What is the change? The U.K. is launching the new fast-track visa scheme for top international scientists, researchers and mathematicians.

What does the change mean? Those who qualify will be eligible for faster visa processing and an accelerated path to settlement.

  • Implementation time frame: The visa route will open Feb. 20.
  • Visas/permits affected: Global Talent route visas for scientists, researchers and mathematicians.
  • Who is affected: Scientists, researchers and mathematicians interested in conducting research or working in the U.K.
  • Impact on processing: Individuals who qualify will be eligible for faster visa processing.

Additional information: The Global Talent route will replace the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent on Feb. 20. U.K. Research and Innovation (UKRI) will manage the fast-track scheme. Under the program:

  • Recognized U.K. research projects will be able to sponsor top international scientists, researchers and mathematicians, who will then be eligible to have their visa applications fast-tracked.
  • Officials will double the number of fellowships that provide for fast-track visa processing.
  • Dependents will continue to have full access to the U.K. labor market.
  • Eligible scientists, researchers and mathematicians will not be required to hold an offer of employment before coming to the U.K.
  • Scientists, researchers and mathematicians endorsed on the route will be eligible for an accelerated path to settlement. They will also be provided an exemption from U.K. absence rules when applying for settlement if they had to be overseas for their work.

While the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route was capped at 2,000 applicants per year, there will be no cap on the Global Talent route.

Analysis & Comments: The new visa program aims to help companies recruit foreign labor in the science and research sectors and is part of a broader effort to bring top foreign talent in scientific fields to the U.K. Additional information may become available closer to the Feb. 20 launch date, and Deloitte will update clients as needed.

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