The United Kingdom Government has announced a new Health and Care Visa to ensure its health and care services have access to the best global talent.
“The new Health and Care Visa will make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals from around the world to come to the UK”, the UK government statement said.
The UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care have on Tuesday announced the new Health and Care Visa will be launched this summer, creating a new fast-track visa route for eligible health and care professionals and delivering on a key manifesto commitment, the statement added.
It added that they have also announced further details on how the exemption to the Immigration Health Surcharge will work for health and care staff, who will now be permanently exempt from this charge.
According to details of the statement, it has been designed to make it easier and quicker for the best global health professionals to work in the NHS, for NHS commissioned service providers, and in eligible occupations in the social care sector.
The Home Secretary and Health and Social Care Secretary have together developed the Health and Care Visa to demonstrate the government’s commitment to delivering for the NHS and wider health and care sector, the statement said.
It further said that the legislation needed to open this new route will be laid in Parliament and health professionals will be able to apply from August.
The UK govt statement said that the new Health and Care Visa will come with a reduced visa application fee compared to that paid by other skilled workers, including exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Health and care professionals applying on this route can also expect a decision on whether they can work in the UK within just three weeks, following biometric enrollment.
Those working in health and social care who do not qualify for the Health and Care Visa will still be able to claim a reimbursement from the Immigration Health Surcharge if they have paid this on or after March 31, the statement added.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
We are indebted to overseas health and care professionals for their tremendous contributions, not just in saving thousands of lives throughout this crisis, but for the vital role they play year-round.
This new visa is part of our new immigration system making it quicker, cheaper and easier for the best and brightest health and care professionals from around the globe to work in our brilliant NHS.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Our health and care system has always had a proud tradition of welcoming overseas staff to work, train and live in the UK, and I’m proud that the NHS is a destination of choice for talented people from around the world”.
He said the unwavering commitment, skill and compassion staff have shown during the fight against this deadly virus was nothing short of phenomenal, and the reimbursement of the immigration health surcharge recognises the enormous contribution of those who have come to the UK to work in health and social care.
Source: GOV.UK | Reference Image: File Photo