The COVID-19 Bereavement Scheme grants permanent residency in the UK to the members of the family of overseas medics who die of the pandemic while in the line of duty to treat patients. These include those who work in UK as healthcare and social care workers.
Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary, stated that the scheme applies to:
- Dependents and family of foreign nurses and doctors killed on duty at the National Health Service (NHS) frontline
- Lower-paid NHS support staff
The efforts of the UK government to provide as much support as possible has been on since the introduction of the scheme in April 2020.
The UK has seen 312 healthcare-related deaths linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. 181 of these cases are of NHS workers and 131 are social care workers within the healthcare sector.
Under the Bereavement scheme, the family members and dependents of the healthcare employees who died battling COVID-19 in the frontline are eligible for free of charge, indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK.
The permanent residency option extended to social care workers and support staff who died, in the same way, will be made effective immediately and retrospectively.
The tireless dedication and selflessness of the deceased are thus honored by the UK.
There have been more than 249,600 COVID-19 cases in the UK. The death count from the pandemic has gone over 35,780.
Detailed records of COVID-19 deaths are being compiled, which will be reflected on the death certificate of the victims.
The new decision to extend the benefits of the scheme to lower-paid workers came following criticism of an earlier policy. Then, the policy did not consider staff like porters and cleaners employed in the healthcare sector.
The Labor Party, the opposition is seeking an amendment to the immigration bill, to exempt NHS staff from the Immigration Health Surcharge (HIS) that comes with every UK work visa. The staff in consideration will include cleaners and care professionals.
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