Written by Monica Atwal and

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Immigration rules are to be relaxed by the Home Office today with the introduction of a new ‘UKRI Science, Research and Academia’ scheme which allows non-EEA researchers, scientists and academics to come to the UK for up to 2 years.

The new scheme will be added to the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa route. It has been introduced to reflect and encourage ongoing growth of the research sector in the UK.

The Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) category is for people coming to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice, and to experience the social and cultural life of the UK. This category cannot be used to fill job vacancies or to bring unskilled labour to the UK. Tier 5 GAE schemes and sponsors are listed in Appendix N of the Immigration Rules.

The ‘UKRI Science, Research and Academia’ scheme will be operated by UK Research and Innovation and along with 12 approved research organisations such as the National History Museum, will be able to directly sponsor highly skilled individuals such as specialist technicians to work and train in the UK.

6th July 2018