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AUG 23/2013

A Guide for Overseas Pharmacists Looking to Secure a Permanent Role in the UK

The UK has many opportunities for pharmacy professionals to take on permanent positions in a range of locations.

From NHS pharmacies to prisons and retail clients, you can join friendly new teams and work alongside some of the country's leading pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

For overseas workers, there are criteria to follow, but if the prospect of working as a pharmacy professional in the UK excites you then now is a great time to move abroad.

Job hunting

Once you've decided to move to the UK make sure to consider what it is that attracts you to come here. What location would you like to be in and what sort of pharmacy setting would suit you? Will you be more comfortable working in a hospital or high street setting?

It is important to take time to consider different opportunities for your professional and personal development and wellbeing. The UK has a diverse mix of cities and environments, so you need to think about where you and your family would prefer to live.

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Before you attempt to move over it is important to consider exactly how you do this and how long you are planning to stay. Temporary contracts will specify the length of time you are employed for, while permanent contracts may require you to be able to stay in the country for a lot longer.

If you carry an EU passport then this is relatively simple and no further visa is necessary.

You can also obtain an entry visa or right of abode if you have parents or grandparents who were born in the UK, which will allow you to work here without sponsorship. There is no fee for this visa and you will be required to provide the birth certificates for yourself and your relative who was born in the UK. These can all be obtained from your local Visa Office or Consular Office and should not take long to organise.

If you do not have ancestry in the UK or entitlement to live here then sponsorship is required to allow you to take on work.

After applying for work, receiving confirmation of employment and gaining your registration, your sponsor employee will contact the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to arrange your work.

Sponsorship is often reserved for professions which are deemed to be in shortage occupations, such as healthcare jobs and specialisms within this diverse sector.

Alternatively, if you are under the age of 27 you can apply for a Working Holiday Visa. This allows you to live in the UK for up to two years, however, will specify how long you are able to work within this time. It is only available to citizens in certain countries, including Australia and the US, so remember to check the list thoroughly before entertaining this option.


Before applying for positions in the UK, you will need to ensure that you are not only fully qualified for the role but also in a fit state of health to carry it out to the best of your abilities. In order to secure a job in a hospital or clinic, you will be required to undertake a full standard medical assessment, which - depending on the employer - can be done locally or on-site.

Find out more about our opportunities for pharmacy professionals.

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