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Visas extended for migrant doctors, nurses and paramedics fighting virus in UK

The extension will apply to around 2,800 migrant health professionals who are working for the NHS and have work visas due to expire before October 1.

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Doctors, nurses and paramedics from abroad are to have their UK work visas extended so they can ‘focus on fighting coronavirus’ (Victoria Jones/PA)

Doctors, nurses and paramedics from abroad are to have their UK work visas extended so they can ‘focus on fighting coronavirus’ (Victoria Jones/PA)

Doctors, nurses and paramedics from abroad are to have their UK work visas extended so they can ‘focus on fighting coronavirus’ (Victoria Jones/PA)

Doctors, nurses and paramedics from abroad are to have their visas extended so they can “focus on fighting coronavirus”.

The extension will apply to around 2,800 migrant health professionals who are working for the NHS and have UK work visas which are due to expire before October 1.

They will be renewed automatically for a year free of charge so they can remain working in the country, the Home Office said.

The changes will also apply to their family members.

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 processHome Secretary Priti Patel

Restrictions have also been lifted on how many hours international student doctors and nurses can work for the NHS per week, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

Deadlines for registered overseas nurses to pass skills tests will also be extended so they have more time to take exams while working on the front line.

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.”

On Monday the Home Office said landlords and employers will be allowed to carry out right to rent and work checks for staff and tenants over a video call during the coronavirus outbreak.

Scanned paperwork, rather than original documents, will also be accepted as it made temporary changes to the process so immigration checks were made easier during the crisis.

Once the temporary changes end, landlords and employers will be asked to carry out full checks on existing tenants and employees who rented a property or started work during the coronavirus outbreak.

PA