Free UK visa extensions for overseas health and care workers

Free visa extension for health and care workers

The UK Government has announced that they will grant free visa extensions to crucial overseas health and care workers.

The extensions will be automatic for frontline workers whose visas are due to expire before 1 October 2020. The extension will be for one year and will take immediate effect for all visas expiring between 31 March and 1 October 2020.

The frontline workers that will receive these automatic extensions include; midwives, radiographers, social workers and pharmacists. The free visa extension will apply to frontline workers working in the NHS and the independent sector.  The one-year extension will include their family members.

This announcement builds on the previous announcement for the same extension to NHS doctors, nurses, and paramedics employed by the NHS.

All will be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge for the duration of the exemption.

The UK Government said that this would, in total, benefit about 3,000 health and care workers and their families.

The announcement means that not only Tier 2 and Tier 5 workers (and their family members)  will be able to benefit from the concession, but also NHS workers who are on other visas, such as the spousal route, dependants of points-based migrants.

The Home Secretary also confirmed that family members and dependents of health care workers who pass away as a result of Covid-19 would be offered immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain status in the UK.