Under the Home Office’s bereavement scheme, non-EEA family members and dependants of any NHS worker or healthcare or social care worker who has died as a result of coronavirus will immediately receive Indefinite Leave to Remain, free of charge, from the Home Office. The list has also been extended to include family members and dependants of NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus.
The Home Office’s update states that UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKV) dedicated NHS team will work directly with trusts and employers to identify family members to whom this extension may apply and subsequently arrange for the issue of granting Indefinite Leave to Remain for those individuals. This would appear to be a mammoth of a task given the reduced workforce of UKVI in the current pandemic and we would expect this process to take at least several months.
At a time when individuals will be grieving the loss of much loved family members, waiting for the Home Office to contact you with regards to your immigration status may cause additional stress and anxiety. We would recommend that anyone who thinks they fall within the above group should contact UKVI’s NHS team directly at UKVINHSTeam@homeoffice.gov.uk. It is likely that a check will be made against the death certificate of the relevant family member.
The link to the Home Office’s update can be found here.
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