives us permanent residence status. For those under Working visa (tier 2 or Health and care visa), this means you can work for any company without the need of sponsorship. One can also apply for citizenship after their 6th year. As a British citizen you can gain access to public funds, where in the UK government offers support for job seekers, single parents, and British children's education. Becoming a British citizen allows you to have a voice in the UK society, you are allowed the privilege to vote in the UK elections.


"I was able to bring my partner and child here in the UK. My partner and I have been living together for more than 5 years. Because of our previous failed relationships and the Philippines having no divorce, marriage is not an option for us. We wanted to create a better future for us and our child. I know for some countries, civil status is a big deal and it would be difficult for me to bring someone without the marriage certificate. Good thing, UK acknowledges our relationship even without a marriage document."- Ray


One of the key benefits of working in the UK is the ability to bring your immediate family with you. However, your immediate family means your partner or spouse and your children. UK can consider your partner application even without a marriage certificate, as long as they are living together for at least 2 years. For same sex couples from the Philippines, the UK recognise same sex couple relationship. A partner from a same sex couple can bring their partner to the UK via the Tier 2 dependent route.


"I have always dreamt of travelling the world particularly Europe. I felt UK would work well for me- considering its location. Flights around the continent are relatively cheap too. During my 1st few years, I used to get a Schengen visa for me to travel in to Europe but since I obtained a British passport, travelling has been very easy not just across Europe but in other continents & countries too. Another reason my work in UK fits my travel goals is the schedule. As I work in the NHS, I have 27+8 days holiday and I also have weeks where I work only for 3-4 days. The remaining days I am able to use for short trips like a quick getaway in Paris or in maybe Malta or use it to earn more money for my planned holidays in the future. Travel is life! "- Che


Considering UK’s location, traveling to different parts of Europe is easy and affordable. From London, you can travel to Paris in an hour via train or Amsterdam via bus. For the UK Visa holders (tier 2, dependent visa, Health & Care), all you need to do is apply for a Schengen visa. Schengen visa can be used for travel across Europe. Having a British passport will give you more access to travel. As a British citizen, you can travel to 183 countries (some of which require visas on arrival). For more details, please refer to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe

These are just few of the reasons why our fellow Filipino nurses choose to stay in the UK. The UK offers many for those who choose to make a living in the country. A pathway to citizenship, healthcare benefits, freedom to express themselves and better living opportunities make the UK one of the preferred destinations for Filipino Nurses to work in and stay.

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