The government has announced that overseas NHS staff and care workers will no longer have to pay the immigration health surcharge.
All health and care staff, including those working in the independent sector, will be removed from the surcharge 'as soon as possible' according to a statement made by a government spokesman yesterday (21 May). The surcharge, which was due to be raised from £400 a year to £624 from October 2020, would also have been extended to EEA migrants coming to work in health and care roles from January 2021.
We will ensure employers are kept up to date as more details are shared, including expected timescales.
The chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Niall Dickson, has welcomed the news.
Visa extension for overseas nationals
The government has also announced a further visa extension for overseas nationals who cannot return home due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This previously ran up to 31 May but will now be extended until the end of July. Importantly, for those who wish to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also extending the in-country visa switching option until 31 July. This is separate to the automatic one-year visa extensions for regulated healthcare professionals with visas due to expire before 1 October. More details on today's extensions are available on the Gov.uk website.