UK beckons scientists, students with better visa offer, new Office for Talent
Keen to attract global talent after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, the cross-department Office for Talent will help cut unnecessary red-tape in the UK’s visa system for scientists, students, researchers and entrepreneurs.Updated: Jul 01, 2020 16:26 IST
Extending the post-study work visa offer from two to three years for those completing PhD from 2021 and setting up a dedicated Office for Talent in No 10, Downing Street, are among a range of initiatives announced by the Boris Johnson government on Wednesday.
Keen to attract global talent after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, the cross-department Office for Talent will help cut unnecessary red-tape in the UK’s visa system for scientists, students, researchers and entrepreneurs. EU and non-EU citizens will be treated at par for visa purposes from January 1.
Under the revived post-study work arrangement, Indian and other international students will be able to stay in the UK for two years after completing studies in 2021, but those at PhD level will be able to stay on for three years, officials said.
The Office for Talent, they added, begins work immediately to review the effectiveness of the current rules and ensure excellent customer service across the immigration system, so that it is simple, easy, and quick. It will also help those coming to the UK better understand the opportunities on offer and break down any barriers they might face.
The government also plans to improve the new points-based immigration system when it is implemented later this year, including extending the window in which prospective students can make visa applications, removing study time limits at postgraduate level and allowing all students to switch any other type of visa from within the UK.
The initiatives, outlined in the government’s Research and Development Roadmap by business secretary Alok Sharma, is aimed at creating the conditions for ground-breaking research, attracting global talent, and cutting unnecessary red tape.
Sharma said: “The UK has a strong history of turning new ideas into revolutionary technologies – from penicillin to graphene and the world wide web. Our vision builds on these incredible successes to cement Britain’s reputation as a global science superpower”.
“The R&D Roadmap sets out our plan to attract global talent, cut unnecessary red tape and ensure our best minds get the support they need to solve the biggest challenges of our time”.
The initiatives include funding, international collaboration and an innovation fellowship programme sponsored by the prime minister’s office.
Science minister Amanda Solloway said: “Coronavirus has shown us the agility, creativity and innovative thinking of our world-leading institutions, scientists and researchers to tackle this disease and save people’s lives. We want to harness this expertise to rejuvenate science and research across the UK, building a future that is greener, safer and healthier”.