Photo: Twitter/Priti Patel

Pharmacists are included in the government’s latest decision to extend the visas of overseas healthcare workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Pharmacists, midwives and radiographers and social workers with visas due to expire before October 1 will receive a free automatic one-year extension, the Home Secretary announced on Wednesday (29).

The scheme will apply to those working both in the NHS and independent sector and benefit “approximately 3,000 vital health and care workers and their families.”

The latest decision follows an announcement by Patel in late March that overseas doctors, nurses and paramedics would be given a free one-year visa extension.

Making the announcement, Patel said: “We are incredibly grateful to all overseas health and care workers fighting this invisible enemy.

“We have already announced the extension of visas for NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics. Now we are going further by extending this offer to hundreds of other frontline health and care workers, both in the NHS and in the independent sector.

“These extensions will be automatic, free and include exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The Home Secretary also said families of any foreign healthcare worker who dies due to contracting the virus would be granted immediate indefinite leave to remain in the UK without having to pay a fee.

The extension comes into effect immediately and overseas healthcare workers who have paid for an unresolved application will be offered the option of a refund.

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