Good News for International Nurses!

by Mathew Ealoor


If you’re a frontline health worker, you may be eligible for a 1-year extension to your visa for free. If you’re eligible, your family members could also get an extension of up to 1 year. This is because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

To get the extension, you must:

  • have a visa that’s due to expire before 1 October 2020
  • work for the NHS or an independent healthcare provider in an eligible profession

The extension will apply from the date your visa is due to expire. Your family members’ visas will be extended to the same date as yours if they’re also due to expire before 1 October 2020.

If the visa is due to expire after 1 October 2020, it won’t get the free extension. It needs to be extended in the normal way.

Eligible professions

Your visa will be extended if you’re a:

  • biochemist
  • biological scientist
  • dental practitioner
  • health professional
  • medical practitioner
  • medical radiographer
  • midwife
  • nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • ophthalmologist
  • paramedic
  • pharmacist
  • physiotherapist
  • podiatrist
  • psychologist
  • social worker
  • speech and language therapist
  • therapy professional

Check with your employer if you’re not sure whether you work in an eligible profession.

How to get the extension

Your employer will tell UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if you’re eligible for the extension.

Once your employer tells you to, post your and your family’s current biometric residence permits (BRPs) to UKVI. Your employer might offer to do this for you.

UKVI will return your BRPs to your employer after your visa has been extended.

UK Visas and Immigration
PO Box 3468
S3 8WA

It’s free and you will not have to pay the immigration health surcharge as part of this extension.

If you’ve already applied for an extension

Email the UKVI NHS team to withdraw your existing visa extension application and apply for a refund.

You cannot do this if you have already provided your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) as part of that application.

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