Overseas radiographers included in visa extension

Published: 30 April 2020 Government & NHS

After concerted lobbying by the Society and the other allied health professional trade unions, the Home Office has confirmed the one year visa extension will cover all AHPs.

The programme to renew visas due to expire before 1 October 2020 had previously only applied to NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Dean Rogers, the SoR director of industrial strategy and member relations says, “Without this victory, members who needed to extend their visa to continue working and living in the UK felt hugely threatened.

"Given the Home Office’s shocking record in this area in recent years it was hard to tell initially if limiting the visa extension to a narrow number of health and medical professionals was an oversight by government, or something more significant. Whatever the reasoning, it was important to get this addressed and remove any doubts or ambiguity.

"We’ve seen with personal protective equipment (PPE) that politicians are reluctant to admit mistakes so it took longer than it should have but we are delighted to have secured this change."

The visa extension will be free-of-charge to Society members.

Dean continued, "As well as offering immediate reassurance to the members impacted, we also hope that this break with the Home Office’s 'hostile environment' approach will be another signal of a more sensible, fairer way forward.

"We need to be doing more to attract overseas professionals and there are still too many wrong signals and barriers from government, such as the ludicrous tax on NHS staff from overseas that they have to pay to access health services.

"We’ll continue to challenge these barriers, strengthened by the latest success on free visa extensions.”