Thousands more UK healthcare workers will be able to benefit from a government scheme offering free visa extensions.
Earlier in the year the government announced that healthcare workers whose visas were due to expire between 31 March and 1 October 2020 would be able to apply for a free year-long extension.
Now the programme has been expanded to afford the same offer to those whose visas expire between October 1 2020 and 31 March 2021.
This will mean that more than 6,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives, occupational therapists, psychologists as well as a range of allied health professionals will be able to continue their crucial work in the fight against coronavirus, a statement revealed.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “We recognise the huge contribution healthcare professionals from overseas are making across the UK in fighting the devastating impact of coronavirus.
“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.”
Meanwhile, secretary for health and social care, Matt Hancock, added: “I am hugely grateful for all of the frontline health and social care workers from overseas who have worked tirelessly to save lives and provide the best possible care during this global pandemic.
“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.”