Tuesday January 25, 2022

UK govt announces new visa scheme for global researchers

January 30, 2020

LONDON: As part of package of announcements, the UK government has announced the changes to Tier 1 visa for researchers. Under new scheme, top scientists and researchers to be given fast tracked entry to the UK with no cap on who can benefit.

Fast-track visa scheme to attract the world's top scientists, researchers and mathematicians will open on 20 February. It was announced by Economic and Research Council UK with collaboration of Home office here today.

This follows a commitment by the Prime Minister last summer to put science, research and innovation on the top of the government's agenda. Under this scheme (Global Talent) there will be no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK, demonstrating the government's commitment to supporting top talent.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said in recent past that The UK has a proud history of scientific discovery, but to lead the field and face challenges of the future we need to continue to invest in talent and cutting-edge research. “That is why as we leave the EU and level up skills and opportunity across the country, I want to send a message that the UK is open and stands ready to support the brightest minds to turn their ideas into reality."

Meanwhile Independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has also submitted its proposals to the government that minimum salary for skilled migrant be reduced from £30,000 to £25,600 per annum.

"Today's announcements further underline the importance of research and innovation to the future success of the UK and the government's continued commitment and investment.

"The new Global Talent Visa, including extensions to the existing fast-track process, will be welcomed across the community and will provide further support to our universities and institutions in their international ambition." It will replace the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. The route provides four ways in which a researcher may be able to obtain a visa.

The changes mean that, for the first time, UK Research and Innovation will endorse applicants from the scientific and research community. This new scheme allows researchers and specialists who are named, or whose role is named, on a grant from an endorsed funder to apply for a fast track visa.

The changes also expand the number of individual fellowships that are covered by a scheme administered by The Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and The British Academy. The announcement doubles the number of eligible fellowships under this scheme. EPSRC-STFC Stephen Hawking Fellowships and the NERC-UKRI Landscape Decision Fellowships will join other fellowships already eligible, including the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships.

Under new scheme Tier 1 visa provides a number of benefits to recipients includes continue to ensure dependents have full access to the labour market, Preserve the route's flexibility by not requiring an individual to hold an offer of employment before arriving or tying them to one specific job and provide an accelerated path to settlement for all scientists and researchers who are endorsed on the route.

The Immigration Rules to bring the visa changes into effect will be made on the 30 January 2020 and come into effect on the 20 February.

The Global Talent Visa will introduce new routes for researchers to work and live in the UK. Individuals wishing to apply for the new visa will be able to do so on the UK government website from 20 February 2020.

The Global Talent Visa includes a new visa route for researchers who make critical contributions to work supported by grant funding from a recognised funder such as Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, National Institutes for Health Research, European Union Horizon 2020 programmes, European Molecular Biology Organisation, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Human Frontier Science Programme, International Institute for Applied System Analysis and European Space Agency, the National Science Foundation of the United States, the Japan Science and Technology Agency, the Indian Council of Medical Research, FAPESP, the Research Council for the State of São Paulo, Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR) Luxembourg and Science Foundation Ireland.