Scientists, Engineers and the Immigration Cap

CaSE has responded to the measures announced by the Home Secretary on Wednesday aimed at limiting the number of non-EU migrants entering the UK. We welcome the efforts made by the Home Office to cater for the UK’s need to attract and accept talented scientists and engineers, however, we remain concerned that the changes to the systems may well decrease the number of such individuals who can enter the country.

CaSE has produced a briefing document – Science, Engineering, and the Immigration Cap: Preliminary Reaction & Proposals – analysing the Government’s announcements.

While we welcome the explicit recognition of scientists and engineers under the new ‘exceptional talent’ route, these entrants will be capped at 1,000. Thus, concerns remain that the migration system will significantly reduce the numbers of scientists and engineers entering the UK. We urge the Government to revise the Tier 2 criteria so that it is fairer to those working in academia and also recognises the strategic importance of allowing scientists and engineers to invest their skills in the UK. The last section contains CaSE’s own proposals on how the Points Based System could be reformed to give better recognition to the skills of scientists and engineers.

Writing for the Guardian on the immigration cap CaSE Director Imran Khan said:

It…makes you wonder how joined-up the government’s policymaking is. It has frozen and ring-fenced part of the science budget, but to make the most of that investment, we need to be spending it on the best available talent. (Theresa) May raised our hopes by saying we can attract more researchers to the UK, and suggesting that scientists and engineers will have their own visa category. We need more than words. This country is a global hub for research: the government’s plans could put that in jeopardy.

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