The Home Office has announced it will immediately offer family members and dependants of foreign NHS workers killed fighting coronavirus indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
The announcement comes one week after a stark warning by immigration lawyers that the families of NHS workers who fall ill or are killed by coronavirus could have no rights to stay in the UK.
Giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee last Tuesday, leading immigration barristers Adrian Berry and Colin Yeo said the Home Office was failing to give migrant NHS workers peace of mind.
The lawyers told the committee that the family of a foreign NHS worker with a Tier 2 visa who is killed or incapacitated by coronavirus might find themselves forced out of the country or destitute.
Campaigners have been calling on the government to grant ILR to foreign NHS workers helping fight coronavirus. A Change.org petition has been signed almost 8,000 times.
The Home Office has so far resisted the calls, instead granting foreign NHS workers free one-year extensions on their visas. Some 5,800 health and care workers with visas due to expire before October 2020 will benefit from the measure.