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Brunel backs new Global Talent visa for attracting researchers

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Brunel University London has backed plans for a new Global Talent visa, which the UK Government has announced it will introduce on 20 February.

Under the new scheme, scientists and researchers endorsed by a ‘recognised UK body’ will be given fast-track entry, with no cap set on the number of people allowed in. Student visas aren’t affected by this change.

Previously, researchers from the EU were able to work freely in the UK, with only non-EU researchers requiring a visa to work professionally at a research institution. However, immigration restrictions put in place in response to Brexit had raised questions about how the UK hoped to continue attracting skilled researchers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped the new visa scheme would “send a message that the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world.”

Global Talent visa: At a glance

-- The Global Talent visa will be open to people who work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed by a recognised UK body

-- There is no cap on the number awarded

-- It ensures dependents have full access to the labour market

-- It preserves Tier 1’s flexibility of not requiring an individual to hold an offer of employment before arriving, or tying them to one specific job

-- It provide an accelerated path to settlement for all scientists and researchers who are endorsed on the route

-- There will be an exemption from absence rules for researchers, and their dependants, where they are required overseas for work-related purposes, ensuring they are not penalised when they apply for settlement

-- Managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University London, said: “We share the Prime Minister’s vision to position the UK as a magnet for global science and research talent. The Global Talent visa is a positive step towards this for UK universities. The visa route will help to ensure that universities can attract the brightest scientists and researchers to the UK with minimal barriers. 

“Universities are globally connected and this announcement signals that the UK remains open to talent from around the world. Our universities carry out life-changing research and our knowledge base, economy, and wider society will benefit from the international staff we can attract through this visa route.”

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