New Bill promises indefinite leave to remain for healthcare workers

A Bill to grant indefinite leave to remain to health and social care staff has been presented to the House of Commons. The Bill, sponsored by Christine Jardine MP, underwent its first reading on the 21st June where its short title – the Immigration (Health and Social Care Staff) Bill was announced and an order was given for the Bill to be printed.

Due to COVID related delays, the Immigration (Health and Social Care Staff) Bill is due to undergo a second reading on the 22nd October, opened by the MP responsible for the Bill. The official Opposition spokesperson will then respond with their views on the Bill before the debate continues with other Opposition parties and backbench MPs giving their opinions. At the end of the debate, the Commons will decide whether the Bill should be given its second reading by voting, meaning it can proceed to the next stage.

At present, the UK employs approximately 170,000 non-British individuals from more than 200 countries in the NHS, making up 14 per cent of all NHS staff. Although earlier this year it was announced that NHS and social care staff would have their visas extended by one year, many feel that this did not go far enough in assisting vital workers who had proven invaluable during the ongoing pandemic.

“Now that many of them who have lives here, make an invaluable contribution to our society and want to stay, it is surely unreasonable to ask them to come up with the expense of visa costs or face the threat of being deported.”

Christine Jardine

As the Bill has not yet been printed, details of the Bill are limited at present, however the Advisory Bureau will continue to monitor the progress of this Bill, providing updates as required.

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