The Home Office is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus.
The offer of indefinite leave to remain will be effective immediately and retrospectively.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
Every death in this crisis is a tragedy, and sadly some NHS support staff and social care workers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of saving the lives of others.
When I announced the introduction of the bereavement scheme in April, I said we would continue to work across government to look at ways to offer further support. Today we are extending the scheme to NHS support staff and social care workers.
We want to ensure families have the support they need and so this will be effective immediately and retrospectively.
The bereavement scheme was initially launched in April for health workers in the NHS and independent health and care sector, and today the scheme will now extend to NHS support staff and social care workers in recognition of their tireless dedication and selflessness.
This is a complex issue that the government has been working hard to address. Many employers in the social care sector are not visa sponsors, and the majority of migrant workers in the sector do not need to inform the Home Office of where they work as their visas give them a generic right to work. The Home Office’s dedicated NHS team will work directly with trusts and employers to identify family members to whom this extension may apply and arrange for the issue of indefinite leave to remain.
Detailed records of coronavirus deaths are being compiled and it will be reflected on the death certificate. If anyone feels that they are in this position they can contact the UKVI NHS team directly at: UKVINHSTeam@homeoffice.gov.uk