This afternoon I spoke in the Westminster Hall Debate on Immigration and nationality application fees.
There are significant financial costs when applying for visas and permanent residency within the UK. This issue is particularly poignant for NHS workers - many of whom are from a range of different countries - yet face difficulties in applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain due to the large financial cost involved.
Citizenship should not be about cost; it should be about contribution and inclusion in our communities – and NHS workers have perhaps given the biggest contribution of all, saving our lives and keeping us safe.
It is our duty to create a new route for citizenship for NHS workers, one that won’t leave workers in debt, poverty, or in constant worry about funding their next application a few years down the line.
While I welcome the many steps the Government has taken already for foreign NHS workers, we need to go further.