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Brexit-bound UK doubles visas for 'exceptional talent'

The increase from 1,000 to 2,000 visas per year is intended to ensure that more highly skilled people, who can enhance the British economy, can come and work in the country.

world Updated: Nov 15, 2017 22:11 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Brexit,Prime Minister Theresa May,Tier 1 (exceptional Talent) visa
A still image taken from footage broadcast by the UK Parliamentary Recording Unit shows Prime Minister Theresa May as she speaks during the weekly Prime Minister's Questions session in the House of Commons in London on November 15, 2017.(AFP)

Keen to reaffirm global links as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Theresa May government on Wednesday announced the doubling of visas available under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route for individuals in technology, science, art and creative industries.

The increase from 1,000 to 2,000 visas peryear is intended to ensure that more highly skilled people, who can enhance the British economy, can come and work in the country, official sources said.

Home secretary Amber Rudd said: “Increasing the number of visas for these sectors will make sure that we continue to be at the heart of world culture and forefront of digital and scientific advances.

“The UK’s innovative industries, including the thriving digital technology sector, are at the centre of our industrial strategy and making sure that businesses in these fields have access to exceptional talent from across the world is vitally important.”

The 2,000 visas will be made available to individuals recognised as existing global leaders or promising future leaders in digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors by any of five endorsing organisations: Tech City UK, Arts Council England, the British Academy, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The current allocation of 1,000 visas split between the five organisations will remain and the additional places will be made available across all of the endorsing bodies dependent on need, sources said.

“The government is keen to ensure that all nations and regions of the UK benefit from this change. The Home Office will look at how it can work with organisations across the UK to ensure wider take up of these visas outside London,” a source said.

The Home Office also commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on the impact of Brexit on the labour market. The committee’s report is expected to be published in July.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 22:11 IST