Aiming to remain a competitive force around the world the government has decided to encourage exceptionally talented leaders from science, humanities, engineering and the arts fields to come to the UK in order to maintain excellence.
A new Tier 1 category- Exceptional Talent- will open on 9 August 2011 available to those who have been recognised and those with the potential to be recognised as leaders in their respective fields. During the first year of implementation a cap of 1,000 places has been issued. Between the 9 August and 30 November 500 places are available and from 1 December to 31 March 2012 a further 500. At the end of March 2012 places will be reviewed.
The UK Boarder agency will be advised by the world renowned ‘competent bodies’, on Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) to ensure ‘exceptionally talented’ migrants are the brightest and best in their field:
- The Royal Society, a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists, will be able to nominate up to 300 places;
- Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, will also be able to nominate up to 300 places;
- The Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain’s national academy for engineering, will have up to 200 places to nominate; and
- The British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences will be able to nominate up to 200 places.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
“The UK is a global leader in science, humanities and engineering and we are a cultural centre for the arts: we will continue to welcome those who have the most to offer and contribute to our society and economy. Our new exceptional talent route, available for up to 1,000 applicants, will ensure that we continue to attract the brightest into the UK and keep the UK a global leader. This comes at a time of major reform of the immigration system to bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands, tackle abuses and make sure that the immigration system meets the needs of the country.”
Migrants seeking entry to the UK under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) will not need to be sponsored by an employer, but will need to be recommended by one of the competent bodies.
Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said:
‘We welcome the launch of this special visa scheme, which will enable the very best artists of international standing to live and work in the UK. ‘The international exchange of artists enriches their art, and I’m sure audiences will welcome the opportunity to experience the finest artistic talent from across the world.’
Each competent body will select those who will qualify for recommendation; the UK Boarder Agency has published the criteria for their endorsement.
The President of the British Academy, Sir Adam Roberts, said:
“The Humanities and Social Sciences are flourishing in the UK and attract many excellent scholars from overseas. The British Academy is ready to play its part in identifying those outstanding scholars for whom Tier 1 is the appropriate visa category.”
The government has allotted a number of places to each body; nevertheless it will be open to the competent bodies to transfer additional places to those with more demand if necessary.
The President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, said:
“The UK is a global leader in science because we can attract the best minds from around the world to work with our own home-grown talent. The government has listened to the science community’s concerns about jeopardising our international leadership by restricting the immigration of scientists and the Royal Society will play its part in ensuring that the very best international talent can continue to come to the UK to work.”
Those admitted under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) category will initially be granted permission to stay for 3 years and 4 months. They will then be able to extend their stay for a further 2 years, and settlement may be available after 5 years residence in the UK.
President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Sir John Parker FREng, said:
“In order to safeguard the UK’s future competitiveness, we must ensure that it remains an attractive destination for world class engineers. I am confident that this new visa route will help to encourage global excellence to come to the UK.”
At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.
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