In an apparent nod to the vital importance of migrants working in the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic, on 09 April 2020 the Home Office announced that migrants working in the NHS as doctors, nurses or paramedics would have their visas automatically extended for a one year period if their leave was due to expire before 1 October 2020. The Home Office factsheet stated that such extensions would be free and that the individual did not have to do anything, the Home Office would be in contact with employers to identify those eligible.
The Home Office has since revised its guidance, limiting those that will be able to benefit from the automatic extension. Now, only ‘some’ migrants will benefit, namely those currently in the UK as Tier 2 migrants. At a time when the NHS is under immense pressure and all healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line for others, it is astonishing that the Home Office feels the need to limit this concession.
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