4 September 2019

Proposals to introduce a Global Talent Visa

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The world’s top scientists will be encouraged to move to the United Kingdom as announced by the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson has instructed the Home Office and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to work with the scientific community to develop a new fast-track visa route for the brightest and best, with a view to launching it later this year.

The new program will sit within the current rebranded Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route, to be known instead as the ‘Global Talent’ visa category. The program will be open to both EU and non-EU nationals and is set to be launched regardless of the terms on which the UK leaves the EU.

The fast-track immigration route should attract elite researchers and specialists in science, engineering and technology.

Key proposals for the redesigned programme include:

  • Ending the cap on numbers (presently there remains a cap of 2,000 places per year under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category)
  • Revising the present Exceptional Talent criteria to open it up to individuals integral to scientific/research teams
  • Enlarging the pool of UK research institutes and universities able to endorse candidates
  • Producing criteria that confer automatic endorsement
  • Unlike for the existing Tier 2 of the Points Based System, no prior job offer will be required before coming to the UK and no minimum salary thresholds will apply. This will be the case both when the scheme is launched and under the future immigration system due to come into force in January 2021

The new programme will provide worthy individuals with a leave to remain for 3 years, during which they can come and go from the UK as they choose along with their dependants. At the end of the 3 years they will be entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain along with their dependants.

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Qazi Muhammad Atif Ali

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