UK to launch new Global Talent visa

A new, fast-track Global Talent visa scheme designed to attract the world’s top scientists, researchers and mathematicians to the UK will open on 20th February.

This follows a commitment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last summer to put science, research and innovation on the top of the Government’s agenda.

The Global Talent visa route will have no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK.

“The UK has a proud history of scientific discovery, but to lead the field and face the challenges of the future we need to continue to invest in talent and cutting-edge research,” Johnson explained. “That is why as we leave the EU, I want to send a message that the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world, and stand ready to support them to turn their ideas into reality.”

The Global Talent visa will replace the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route and for the first time UK Research and Innovation will endorse applicants from the scientific and research community.

The route will:

– Provide for a brand new fast-track scheme, which will enable UK-based research projects that have received recognised prestigious grants and awards to recruit top global talent, benefitting higher education institutions, research institutes and eligible public sector research establishments. This will enable an individual to be fast-tracked to the visa application stage.

– 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 dependents have full access to the labour market.

– Preserve the route’s flexibility by not requiring an individual to hold 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 route.

– Provide for an exemption from the absence rules for researchers, and their dependants, where they are required overseas for work-related purposes, ensuring they are not penalised when they apply for settlement.

The changes are part of the initial phase wider reforms to enable those with world class skills in science and research to come to the UK as soon as possible.

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 very best global talent over the next five years.

With around £60 million funding available per year, the investment will double funding for new PhDs, as well as boost the number of maths fellowships and research projects.

This funding aims to make sure the UK remains at the cutting-edge of maths research, underpinning real-world technological developments, from smoother traffic flow, crime prevention, safer air travel, and smarter phone technology to the use of Artificial Intelligence and creating greener energy systems.

Article published 27th January 2020