Starting from this summer, international healthcare professionals will be able to apply for a new facilitated visa which will allow them to work in the UK.

The UK’s new Health and Care Visa is intended to make it easier, faster, and more affordable for healthcare workers to come to the country, and ensure that the UK’s health and care sector have “access to the best global talent”.

Those eligible for the Health and Care Visa will pay a reduced application fee when compared to other skilled workers. Incoming international healthcare workers are also exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge, as are their dependents.

“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. 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.” said Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The new visa is also intended to show the UK government’s commitment to “deliver for the NHS and wider health and care sector.”

Additionally, all health and social care workers who are already in the UK and not eligible for the Health and Care Visa will be permanently exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge. Those who have paid the Surcharge after March 31, can apply for reimbursement.

Matt Hancock, UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said that “the reimbursement of the immigration health surcharge recognizes the enormous contribution of those who have come to the UK to work in health and social care.”

“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,” Hancock said, praising the “unwavering commitment, skill and compassion staff have shown during the fight against this deadly virus”.