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Fast-tracked entry to the United Kingdom for leading researchers


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Scientists and Researchers visas

Fast-tracked entry to the United Kingdom for leading researchers

After UK universities raised a concern about the negative impact of Brexit on academic research, at the end of December 2019, the Home Office officially announced that the number of visas for scientists and researchers will be increased from 62 to more than 120.

UK universities brought issues of a shortage of scientific skills due to a significant number of EU academics leaving their jobs after the Brexit election. The number of UK and non-EU academics leaving UK universities have also slightly increased.

Proposed changes

The Home Office approached this concern and announced that the UK immigration system would continue to improve towards attracting the top active researchers from all over the world.

Currently, the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route is designed for highly skilled migrants in different fields such as science, engineering, arts, and humanities. They will bring a positive impact on the UK economy, science and social life. However, the rules are very complex, and decisions are usually made within 8 weeks.

According to the Home Office, applicants wishing to come to the UK to conduct research will benefit from fast-track service where they will only need to provide a letter from the relevant organisation. Moreover, the amended list of fellowships will be added to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route.

The Home Office intends to expand grants from UK Research and Innovation and its research councils. In addition, the Home Office is planning to eliminate the cap on the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category. Currently, there are only 2,000 places available each tax year.

The above-mentioned changes facilitating the employment of academic scientists and researchers from over the globe are planning to be implemented at the beginning of this year. These changes are considered to be a good start to welcome leading researchers around the world to the UK.

You can access the Home Office publication via the following link:

Should you wish to discuss your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to contact our professional team of immigration lawyers at or call us at 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via


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