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CaSE responds to Government announcement on new visa route for scientists and innovators

08 Aug 2019

The Government has today revealed plans for a fast-track visa system to help attract overseas scientists and innovators to the UK.

You can read the Government’s new announcement on changes to the immigration system here.

Commenting, Assistant Director Dr Daniel Rathbone said

“Access to talented people is the absolute cornerstone of a thriving environment for science and engineering in the UK. We welcome the powerful message from the Prime Minister that the UK is open and welcoming to the most talented and promising scientists from around the world. Any move to make it easier for the brightest and best scientists from overseas to come and work in the UK is positive and welcome.

However, the devil is in the detail – any new visa system must be streamlined, easy to use and competitively priced compared to other leading science nations. Currently UK visas are significantly more expensive than those of other countries. Science is also a collaborative enterprise so it would be very beneficial if there was a streamlined process for these talented scientists to bring their teams with them to the UK.”

CaSE has been campaigning for changes the UK visa system for several years. Earlier this year, we welcomed government changes to visa regulations for researchers: PhD-level occupations will be exempt from the cap on high-skilled visas, and overseas research activity will count as continuous residence in the UK for the purpose of researchers applying for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain).