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London Trusts footing the visa bill for EU workers

The Evening Standard claims that a number of hospitals in London are preparing to pay for new visas for thousands of EU staff to keep them in London after Brexit. 


The newspaper reports that University College London Hospitals (UCLH), St George’s Hospitals and Guy’s and St Thomas’s are among the NHS Trusts offering to pay to prevent a feared exodus of EU health workers. It says more than one in 10 of London’s health workers originate from other European countries and NHS leaders are concerned that Brexit will compound already severe staff shortages. 


Professor Marcel Levi, Chief Executive of UCLH, is said to have already written to almost 1,300 staff offering to cover the cost of each applying for ‘settled status’.


In June, the government published the details of its Settlement Scheme and how EU citizens can apply for ‘settled status’ for ‘less than the price of a passport’ (£65 for adults and £32.50 for a child under 16). The three-step process requires applicants to prove their identity, show that they live in the UK and declare they have no serious criminal convictions.


The EU Settlement Scheme pilot is now up and running. From November 1, EU citizens who are employed at one of the 15 NHS Trusts or three universities in north-west England involved in this phase of the pilot are eligible to apply. From November 29, any EU citizen employed by or working at an organisation in the health or social care sector in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales is eligible to apply.  The EU Settlement Scheme will be fully open by March 30, 2019.


Rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are still being negotiated.