UK government extends work visas for doctors, nurses in Covid-19 fight

Vastavam web: The UK government has confirmed a further one-year visa extension for foreign doctors and nurses, including from India, whose visas are set to expire before March 31, 2021, as they battle the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. It follows an announcement earlier in the year offering free visa extensions for health professionals whose visas were due to expire between March and October this year and will mean that more than 6,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives, occupation therapists, psychologists as well as a range of allied health professionals will be eligible for a further fee-free extension.

“We truly value the work these heroes are doing, which is why we’re renewing our free 12-month visa extension offer. We estimate this will benefit a further 6,000 dedicated frontline workers and their families who deserve our support and our gratitude. The extension, announced by the UK Home Office last Friday, will cover healthcare professionals working in the National Health Service (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 (IHS). Those benefiting from this extension will need to complete an online form to verify their identity, with their employers also as asked to confirm eligibility. “This visa extension will help to benefit healthcare professionals who have shown extraordinary dedication during this challenging period to protect all of us and our families from the threat of the virus,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.