New Visa For STEM Careers To Launch 20 February
The government has announced a new global talent visa designed to attract individuals with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects from across the world to the UK following Brexit.
The global talent visa, which launches on 20 February, will give scientists and other STEM professionals a fast-track visa route into the UK. They do not need to have secured a job before coming to the UK but will need to be endorsed by a recognised UK body and work in a qualifying sector after arriving in the UK.
The new visa will be managed by the UK Research and Innovation Agency (UKRI) rather than the Home Office to ensure applicants are high-calibre and that applications are fast-tracked.
Thousands of researchers from the EU work in the UK and, according to the BBC, accounts for half of the total UK scientific workforce. They do not currently need visas to work in British labs, but this may change as freedom of movement between the UK and the EU is expected to end in December 2020.
Experts at national law firm Irwin Mitchell welcome the move; though say the new visa is a facelift on the previous Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa rather than anything new.
Expert Opinion“The introduction of the global talent visa is a welcome one, though it could be on the face of it little more than a rebranding and slight expansion of the current exceptional talent visa.
For instance the government has decided to lift the cap on the amount of applicants to the global talent visa; however, this was a limit that was never actually reached under the exceptional talent visa scheme. It’s likely the exceptional talent and global talent visas are very similar in nature.
It is vital that the eligibility criteria for the visa are not too onerous for individuals applying to come to the UK, otherwise the scheme will never get off the ground. If handled correctly, the global talent visa has a great chance of attracting the best candidates from around the world at a time where our economy will need it most.” Philip Barth - Partner
The government has previously stated its intention to introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is set to release its findings from the points-based system consultation, which ran last year, later this month.