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Fast-track visa scheme to boost UK science

Posted on 13 Feb 2020 and read 1003 times
Fast-track visa scheme to boost UK scienceA new fast-track visa scheme aimed at attracting ‘the world’s top scientists, researchers and mathematicians’ will open on 20 February, following a commitment by the Prime Minister last summer to put science, research and innovation at the top of the Government’s agenda.

Moreover, the ‘Global Talent route’ will have no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK.

The Government says the Global Talent route replaces the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route; and for the first time, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will endorse applicants from the scientific and research community.

“The route will provide a new fast-track scheme, managed by UKRI, that will enable UK-based research projects that have received recognised grants and awards — including from the European Space Agency and the Japan Science and Technology Agency — to recruit top global talent.

"This is designed to benefit higher-education institutions, research institutes and eligible public-sector research establishments, and it will enable an individual to be fast-tracked to the visa application stage.”

The route will also: double the number of eligible fellowships, such as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, the European Research Council and Human Frontier Science, which also enable individuals to be fast-tracked; continue to ensure that dependants have full access to the labour market; preserve the route’s flexibility by not requiring an individual to have an offer of employment before arriving or tying them to one specific job; provide an accelerated path to settlement for all scientists and researchers who are endorsed on the Global Talent route; and provide for an exemption from absences rules for researchers (and their dependants), where they are required overseas for work-related purposes (this will ensure that they are not penalised when they apply for ‘settlement’).

The reforms to the Global Talent route coincide with Government investment of up to £300 million to fund ‘experimental and imaginative’ mathematical sciences research by the best global talent over the next five years.

“With around £60 million of funding available per year, this investment will double the funding for new PhDs, as well as boost the number of maths fellowships and research projects — increasing the pool of trained mathematicians in the UK and providing more freedom for researchers to develop new ideas.”