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UK extends visas for thousands of frontline health and care workers

Christian Fernsby |
Thousands of crucial frontline health workers and their dependents will be granted free visa extensions, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced today.

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Free one-year visa extensions will be automatically granted to eligible overseas health and care workers whose visas were due to expire before 1 October 2021.

Since starting the free extensions last year, the Home Office has extended the visas of more than 10,000 people across the UK. It is expected that today’s announcement will benefit a further 14,000 applicants.

This will mean that doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives, occupational therapists, psychologists and others will be able to continue their crucial work in the fight against coronavirus.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "The dedication and skill of overseas health and care workers who are leading the UK’s fight against coronavirus is truly extraordinary.

"Thousands of them have helped save countless lives throughout this pandemic and are now playing a vital part in the hugely successful vaccination rollout.

Our offer of free visa extensions shows how our country values the contributions of these heroes."

This extension will cover healthcare professionals working in the NHS and the independent health and care sector. Their visas will be extended for a year, free of all fees and charges, including the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Those benefiting from this extension will need to complete a simple online form to verify their identity. We will also ask their employers to confirm their eligibility.

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