UK Government Tables New Cheaper, Quicker, Easier Health Care Visa, Indian Professionals Welcome Initiative

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UK Government Tables New 'Cheaper, Quicker, Easier' Health Care Visa, Indian Professionals Welcome Initiative

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The new fast-track visa route aims at attracting global healthcare professionals as part of the new immigration system.

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The United Kingdom government has tabled a "cheaper, quicker and easier" Health and Care Visa in Parliament on July 14. The new fast-track visa route aims at attracting global healthcare professionals as part of the new immigration system.

The new visa has been welcomed by Indian professional groups. "The fast-track healthcare visa is a welcome initiative," Baroness Usha Prashar, Chairperson of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) UK Council.

The new Health and Care Visa is likely to be launched from August.

"We are indebted to overseas health and care professionals for their tremendous contributions, not just in saving thousands of lives throughout this crisis, but for the vital role they play year-round," Home Secretary Priti Patel said.

"This new visa is part of our new immigration system making it quicker, cheaper and easier for the best and brightest health and care professionals from around the globe to work in our brilliant NHS," she said.

"Our health and care system has always had a proud tradition of welcoming overseas staff to work, train and live in the UK, and I'm proud that the NHS is a destination of choice for talented people from around the world," Cabinet colleague Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

The Home Secretary also said that the new system will benefit Indian companies and employees doing business in the UK.

The new Visa will come with a lesser visa application fee as compared to that paid by other skilled workers, including exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This has been a long-standing demand of the Indian-origin doctors' groups in the UK.

"The unwavering commitment, skill and compassion staff have shown during the fight against this deadly virus is nothing short of phenomenal, and the reimbursement of the immigration health surcharge recognises the enormous contribution of those who have come to the UK to work in health and social care," Hancock said.

With the new Health and Care Visa, applicants will pay 232 pounds if they are applying for a visa up to three years or 464 pounds for visa beyond three years.

The complete list of roles eligible for the new visa include: Biological scientists and biochemists, Physical Scientists, Medical Practitioners, Psychologists, Pharmacists, Ophthalmic Opticians, Dental practitioners, Medical Radiographers, Podiatrists, Health Professionals not elsewhere classified, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified, Nurses, Midwives, Social Workers, Paramedics.

Also Read: Coronavirus Has Worsened Global Hunger Crisis: UN Report

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