There’s some positive news in the research communities across the world from the UK with the introduction of the “UKRI Science, Research and Academia scheme’ which was announced by the Immigration Minister on Friday (6th of July). The new scheme allows non-EEA researches, academics and scientists to enter and stay in the United Kingdom for up to two years.

The new scheme is being added to the Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Government Authorized Exchange) route of immigration. The introduction of such an immigration scheme by the UK has been seen as great encouragement for the growth in the research sector of Britain. The faith in research and innovation has always been a British trait and this scheme carries the same spirit.

The immigration scheme will be directly operated by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), meaning that the organization, along with 12 other approved research organizations n the UK, will be able to directly sponsor highly skilled individuals from abroad, to work and train with them in the UK.

The sponsor organizations will be monitored by the UKRI as scheme owners, however, they would also require individual Tier 5 Sponsor license.

“I recognize the crucial contribution science makes to the UK economy and society and I am determined that the UK will continue to welcome leading scientific and research talent from around the world,” the immigration minister Caroline Nokes said in his statement.

The UK has always been a world leader in research and innovation since the times of the Industrial Revolution, and these changes will make it significantly simpler for international researchers to work and train in the UK.

UKRI chief executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said:

“Research and innovation are inherently international, as are the unprecedented 21st-century challenges we must address.”

Collaboration between nations is an essential part of the furthering of global knowledge through research, and the UK aims to be at the centre of this global movement. The aim is to achieve this goal by creating a more inviting immigration policy for international researchers to train and also work, in the UK.

The Tier 5 GAE is currently the principle visa route by which non-EEA nationals (including Indians) who wish to undertake training and work in the research sector of the UK, are able to come to the UK. The route allows individuals entering the UK through this route to stay for up to 2 years.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will monitor the activity of the scheme on a regular basis along with the UKRI, to provide assurance that it is meeting the criteria for a Tier 5 scheme.

This initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to making the UK a dynamic nation keen on keeping with the spirit of innovation and excellence. The scheme builds on other recent reforms to the visa system, including:

  • Doubling the number of visas available on the Exceptional Talent route to 2,000 per year;
  • A New Start-up visa route which will replace the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route and widen the pool of candidates who can apply to launch a new business in the UK beyond graduates endorsed by higher education institutions;
  • Removing doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 cap;

It certainly seems like the UK is heading in the right direction when it comes to academia and research. We at The SmartMove2UK are quite optimistic about the new plans ahead. Our Principal Solicitor at The SmartMove2UK opines on the new scheme for overseas researchers by the UK.

“At The Smartmove2UK we welcome UK government’s commitment to making the UK a dynamic, open, globally – oriented nation and this initiative will boost academia & research efforts globally. As it will allow overseas researchers to access world-class research infrastructure and thinking that exists in the UK.”

As Always, Think UK Visas, Think The SmartMove2UK.

Want to know more about Tier 5 Researchers Visa in the UK then you can connect with us on

Stay Informed

Receive regular updates about your UK Visa News, Guidelines, New UK Visa Law and more.

[contact-form-7 id="7471" title="uk visa newsletter sign up"]

Liked the article? You can share it too!