Overseas health and care workers will be automatically granted a one-year extension.
Free visa extensions will be automatically granted to more crucial overseas health and care workers, the Home Secretary has announced today.
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.
The offer will apply to those working both in the NHS and independent sector and include their family members.
In total approximately 3,000 vital health and care workers and their families will benefit from the extension.
Commenting on the news, 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.”
The extension comes into effect immediately and is for all visas expiring between 31 March and 1 October 2020.
Any NHS workers who have paid for an unresolved application will be offered the option of a refund.
Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing added: “While we are pleased to have confirmation that the one-year visa extension will now also apply to social care workers employed in the NHS, this measure does not go far enough.
“There are large numbers of international nursing staff working in other parts of our health and care system – for example in care homes, in the community and in independent hospitals – who should also be offered the extension.
“The Home Office should reconsider these measures and extend the visas of all health and care workers, regardless of setting and employer, immediately.”