UK's New Visa Route: A Boon for Indian Researchers, Academicians, and Scientists
On Friday, July 6, 2018, the Theresa May government announced a new visa route for non-European researchers, academicians, and scientists including Indians. This would enable the workers to train and work in the UK for a period of two years. The UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) Science, Research and Academia scheme shells out new opportunities to non-European researchers, especially, Indians. It has been added to the Tier-5 visa route (Temporary worker– Government Authorised Exchange) that has more than 60 categories inclusive of the Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships plan.
The Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE)
It is the primary route through which professionals hailing from a non-European background (outside the European Economic zone) can enter the UK in the search of work and practical experience. The Tier 5 GAE scheme admits these professionals to practice their work for a maximum period of two years. It is a mutually beneficial scheme that allows the UK to gain experienced labor while, on the other hand, the individuals get an opportunity to gain international exposure.
UKRI- UK Research and Innovation
The UKRI Science, Research, and Academia Scheme aim to boost UK’s research sector growth. It brings together the country’s seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England to make the UK a “dynamic, open, globally-trading" nation. The new route applicants can expect support and sponsorship from the UKRI along with 12 other research organizations like the Natural History Museum to train highly skilled individuals.
The Home Office confirmed that UK’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) would regularly monitor the activity of this scheme with UKRI to reassure that the criteria are being met according to the Tier 5 scheme.
Apart from this new scheme, the UK made some more reforms in the country’s visa rules by removing the professions of doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 visa cap, in the past months. This allowed Indian doctors to address staff shortages in the National Health Service (NHS) which is funded by the state.
Currently, there are also talks of a new start-up visa route that would replace the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) rule and expand the candidate pool of candidates seeking to launch a business in the UK. This is open to all applicants in the pool apart from the graduate applicants coming from reputed educational institutes or colleges.
In an interview with Caroline Nokes, Immigration Minister-UK, she recognizes the vital contribution that new talents would be bringing to the UK’s economy and society. She believes that the UK would continue welcoming international scientific and research talent through the new visa alterations.
According to the UKRI chief executive Mark Walport, "Global collaboration through the movement of talented people plays an essential role in meeting these challenges and this new scheme will provide further support for international researchers to work and train in the UK”.
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