Immigration Advice Service
03334149244 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 8 pm

Find an office

21 offices in the UK

Menu

We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
We are now open 7 days a week from 7.30 am to 10 pm.
4.7 rating 423 reviews
Health Workers Given 12-Month Visa Extension

Health Workers Given 12-Month Visa Extension

The Home Office has issued a free 12-month visa extension to all overseas healthcare workers whose visas are due to expire before October 2021. Doctors, nurses and paramedics are among the roles included within the extension, with around 14,000 healthcare professionals set to benefit. However, campaigners have raised concerns regarding the omission of social care workers from the extension.

If you’re concerned about your long-term status in the UK, contact our client care team today on 0333 305 9375.

 

 

Request a call back from our immigration experts

Overseas health workers have been awarded a free 12-month visa extension by the Home Office. 

The extension has been offered to considerable numbers of health workers, including those who have been working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility applies to health workers whose visas are due for expiration before October 2021.

Given that UK Visa fees are among the highest in the world, the extension has been positively received by many. However, campaigns and charities have highlighted that desperately-needed social care workers are ineligible for the extension.

Doctors, nurses, paramedics and midwives are all professions that are included in the extension, with approximately 14,000 health professionals expected to benefit overall. But with care workers once again excluded, Unison has argued that the extension should be widened to include those working in the sector.

Free automatic visa extensions were initially granted to health workers in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began to tighten its grip on the UK. However, the extension was limited to doctors, paramedics and nurses whose leave to remain was due for expiration between 31 March 2020 and 1 October 2020. The extension was subsequently expanded to encompass more professions.

Over 10,000 will benefit

According to the Home Office, 10,000 health workers were granted a free visa extension in 2020. However, the government department states that the latest extension could benefit around 14,000 staff.

Under current rules, the cost of applying for a Health and Care Visa that is valid for three years stands at £232 per person. For those that are valid for five years, the cost stands at £464 per person. The Health and Care Visa must be extended after five years, or if the holder switches jobs.

If the applicant is from one of the eligible European countries, applying for the visa costs £55 less. The visa is free from all additional fees and charges, including the controversial Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

Home Secretary Priti Patel had this to say:

“The dedication and skill of overseas health and care workers who are leading the UK’s fight against coronavirus is truly extraordinary. They are now helping with the COVID vaccine rollout and the visa extension shows how much our country values the contributions of these heroes.”

Care workers excluded

Although the announcement was largely well-received, campaigners have urged the Home Office to include care workers within the extension.

Christina McAnea, General Secretary of Unison, said:

“Thousands of NHS workers will be relieved by this news. Many have been under huge strain and pushed themselves to the limit to look after us all. It’s only right the government looks after them and makes their lives a little easier by granting free visas.”

But McAnea also criticised care workers’ exclusion from the extension, and argued that the Home Office is overlooking those in the care sector. She said: “The scheme should be extended to all employees in health and care, particularly the lowest paid who need the most help.”

Health workers who are eligible for the extension are required to complete an online form to confirm their identity. Employers will also be requested to confirm an employee’s eligibility.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:

“Our overseas health and care workers make such a vital contribution to our health system and have been a key part of fight against the pandemic. They are protecting our loved ones and vaccinating the public so that we can save lives and return to normality.

To help those staff from overseas, we are extending their visas to provide security while they continue to tackle this virus.”

Health and Care Visa

The Health and Care Visa  was launched in the August of 2020 with the intention of making it easier and cheaper for overseas health workers to take up employment in the NHS, the social care sector and organisations commissioned by the NHS to provide services.

On 29 January 2021, the list of occupations encompassed by the visa was expanded. According to Home Office figures, around 20,000 people have been granted a Health and Care Visa.

In 2020, the Home Office widened its Bereavement Scheme to include NHS and social care workers, and continues to urge all healthcare workers from the EEA and their family members to secure their long-term future in the UK via the EU Settlement Scheme.

How we can help

If you’re concerned about securing your long-term future in the UK, contact our client care team today on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help and assistance.

We are extremely proficient in all areas of immigration law, from Spouse Visa application support to British Citizenship by Marriage advice and guidance, and would be delighted to assist with your query.

 

 

 

 

 

 

nhs hospital

Overseas healthcare workers whose visas are due to expire before October 2021 have been given a free year-long extension by the Home Office. [Image: NHE]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

christina mcanea

Christina McAnea, General Secretary of Unison, has argued that the extension should apply to all employees in health and care.  [Image: Unison]

You may be interested in reading about.

We can help you if you need advice or assistance about how this change to the Immigration Rules affects you. Call us now

Fill out the form

Advice Package icon

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

Application Package icon

Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Fast Track Package icon

Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

Appeal Package icon

Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

Advice Package image

The Advice Package

With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

Fill out the form

Request the Advice Package
Application Package image

The Application Package

With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

Fill out the form

Request the Application Package
Fast Track Package image

The Fast Track Package

Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

Fill out the form

Request the Fast Track Package
Appeal Package image

The Appeal Package

By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

Fill out the form

Request the Appeal Package