The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa will be rebranded as the “Global Talent” route from 20 February. The science funding agency UK Research and Innovation will be able to endorse applicants for the rejigged route, according to a government press release, which adds that the system will:
- Provide for a brand new fast-track scheme, managed by UKRI which will enable UK-based research projects that have received recognised prestigious grants and awards, including from the European Space Agency and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, to recruit top global talent, benefitting higher education institutions, research institutes and eligible public sector research establishments. This will enable an individual to be fast-tracked to the visa application stage.
- 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 labour 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 our absences 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.
Details will be available on 30 January, when a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules is due.