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Science: Migrant Workers

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 162589, tabled on 3 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with the Home Secretary on the potential effect of the Global Talent visa system reforms announced in Budget 2021 on the number of overseas applications for science and technology positions; and if he will make an estimate of the number of (a) scientists and (b) researchers that will apply for that visa in its first year of operation after reforms have been implemented.

Answered on

12 March 2021

The Government is committed to making the UK the top destination in the world for scientist, researcher and innovator talent. That is why in the 2021 Budget, the Government announced planned changes to the UK immigration system to help the UK attract and retain the most highly skilled, globally mobile talent from around the world and ensure the continued competitiveness of our high-growth, innovative sectors. These changes include the introduction of an elite points-based visa, a review of the Innovator visa route, and reforms to the Global Talent visa, including to allow recipients of international prizes to automatically qualify.

We are working closely with the Home Office on these matters, and my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy speaks regularly with my Rt. Hon. Friend the Home Secretary to discuss our plans for growth and to build back better, of which these immigration announcements are key components.

Further details on the policies and impact assessments will be published in due course. The Government expects these immigration changes to attract an additional 10-20,000 high-skilled migrants to the UK per year across all high-skilled routes to turbo-charge our post pandemic recovery and stimulate the UK’s longer-term growth.