The Home Office has launched a new fast-track visa system aimed at attracting the world’s top researchers. There will be no cap on who can benefit from the scheme.
In a statement, the Home Office said the new scheme will allow UK-based research projects that have received recognised prestigious grants and awards to recruit top global talent and these individuals will be fast-tracked to the visa application stage. The number of eligible fellowships, such as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, the European Research Council and Human Frontier Science, is being doubled, which also enables individuals to be fast-tracked
To preserve flexibility, the route will not require an individual to hold an offer of employment before arriving or tying them to one specific job
It will include an exemption from the absences rules for researchers and their dependants; there will be no penalty for individuals who are required overseas for work-related purposes.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “The UK is a world leader in science, with research and innovation that changes lives being undertaken every day in this country.”
“To keep the UK at the forefront of innovation, we are taking decisive action to maximise the number of individuals using the Global Talent route including world-class scientists and top researchers who can benefit from fast-tracked entry into the UK,” she said.
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.