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29 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

NHS midwives and social workers will have visas extended while government reviews immigration policy, Patel says

By Samuel Horti

Automatic visa extensions for NHS migrant workers will apply to both midwives and social workers while the policy for the social care sector is “under review”, Home Secretary Priti Patel has said.

The government previously pledged to extend visas for all frontline NHS workers and their relatives if they were due to run out before 1 October. On 31 March, it announced that doctors, nurses and paramedics in that group would have their visas automatically extended for one year.

Some experts have warned that the government’s proposals may be too limited in scope, and only cover those on certain visas.

In a letter to the Home Affairs Committee, Patel said: “The disparate nature of the social care sector makes it a unique challenge when making specific immigration offers. We keep policy under review and are continuing to consider what more we can do to support frontline workers.”

She also said that any UK-resident foreign relatives of an NHS worker that dies from Covid-19 will be granted indefinite leave to remain. “I can confirm that any dependants in this very sad position will be granted immediate indefinite leave to remain, without a requirement to pay a fee,” she said.

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