housands of frontline health workers and their households will likely be granted visa extensions, the Home Office has introduced.
One-year visa extensions will likely be robotically granted freed from cost to eligible abroad health and care workers whose visas have been resulting from expire earlier than October 2 this 12 months.
Since beginning the free extensions final 12 months, the Home Office has prolonged the visas of greater than 10,000 folks throughout the UK.
The Home Office mentioned Friday’s announcement may gain advantage an additional 14,000 folks.
Home Secretary Priti Patel mentioned: “The dedication and ability of abroad health and care workers who’re main the UK’s battle towards coronavirus is actually extraordinary.
“Thousands of them have helped save numerous lives all through this pandemic and at the moment are taking part in an important half within the massively profitable vaccination rollout.
“Our provide of free visa extensions exhibits how our nation values the contributions of those heroes.”
The extension will cowl healthcare professionals working within the NHS and the unbiased health and care sector.
They embrace medical doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives, occupational therapists and psychologists, amongst different professions.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock mentioned: “Our abroad health and care workers make such an important contribution to our health system and have been a key a part of the battle towards the pandemic.
“They are defending our family members and vaccinating the general public in order that we are able to save lives and return to normality.
“To assist these employees from abroad, we’re extending their visas to supply safety whereas they proceed to deal with this virus.”
However, commerce union Unison mentioned the care sector “has been overlooked again” and referred to as on the Government to increase the scheme for all workers in health and care, notably “the lowest paid who need this help the most”.
Unison’s normal secretary Christina McAnea mentioned: “Thousands of NHS workers will likely be relieved they don’t face hefty payments to proceed offering important companies throughout the UK.
“Many have confronted large stresses and pushed themselves to the restrict to deal with and take care of us all.
“It’s solely proper the Government takes care of them and makes their lives a little bit simpler by granting free visas.”