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The introduction of a new fast-track Global Talent Visa looks set to make it easier for accomplished scientists and researchers to move to the UK for work.

Introduced on 20th February 2020, the new visa replaces the tier-one Exceptional Talent Visa, which had a cap of 2,000 places per year and had faced criticisms around the difficulties involved in qualifying for it.

The new UK Talent Visa is uncapped – and applicants won’t be required to have a job offer in place prior to applying for it. It will also offer help to new scientists arriving in the UK under the visa with an accelerated path to settlement for all those it endorses.

Aimed at scientists, researchers and mathematicians, it’s hoped this new visa will encourage top talent from abroad to take up positions in the UK by creating a system that is “welcoming, faster and more flexible, and takes into account the long-term aspirations of scientists and their families”.

There are still certain criteria applicants must hit in order to be successful - stipulations to the new visa include that recipients much work in a recognised field applicable to the visa criteria and must be endorsed by a recognised body.

Unlike other visas, the Global Talent Visa won’t be overseen by the Home Office, but will instead be managed by the UK Research and Innovation agency (UKRI). The agency’s aims are to work ‘in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities and governments to create the best possible environment for research and innovations to flourish’. They will also have the ability to recommend suitable prospects for the visa.


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