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New UK visa scheme to attract researchers to the UK

It seems like the Home Office is increasingly making amendments to the UK immigration rules, to make it more attractive for researchers and other skilled and highly skilled persons to come to the UK.


Image courtesy of Pixabay

The latest data from the UK Office for National Statistics also showed that the net long-term migration to the UK from the EU in 2017 was at the lowest level since March 2013.
The slowdown in migration to the UK from the EU, coupled with new relaxed visa opportunities, will hopefully create many exciting opportunities for migrants from outside the UK.

New visa scheme for researchers

The UK Government has recently created a new UKRI Science, Research, and Academia Scheme, which will allow scientist, researchers, and academics from outside the EEA to come to the UK for up to two years. The scheme opened for applications on 6 July 2018.
The UK Government said the visa scheme aims to encourage the ongoing growth of the research sector in the UK.

The immigration minister said that the new visa scheme would make it easier for international researchers to train and work in the UK.

How the UK visa scheme for researchers will operate

The new visa route will be added to the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange (GAE)) immigration route.

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will operate the scheme. They will, in conjunction with twelve other approved research organisations, directly sponsor highly skilled individuals to work and train in the UK.

The UKRI as the scheme owner will monitor the sponsor organisations. The sponsor organisations will require individual Tier 5 sponsor licenses.

“Sponsored researchers” under this visa scheme may include academics, researchers, scientist, research engineers and other skilled research technology specialists.

The sponsored researchers will be allowed to give lectures as long as it does not amount to a formal teaching post. They may act as examiners, undertake skills development or knowledge transfers, undertake a period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement or work on research collaborations.

The approved research organisations inter alia include the Natural History Museum, The Sainsbury’s Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

If you are a researcher interested in finding out more about possible ways to live and work in the UK, please feel free to visit our website at for more information. Alternatively, please fill out the form below.