Doctors, nurses and paramedics
in line for visa extension

On Tuesday 31 March, it was announced that around 2,800 migrant NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics will automatically have their visas extended, free of charge, for one year.

In her statement, the Home Secretary Priti Patel said: 

“Doctors, nurses and paramedics from all over the world are playing a leading role in the NHS’s efforts to tackle coronavirus and save lives. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for all that they do…I don’t want them distracted by the visa process. That is why I have automatically extended their visas – free of charge – for a further year.”

The extension will apply to those front-line workers whose visas are due to expire before 1 October and will also cover any dependant family members.

The extension will be applied automatically and does not attract any associated visa application fees. Workers will therefore also be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge during this period.

During the current crisis, the Home Office has also announced it is:

  • Lifting the restriction on the amount of hours student nurses and doctors can work in the NHS; and
  • Allowing pre-registered overseas nurses more time to pass their pre-requisite exams.

These measures will be welcomed by the entire health sector at this time. Many more will hope this move may give rise to a profound change in the government’s normally resolute approach to applying strict immigration controls on all key workers. 

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