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NHS frontline workers visas extended

31 March 2020
NHS frontline workers visas extended

Doctors, nurses and paramedics will automatically have their visas extended, free of charge, for one year, as part of the national effort to combat coronavirus.

The extension, which was announced today (31 March 2020) by the Home Secretary Priti Patel will apply to around 2,800 migrant doctors, nurses and paramedics, employed by the NHS whose visa is due to expire before 1 October 2020. The extension will also apply to their family members.

This extension will allow those at the frontline to treat the most seriously ill and to focus fully on combatting coronavirus and saving lives.

In order to get more doctors and nurses on the frontline, the Home Office has also lifted the restriction on the number of hours student nurses and doctors can work in the NHS.

In addition to these changes, pre-registered overseas nurses who are currently required to sit their first skills test within 3 months and to pass the test within 8 months, will now have this deadline extended to the end of the year as well.

This will give overseas nurses more time to pass their exams, whilst they spend the immediate term working on the frontline.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Doctors, nurses and paramedics from all over the world are playing a leading role in the NHS’s efforts to tackle coronavirus and save lives. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for all that they do. I don’t want them distracted by the visa process. That is why I have automatically extended their visas – free of charge – for a further year.”

The extension to NHS visas will be automatic, there will be no fee attached and it will be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Trainee doctors and nurses will also not be limited by the number of hours they can work in the NHS during term time.

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