Visa extensions for NHS frontline health workers during coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Here’s what you need to know.

 (Updated as of 01 May 2020)

To get the extension, you must:

  • have a visa that is 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 are also due to expire before 1 October 2020.

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

If you will be working at a different NHS site than your usual place of work because of coronavirus, you can work at any NHS hospital during the coronavirus outbreak if your sponsor can maintain their sponsorship duties. Sponsors will not need to notify UKVI of the change in your place of work.

If you do any different or extra frontline work due to coronavirus, you can carry out supplementary work in any role at any skill level during the coronavirus outbreak. There is no restriction on the number of hours you can work.

Eligible professions

Your visa will be extended if you are 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 are 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 are 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 is 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.

UK Visas and Immigration NHS team

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information on visa extensions for NHS frontline health workers during coronavirus (COVID-19), send an email to or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service and all scheduled appointments will be held remotely. Please be advised that whilst our remote drop-in service will be held on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm, our Friday service (usually held in Preston) has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

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