LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will relax its immigration rules to attract more elite scientists after Brexit by seeking to fast-track visas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to welcome King Abdullah II of Jordan outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
“To ensure we continue to lead the way in the advancement of knowledge, we have to not only support the talent that we already have here, but also ensure our immigration system attracts the very best minds from around the world,” he said.
The fast-track immigration route, which the government hopes to launch later this year, would be designed to attract elite researchers and specialists in science, engineering and technology, Johnson’s office said.
It could abolish the cap on numbers eligible for the current Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visas, ensure dependents of successful applicants can access the British labour market and remove the requirement of having a job offer before arriving.
Other options for the new system, which will be created after talks with leading institutions and universities, could also expand the pool of research institutes and colleges that can endorse candidates and accelerate their path to settlement.
Business groups and universities backed the move, and called for the reforms to go further to help Britain address its skills shortages, particular