Consultation on Tier 2 immigration visas

The Academy has been engaged with the Migration Advisory Committee’s reviews of Tier 2 immigration visas.

Status: Ongoing

The Academy has been engaged with the Migration Advisory Committee’s reviews of Tier 2 visas. The Committee was commissioned by the Home Secretary to consult and report on various aspects of the current Tier 2 visa system, which represents the major route for non-EEA international researchers entering the UK research base.

The Academy submitted evidence to the Committee’s initial review focussed specifically on Tier 2 visa salary thresholds. Our submission urged the to Committee to ensure that any threshold changes were proportionate to the average salaries paid within biomedical research, particularly recognising the difference between clinical and non-clinical researchers.  We stressed that any additional barriers to international appointments risked isolating the UK from the global talent pool, creating an adverse impact on our world-leading research institutions.

We have subsequently engaged with the Committee’s broader review, and made a joint submission with our sister Academies which emphasised the value of non-EU researchers to the UK, and the importance of maintaining the ability of UK institutions to recruit them. These messages were reinforced by a joint sector-wide statement to the Committee, signed by a broad range of Academies, Universities and research organisations, which  highlighted the value of drawing on the international labour market alongside existing domestic capacity building, and the value of technical experts.

Following the publication of the Committee's report in January 2016, the Presidents of the National Academies jointly wrote to Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, and James Brokenshire, Minister for Immigration, to ask that the research sector be given special consideration if the government implements two of the MAC's recommendations in particular. These recommendations relate to the minimum salary thresholds for the Tier 2 route and the proposed introduction of an Immigration Skills Charge.

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