Home Office written question – answered on 2nd July 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of granting indefinite leave to remain to (a) overseas nationals working as health and social care staff and (b) their spouses and dependents.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

NHS workers from overseas have made a huge contribution in tackling the current pandemic. We are extending the leave of key NHS frontline health workers and their dependants by one year, free of immigration fees and health surcharge, if it was due to expire before October 2020. This offer has also been extended to cover those working in key healthcare roles in the independent health and care sector. However, indefinite leave to remain is based on several requirements, including a period of lawful residence in the UK without excess absences, sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, and any specific requirements of the visa route they are in.

Families and dependants of all health workers who sadly pass away due to contracting the COVID-19 virus will be offered immediate indefinite leave to remain, without a requirement to pay a fee. We hope the number of people who find themselves in this position is very small. Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of all medical professionals who have passed away while working to keep us safe.

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