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Government announces post-Brexit Immigration Policy

Last week the government announced its post-Brexit immigration plans. For some it will be harder to live and work in the UK, but there will still be plenty of opportunities for researchers with the new Global Talent Visa.

Points-based Immigration System

The government unveiled its plans for post-Brexit immigration last week. A shift away from ‘cheap labour’ and a commitment to reducing overall migration to the UK characterise the new policy.

Immigrants will now have to fulfil a points-based system, akin to Australia’s, in order to get a working visa. Points are awarded on English proficiency, the offer of a job with an approved sponsor, and other criterion including qualifications, salary on offer and working in a sector with shortages. Applicants are required to reach 70 points to be eligible for a visa, and there will be no specific visas for low-skilled workers, encouraging businesses to adjust to the end of free movement from the EU.

Global Talent Visa

Despite the strict restrictions on immigration, for some it will become easier to work in the UK, namely scientists, researchers and mathematicians. The new Global Talent Visa (Tier 1), which came into force on 20 February, has replaced the Exceptional Talent Visa, and offers a flexible and fast-track route for top scientists to enter the UK.

The new visa system is managed and overseen by the UK Research and Innovation Agency (UKRI) as opposed to the Home Office. The new visa provides a flexible route to immigration for those eligible. There is no need for a job offer nor a minimum salary, and they can be accompanied by their dependents if they meet the relevant requirements. The visa provides an accelerated path to settlement for all scientists and researchers endorsed on the route.

The visa has no cap on qualified entrants coming to the UK in a bid to make the UK a leader in innovation and scientific research. Individuals can already begin to apply for this new route, while the points-based system will not come into force until 2021.

For any further guidance or information on applying for a Global Talent Visa or for navigating post-Brexit immigration options, please contact Sam Meymand.


The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.