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The Process Of Kenyan Nurses Relocation To The UK And Amount Of Money Needed

Updated 6th March, 2024

There is a massive exodus of Kenyan nurses seeking greener pastures in developed countries such as United Kingdom, Australia, USA and Canada.

The UK seems to be the most preferred destination because the process is quite easy and one can immigrate within a few months. Perhaps this is the reason why hundreds of nurses have already landed in the UK.

Exclusive of travel costs and other expenses, WoK has learnt that it may cost at least Ksh 172400 for one to successfully receive the certificate of sponsorship and work visa.

In this article, WoK takes a look at the process and amount of fees candidates may pay before relocating.

Ensure you have all the necessary documents

The best decision one can make is to ensure that he/she has the required documents so that the process is seamless. The most important documents are the passport and the certificate of good conduct.

Even though you can start the process without these documents, failure to have them when required may put a halt to the process until when one has these documents.

The passport is important because it is the document required to sit the Nursing and Midwifery Council Computer Based Test. (NMC-CBT).

On the other hand, the certificate of good conduct is required during verification by the regulatory body in Kenya; the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK).

Sitting the IELTS examination or OET 

Most candidates begin by sitting the English proficiency test known as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Basically, candidates are tested on reading, speaking, writing and listening.

Currently, one needs at least Ksh 10000 for training and approximately Ksh 30000 to sit the exam.

There are nurses who opt to do the Occupational English Test (OET) which is a substitute for IELTS. According to Kenyan Nurse, an agent specialising with OET training, the current price for the OET test is Ksh 63000 and a further Ksh 20000 for training.

The main difference between IELTS and OET is that the former tests on diverse topics while the latter tests on health related concepts. Many candidates believe OET is easier than IELTS.

If you fail IELTS or OET, you will have to resit the exam and again pay the fees.

Important to note is that even after passing IELTS, the certificate expires after 2 years and one has to proceed to the other processes as soon as possible.

Booking and sitting the NMC-CBT exam

If you pass the IELTS or OET, you then proceed to do the Nursing and Midwifery Council Computer Based Test (NMC-CBT).

Before doing this exam, you need a valid passport and must be verified by the Nursing Council of Kenya.

Additionally, you should have registered with the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The NMC is the professional regulatory body in the UK.

The NMC application fee is approximately Ksh 27000.

Verification with the Nursing Council of Kenya costs Ksh 12000 and the NMC-CBT exam is roughly Ksh 16000.

Applying for available jobs 

Monthly Salary Of Kenyan Nurses Working In The United Kingdom, Requirements And Expenses
A Nurse Attending A Patient Image/Businessdaily

After passing the NMC-CBT, one then proceeds to apply for available jobs. Candidates will have to align their curriculum vitae well and create Jobs and Trac account.

Once shortlisted, one is notified of the interview date and prepares for it. The interview is carried out using available software such as Microsoft Teams.

Pre-employment check 

After a successful interview, the employer sends an offer letter to the applicant. Consequently, the nurse will have to go through pre-employment checks before the employer sends a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). (A CoS is a document that indicates the nurse has a job offer and this helps in visa application)

The various documents required for preemployment checks are: certificate of good conduct, covid-19 vaccination proof, proof of address, IELTS certificate, NMC-CBT results and passport.

Additionally, one has to fill the declaration form, filling the occupational health form and fill the Covid-19 risk assessment.

As part of occupational health clearance, one will have to undergo a tuberculosis screening. This is done after booking an appointment with IOM clinic located in Gigiri, Nairobi.

The cost for tuberculosis screening is approximately Ksh 17000 and one is issued with a Tb certificate after that. The Tb certificate expires after 6 months.

Still on occupational health clearance, some trusts may need the nurse to get vaccinated against chickenpox (if you have no history of infection), Measles, Mumps and Rubella and Hepatitis B. (The chickenpox/varicella vaccine & MMR can be bought at Laborex located at Koinange Street in Nairobi. They also have a branch in Eldoret, Kenyatta Street)

After completing the pre-employment checks, the employer will send the Certificate of Sponsorship for Visa processing.

The next step is applying for visa and paying $373 (Ksh 54800) as visa fees. It is easy to pay for the fees using Mpesa App and selecting grow then click on global pay to create a virtual card.

Then you take on a life-changing sojourn to the UK. Most employers will pay the flight ticket and if not, they will refund if one uses his money.

Once in the UK, one will again do another exam, the Objectively Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) before being fully registered as a band 5 nurse by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Summary of charges

  • Passport – Ksh 4550
  • Good conduct – Ksh 1050
  • IELTS training – Ksh 10000
  •  IELTS exam – Ksh 30000
  • NMC application – Ksh 27000
  • NMC-CBT exam fee – Ksh 16000
  • NCK verification- Ksh 12000
  • Tb Certificate – Ksh 17000
  • Visa fees – Ksh 54800

    Total: Ksh 172400


  • It should be noted that some of the above fees are refunded by the employer. This may include IELTS and NMC-CBT exam fees.
  • The above charges are subject to change due to change of exchange rates.
  • You don’t have to have the entire fees for you to start the process. If you’re employed, you can begin by saving say Ksh 7000 monthly and by the end of the year you will have Ksh 84000 to start off. However, if you already have the funds, do not procrastinate.