After less than a month in office, the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has turned his attention to the visa system and how to attract more elite researchers and scientists.
The Prime Minister has stated that:
“Britain has a proud history of innovation, with home-grown inventions spanning from the humble bicycle to the lightbulb. We were home to the world’s first national DNA database, we discovered graphene, and our cutting-edge scientists should be proud to follow in the footsteps of titans like Ada Lovelace and Nobel Laureates Francis Crick and Peter Higgs. But to ensure we continue to lead the way in the advancement of knowledge, we have to not only support the talent that we already have here, but also ensure our immigration system attracts the very best minds from around the world.”
Further detail confirms that the fast-track immigration route will be designed to attract elite researchers and specialists in science, engineering and technology, from maths Olympiads at the very start of their careers to the winners of internationally recognised prizes and fellowships.
To ensure the UK is the most attractive country to live in and develop new ideas, options which could be discussed with leading institutions and universities include:
- abolishing the cap on numbers under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visas
- 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
- accelerated path to settlement
We will be closely monitoring developments and will update our website once further information has been published.