Britain plans to relax immigration rules for scientists

Vastavam web: 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. “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.

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. Leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have warned the sector could be badly damaged if divorce from the European Union goes ahead without a deal, shattering research links and deterring the brightest from studying in Britain.

In the 2018/19 academic year, the number of EU students enrolling in Britain’s leading universities fell by 3 percent, with the biggest drop hitting postgraduate research courses. Johnson, who led the campaign to leave the EU, has advocated an Australian-style, points-based immigration system to give the government more control to attract talent needed to fill gaps in the workforce.

“Our universities strive to recruit the most talented staff and students, wherever they are from,” the Russell Group’s senior policy analyst Hollie Chandler said. “The government’s announcement today will help them do so.”