Another 3,000 health and care workers in the U.K. will benefit from a free visa extension | Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA-EFE
UK extends visa offer to health workers in coronavirus fight
The announcement extends the scheme offered to NHS workers last month.
Updated 4/29/20, 2:20 PM CET
LONDON — Another 3,000 health and care workers in the U.K. will benefit from a free visa extension to help fight the coronavirus, Home Secretary Priti Patel said Wednesday.
The home secretary said frontline workers, including midwives, social workers and pharmacists, whose visas were due to expire before October 1 this year will, along with their families, get an automatic one year extension.
It comes after the Home Office announced last month that NHS, doctors, nurses and paramedics would have their visas extended, so the new announcement is a widening of the eligibility.
“We are incredibly grateful to all overseas health and care workers fighting this invisible enemy,” Patel said in a statement.
The workers will also not be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (a cost linked to visa applications to pay for health care) and any NHS workers who have paid for an unresolved application already will get their money back.
Patel also said any family members or dependents of healthcare workers who die as a result of the coronavirus will be offered indefinite leave to remain. But the June 30, 2021 deadline for EU nationals to apply for the post-Brexit settled status scheme will not be extended.