The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association have called for an extension of Tier 2 and 4 Visas for pre-registration pharmacists during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, RPS president Sandra Gidley and BPSA president Regan McCahill narrated how pre-registration pharmacists are working across the health service to support patient care.

The letter called for visa extension similar to doctors, nurses and paramedics announced by Home Office on 31 March. In addition, pre-registered overseas nurses got their skills test deadline extended to the end of the year.

“The British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society are calling for a similar visa extension for pre-registration pharmacists holding a Tier 2 or 4 visa,” the letter reads.

“We believe that such a measure must be taken in order to maintain the national pharmacy workforce and to support other healthcare professions during this time of great need.”

The organisations noted that pre-registration pharmacists who currently hold a Tier 2 or 4 visa are facing “greatest uncertainty,” with the registration assessment being postponed and the regulator still to decide the logistics of provisional registration.

“There is an urgent need for clarity for both sponsors and visa holders,” they said.

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