UNITED KINGDOM: New Fast-Track Visa Scheme for Top Scientists to Open in February

The UK Government has announced that the Global Talent route, a visa scheme for top scientists, researchers and mathematicians, will open on 20 February 2020.

The Global Talent route replaces the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route and allows the science funding agency UK Research and Innovation to endorse applicants for a fast-tracked visa application without a job offer and no cap on the number of visas issued.

According to the government announcement, the route will also:

  • 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 labor 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 UK absences rules for researchers, and their dependents, where they are required overseas for work-related purposes, ensuring they are not penalised when they apply for settlement

The changes to the immigration rules to implement this scheme will be made on 30 January 2020, when more details should become available.

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Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

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