In recent years, the fields of science, research and innovation have become increasingly important to the British government.
In fact, it’s so high up on the agenda that there’s now a specific visa route dedicated to attracting the world’s top talent in science and medicine.
The Global Talent Visa offers a fast-track immigration path for international scientists and researchers to live and work in the UK.
Not only that but the government is investing heavily in the sector. Examples are a recent commitment of £300 million towards advanced mathematics research and ongoing investment in vaccine developments.
Plus, there is no cap on how many people can apply through the science and medicine category. This means there is a huge demand in the UK for leaders in the field.
There are a few steps that have to be followed though to apply for the visa. And it all starts with being endorsed by the Royal Society.
As a scientist or researcher, you cannot apply for a UK Global Talent Visa unless you have received official endorsement by the Royal Society first.
In case you’re not familiar with the organisation, let’s take a quick look at what it does and its involvement in the visa process.
The Royal Society was set up in 1660 and is the UK’s national independent science academy.
It has a fellowship of 1,600 scientists from around the world and believes in the benefit of science for all humanity.
When the Global Talent Visa was launched in early 2020, Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, welcomed the move and the opportunity for the organisation to work with top talent.
“This is a welcome and attractive visa route that will help encourage talented researchers and specialists from all over the world, and at all stages of their careers, to choose to work in the UK,” Ramakrishnan said.
“It sends out a positive message that the UK is committed to remaining open to overseas science talent who would collaborate with our outstanding home-grown minds.
“What is good for science is good for everybody and can help tackle important challenges such as climate change or disease.”
For those that are interested in applying, there are four ways that you can be endorsed by the Royal Society:
If you fall into one of the above categories, you can ask the Royal Society to endorse you. This means the organisation recognises your value and contribution to the industry as a scientist or researcher.
Then the next step is to start the application process with the Home Office.
After being endorsed by the Royal Society, the Home Office (aka the British Government) has to approve the endorsement. For this, you have to submit an online application.
You can apply as a leader (exceptional talent) or an emerging leader (exceptional promise) in your field of work. The fee for this is £456 and the application process usually takes eight weeks.
Once the Home Office approves the endorsement, you can then submit the full visa application. This second part of the application is also online and costs £152, or £97 if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia.
As a guidance on timescales, applicants usually get a decision on the visa application within three weeks.
If the application is approved, you will then be able to live and work in the UK for up to five years. Even better, with this visa you can change jobs without telling the Home Office, leave the UK for travel, and bring family members with you.
The Global Talent Visa can even be a route to UK settlement if you want to live in the country permanently.
You can apply for settlement after three years if you’re classed as an exceptional talent, or you’ve been endorsed by the UKRI endorsed funder scheme.
So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to progress your career in science and medicine while pursuing a new life in the UK, the Global Talent Visa could be the right choice for you.
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