A very welcome update from Home Secretary Priti Patel who announced today that overseas frontline health and care workers will be granted visa extensions automatically without any charge.
Frontline workers, including midwives, radiographers, social workers and pharmacists, with visas due to expire before 1 October 2020 will receive an automatic one-year extension. It will apply to those working both in the NHS and independent sector, and include their family members.
This builds on the Home Secretary’s announcement last month for NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics. All will be exempt for the Immigration Health Surcharge for the duration of the exemption.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
”We are incredibly grateful to all overseas health and care workers fighting this invisible enemy. We have already announced the extension of visas for NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics. Now we are going further by extending this offer to hundreds of other frontline health and care workers, both in the NHS and in the independent sector. These extensions will be automatic, free and include exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge.”
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:
”Frontline health and social care workers from overseas are doing extraordinary work in responding to this global outbreak. Around 3,000 vital health and care workers and their families will benefit from the extension, and we are hugely grateful to them for protecting the vulnerable and saving lives. Those benefiting are providing essential services in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is important we relieve the pressure from the whole of the NHS, so it can focus maximum effort on fighting the coronavirus and saving lives.”
The extension comes into effect immediately and is for all visas expiring between 31 March and 1 October 2020. Those benefitting from this extension will be identified by health and care employers across the UK. Any NHS workers who have paid for an unresolved application will be offered the option of a refund.
The Home Secretary has also confirmed family members and dependants of healthcare workers who sadly pass away as result of contracting the virus will be offered immediate indefinite leave to remain.
Immigration Director Tamana Aziz comments:
This is welcoming news as overseas nationals are required to pay for application fees and health surcharge for each family member which adds up to thousands of pounds, in addition this is a good moral boost for those who put their lives at risk to save others.
Tamana Aziz is a director in the business immigration department at Duncan Lewis. Her specialist practice includes immigration applications under EU law, business immigration under the Points Based System (PBS), complex appeals (including deportation and country guidance cases) in Immigration Tribunals, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
To contact Tamana call 020 3114 1130 or email email@example.com