The Prime Minister and Home Secretary this week outlined proposals to encourage top scientists to move to the UK by proposing:-
- The abolition of the cap on numbers under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visas – currently only 2000 places are available each year with the Home Office releasing 1000 places on the 6 April and the 1 October;
- Expanding the pool of UK Research Institutes and Universities able to endorse candidates
- Creating criteria that confer automatic endorsement subject to immigration checks;
- Ensuring dependents have full access to the labour market;
- Removing the need to hold an offer of employment before arriving;
- Accelerating the path to settlement (currently 3 years)
The Prime Minister said “I want the UK to continue to be a global science superpower, and when we leave the EU we will support science and research and ensure that, far from losing out, the Scientific Community has a huge opportunity to develop and export our innovation around the world.”
The proposal has been welcomed by the Scientific Community but subject to reservations as detailed by Sir Vemki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society who welcomed the Government’s announcement whilst adding “The fact remains half of international academic talent in UK Universities comes from the European Union and the EU is our single largest research collaborator.”
The Home Office and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have been instructed by the Prime Minister to work with the Scientific Community to develop the new visa route, which the Government hopes to launch later this year.
We will monitor developments in this area and post further news as the proposals become more definite.