The UK home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that frontline health workers and their family dependants visas will be extended for a year, free of all fees and charges.
This decision will benefit more than 6,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives, occupational therapists, psychologists as well as a range of allied health professionals who will be able to continue practicing their crucial work in the fight against coronavirus.
Earlier this year a free visa extensions for health professionals whose visas were due to expire between 31 March 2020 and 1 October 2020. This decision will extend that offer from 1 October 2020 until 31 March 2021.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
We recognise the huge contribution healthcare professionals from overseas are making across the UK in fighting the devastating impact of coronavirus.
We truly value the work these heroes are doing, which is why we’re renewing our free 12-month visa extension offer.
We estimate this will benefit a further 6,000 dedicated frontline workers and their families who deserve our support and our gratitude.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:
I am hugely grateful for all of the frontline health and social care workers from overseas who have worked tirelessly to save lives and provide the best possible care during this global pandemic.
This visa extension will help to benefit healthcare professionals who have shown extraordinary dedication during this challenging period to protect all of us and our families from the threat of the virus.
Eligibility for free visa extension:
To qualify for the visa extension, you will need to complete a simple online form to verify your identity and the Home Office will also ask your employers to confirm your eligibility.
To get the extension, you must:
- You must have a visa that expires between 1 October 2020 and 31 March 2021
- You must work for the NHS or an independent healthcare provider in an eligible profession
The extension will apply from the date your visa is due to expire. You will not get the free extension if:
- Your visa is due to expire after 31 March 2021
- You are changing employer
If you are eligible for a free visa extension, your family members may also be able to get a 1-year extension.