COVID-19 Update: Free Visa Extensions for our NHS
On Wednesday 29th April 2020, the Home Secretary Priti Patel notified the public that visa extensions will automatically be conferred on overseas front-line health and care workers.
“We are incredibly grateful to all overseas health and care workers fighting this invisible enemy” -Priti Patel.
Ultimately, what this shows is the UK government’s aim to relieve extreme pressure from the NHS and pay maximum attention to combatting the coronavirus and saving the lives of the British people.
Who is eligible for a visa extension?
Frontline workers with visas due to expire prior to 1st October 2020 will qualify to receive an automatic 1-year extension to their visa stay.
Front line workers who are eligible include midwives, radiographers, social workers, pharmacists, those working in the NHS and the independent sector. This will also apply to their families.
When does this policy come into effect?
This announcement will be effective immediately and applies to all visas which expire between 31st March 2020 and 1st October 2020.
This is a progressive step from Priti Patel’s previous statement last month whereby she announced a grant of automatic visa extensions for solely NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics. Now, overseas health and care workers on the front line and their families will reap the same benefits; approximately 3000 workers and their families.
This new policy will not cost anything for these workers and will be free of charge, including an exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge. For NHS workers who have already paid out for an undetermined application will be offered a full refund.
It is with great sadness that health care workers have passed away because of COVID-19. From these tragic events, an indefinite leave to remain will automatically be granted to their family members and dependants.
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