London: UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has hinted that key workers from abroad could be given citizenship in thanks for saving lives during the coronavirus crisis, it was reported.
Speaking at the daily COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Patel said immigration rules were "under review" when asked by the Metro newspaper if foreign workers in the NHS and social care could be made eligible for citizenship.
She said the legislation would be needed for that to take place, but did not rule it out.
"I have said from day one actually, the last time that I was here on this podium, that we keep all our immigration measures under review, given these unprecedented times and challenges.
I'm also going to say primarily because I did introduce the Immigration and Social Security Bill in the House of Commons this week as well, which is all about bringing a points-based system.
"Our immigration system is incredibly complex and I think this crisis has demonstrated that and shown the extent of that complexity."
Patel did not however directly answer whether offering NHS and social care "heroes" citizenship would be better thanks than weekly claps.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an end to a surcharge for foreign NHS workers to use the health system, reports the Metro newspaper.
That means the 400 pounds-a-year fee will no longer apply to NHS staff from abroad who need to use the health service.
In April, the government said that foreigners could extend their visas if they cannot leave because of coronavirus restrictions or self isolation – in an attempt to keep those working in "vital services" in the country during the crisis.
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