Non-EEA researches, scientists and academics can now enter the UK and remain there for up to two years under the new “UKRI Science, Research and Academia” scheme, which the government has added to the Tier 5 visa route with the sole purpose of encouraging the ongoing growth of the research sector in the United Kingdom.
The scheme is operated by the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), which alongside with 12 other approved research organizations are permitted to directly sponsor highly skilled individuals to work and train in the UK for at most 2 years.
According to the UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nikes, science makes a crucial contribution to the economy and society of the United Kingdom, therefore UK will continue to welcome leading research and scientific talent from around the world.
“The UK is a world leader in research and innovation and these changes will make it easier for international researchers to work and train in the UK,” she said adding that the UK must have an immigration system that attracts international leading talent in order to benefit from their knowledge and expertise.
Whereas, the UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said that research and innovation is inherently international, as are the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century.
“Global collaboration through the movement of talented people plays an essential role in meeting these challenges and this new scheme will provide further support in meeting these challenges and this new scheme will provide further support for international researchers to work and train in the UK,” Sir Walport said.
The scheme will be monitored by the Department for Business, energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) alongside with the UKRI, which will also monitor the sponsoring organizations.
New immigration policy changes introduced in UK
After facing criticism on its immigration policy, PM May and UK Home Office have introduced new changes in the immigration policy of the country.
The number of visas available on the Exceptional Talent route has been doubled, from 1,000 to 2,000 per year. Another new start-up visa route has been announced to be introduced, which will replace the Tier 1 route that has been widely criticized lately as being open to abuse from “ill-gotten riches from overseas” as the anti-corruption campaigners in Britain have called them.
The final changes will be applied to the Tier 2 visa route. Nurses and doctors will be exempt from the cap of this visa type introduced by PM May when she was the UK Home Secretary. The cap has been removed after the NHS required it for months now in order to prevent a potential crisis in the UK hospitals as a result of staff shortage.