Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the world’s top scientists will be encouraged to move to the UK with a shake-up of immigration rules to pave the way.
The PM 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 UK visa for scientists, a route for ‘the brightest and best’, with a view to launching it later this year.
UK visa for scientists to build on country’s vast scientific history
In his announcement, which was streamed live on Facebook, Johnson cited a number of Britain’s historic scientific developments as the core reason that Britain should be a global scientific superpower in the modern era.
“Britain has a proud history of innovation, with home-grown inventions spanning from the humble bicycle to the lightbulb,” PM Johnson said.
“We are 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 immigrations system attracts the very best minds from around the world.”
The fast-track UK visa for scientists immigration route will be designed to attract researchers and specialists in science, engineering and technology.
These may range from maths Olympiads, just beginning their careers, to the winners of internationally recognised prizes and fellowships.
A move to an “Australian-style points-based system”
Key changes to the current immigration system may including abolishing the cap on numbers under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visas, removing the need to hold an offer of employment before arriving and expanding the pool of universities and research institutes that are able to endorse candidates.
Home Secretary Priti Patel stated that, “We want Britain to be the most prosperous economy in Europe,” and the way to do this is by, “encouraging the world’s top scientists and researchers to our shores.”
David Williams, Executive Chairman of leading quantum company Arqit said: “As a British business pioneering the science of Quantum Cyber Security, it is crucial that Britain welcomes scientific talent from around the world … These changes will complement plans for an Australian-style points-based immigration system, as set out by the Prime Minister when he came into office.”
Photo: 10 Downing Street
Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
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