Skip to main content
Skip to main content

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules published to introduce the Global Talent category


Fast-track visa scheme replaces Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) and aims to attract top scientists, researchers and mathematicians

Date of Publication:
30 January 2020

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules published to introduce the Global Talent category

30 January 2020

The Government has today published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 56).

ImmigrationYou can access the statement and the accompanying explanatory memorandum from here. The main 44-page statement is here.

The explanatory memorandum states that the purpose is to "introduce a new Global Talent category for talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK, replacing the existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category."

The Home Office announced this week that the new, fast-track Global Talent visa scheme will open on 20 February and it aims to attract the world's top scientists, researchers and mathematicians.

There will be no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK under the Global Talent route.

The Home Office says the new route will:

• provide for a brand new fast-track scheme, managed by UK Research and Innovation (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, benefiting 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

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to use the new route to send a message that the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world, and stands ready to support them to turn their ideas into reality.

The Independent reported that the Liberal Democrat's home affairs spokeswoman Christine Jardine said the policy was "a marketing gimmick".

She added: "Boris Johnson is showing that he fundamentally doesn't understand what makes our science sector so successful. Changing the name of a visa and removing a cap that's never been hit is not a serious plan."