How much a Kenyan Nurse Needs for the Process of Relocating to UK to Work as Nurse.

The amount of money a Kenyan nurse needs for the process of relocating to the UK to work as a nurse depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The cost of the visa application process
  • The cost of travel to the UK
  • The cost of accommodation in the UK
  • The cost of living in the UK
  • The cost of registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • The cost of passing the NMC International English Language Test (IELT) or Occupational English Test (OET)

Nursing is a highly rewarding career in the United Kingdom and other European countries. This article will dwell on the amount of money a Kenyan nurse needs for the process of relocating to the United Kingdom to work as a nurse while doing the process alone versus doing the process using international nursing recruitment agencies from Kenya to the UK.

The process starts after you graduate with a diploma or degree in nursing and you have been registered as a Registered Nurse in Kenya. With such prerequisite qualifications, let us dive into the process. However, it is important to note that relocating to the UK  as a Nurse from Kenya with or Without An Agency is quite a long process requiring a lot of patience along the way and many resources.

Process and Cost for Relocating to the UK  as a Nurse from Kenya Without An Agency.


Step #1: Applying for my passport and Police Clearance

Applying for a passport in Kenya is a simple yet tedious process. You can apply for the passport using the citizen portal and it will cost you approximately Kshs 4550 with a waiting time of approximately 3 months from submitting your application and booking an appointment to have your fingerprint and biometrics taken at the immigration department at Nyayo House Nairobi and subsequently waiting for the passport. Therefore, with such an undetermined passport waiting time, it is important to apply early and be looking for extra information about your relocating process to the UK as a nurse. 

After applying for the passport, spend the next couple of weeks Gathering information about relocation to the UK as a nurse. Getting adequate information will be important for you so that you don't overestimate or underestimate your process and you can know what to do at what stage, especially if you are married.

Note: You also need to apply for a police clearance report or good conduct costing Kshs 1,050. This report will be used during the next steps such as when doing the NMC test.


Step #2: Registering for English Proficiency IELTS exam or OET exam

It is mandatory to register and pass an IELTS exam before thinking about the other processes because they need you to attain a certain band score either for listening, speaking, or writing skills. 

The training fee for the IELTS exams starts at Kshs 10,000 and exam fees at Ksh 32000. For those who opt for the Occupational English Test (OET) instead of IELTS, the total cost of training and exam fees is Ksh 83000; Kshs 63,000 for the exam and Kshs 20,000 for the training fee.

The main difference between IELTS and OET is that the latter focuses on health-related topics, which may make it an easier option for nurses. However, it is important to note that even if you pass IELTS or OET, your certificate will expire after 2 years, so it is important to move on to the next steps of the process as soon as possible.

However, because of the higher fees for the OET exam, I would suggest you put more effort and registering for the IELTS exam and save the extra money for the next steps. 

You can further save money by not asking for training and using YouTube and other online sources to read for the exam and test yourself. You ideally don't need anyone to train you for the IELTS exam.


Step #3: Registering and sitting for the Nursing and Midwifery Council Computer Based Test (NMC-CBT). 

Once you have passed the IELTS or OET, you will need to take the Nursing and Midwifery Council Computer Based Test (NMC-CBT). To be eligible to take this exam, you must have a valid passport and be verified by the Nursing Council of Kenya. You must also be registered with the UK's Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the professional regulatory body for nurses in the UK.

While applying for the NMC and evaluation, you need a passport number and other passport details such as expiry date as well as a police clearance report which can also be applied through the e-citizen portal. 

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. You need to wait for communication or results from the NMC.

After passing the NMC-CBT exam, you can start applying for nursing jobs in the UK. You will need to tailor your resume to each job you apply for. You can search online and see UK nursing CV templates or formats by using websites such as Livecareer and myperfectCV or you can use guys on TikTok and online who can charge you approximately Kshs 1500 to format your CV to UK standards. But be careful don't just hire anyone to format your CV, always look for those with many reviews and testimonials from previous clients.

If you are shortlisted for an interview, you will be notified of the interview date and time. The interview will be conducted using video conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams.


Step #4: After a Successful Interview, Pre-employment Checks are done by the UK Employer

After a successful interview, the employer will send you a list of pre-employment requirements that you must meet. These requirements typically include:

  • Certificate of Good Conduct (Police Clearance certificate)
  • COVID-19 vaccination documents
  • Proof of address
  • IELTS certificate
  • Passport
  • Declaration form
  • Occupational health form
  • Tuberculosis certificate (approximately Ksh 17000)

All UK visa applicants (including children and infants) will need to obtain an IOM medical certificate confirming that they are free from active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) if they are applying for a visa for the UK, for a period longer than 6 months. The TB test is done at UK approved medical clinic called IOM in Kenya located at 78 UN Crescent, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya. The IOM telephone number is +254 709 890 000. Be careful at the TB testing stage because if the results are not conclusive, you might be asked to re-take the test after 6 months. You can imagine the delay. 

Once you have completed the pre-employment checks, the employer will help you obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship and Visa. You may then depart for the UK. Most employers will pay for your flight ticket, or reimburse you if you pay for it yourself.

Once in the UK, you will need to take another exam, the Objectively Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), before you can be fully registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Summary of charges:

  • Passport: Ksh 4550
  • Good conduct: Ksh 1050
  • IELTS training: Ksh 10000
  • IELTS exam: Ksh 32000
  • NMC application: Ksh 27000
  • NMC-CBT exam fee: Ksh 16000
  • NCK verification: Ksh 12000
  • UK CV format: Ksh 1500
  • Tuberculosis certificate: Ksh 17000
  • Total: Ksh 120,500


  • Some of the above fees may be refunded by the employer, such as the IELTS and NMC-CBT exam fees.
  • The above charges are subject to change due to the depreciation of the Kenyan Shilling.
  • You do not need to have the entire amount of money before you start the process. If you are employed, you can start by saving Ksh 7000 per month, and by the end of the year you will have Ksh 84000 to start with. However, if you already have the funds, it is best to start the process immediately, as the charges may increase due to the depreciation of the Kenyan Shilling.

Additional notes:

  • The total cost of relocating to the UK as a nurse can vary depending on individual circumstances. For example, some nurses may need to pay for additional fees, such as the cost of obtaining a visa, finding accommodation, and opening a bank account.
  • It is important to budget carefully and to be aware of all of the potential costs involved before starting the process.
  • There are a number of organizations that offer financial assistance to nurses who are relocating to the UK. Nurses should research their options and apply for financial assistance if they need it.
  • You might do more than 200 applications before landing on your first invitation for the interview. So, do not set your hopes too high after getting NCK verification and NMC approval.


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Comments (1)

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  • 01/Mar/24 01:34pm

very educative infor.

  • at
  • 03/Mar/24 12:33pm

Thanks for stopping by to read your article about the process of Kenyan nurse to relocate to the UK

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Date published: 22/09/2017
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