15 May Free visa extensions for all frontline healthcare staff
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, announced on 29 April 2020 that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all frontline healthcare workers will be able to renew their visas free of charge for 1 year, if it expires before 1 October 2020.
In order to qualify for an extension, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Have a visa which will expire before 1 October 2020
- Work for the NHS or independent healthcare provider, you must be in an eligible profession.
A few of the eligible professions include, nurses, midwives, radiographers, social workers, dental professionals, ophthalmologist, pharmacists, paramedics, podiatrists, physiotherapists and psychologists. However, it would be best to check with your employer to ensure you qualify.
The extension will be granted from the date that the visa is due to expire, this also applies to family members. In addition, applicants will also be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is currently £400 per year and will increase to £624 per year in October 2020.
How can I get an extension?
Your employer will need to contact UKVI in order to let them know that you are eligible for the extension.
You will then be asked by your employer to post your current biometric card to the UKVI, which will then be returned to you once your visa has been extended.
If you have already paid for an extension of your leave and paid the UKVI fees, you can withdraw your application and claim a refund.