Campaigners welcome settlement exemption for scientists

The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the UK’s leading independent advocacy group for the sector, welcomed today’s announced exemption of most scientists and engineers from the Government’s new restrictions on settlement rights for migrants. The group had expressed concerns that limiting the length of stay to a maximum of five years could deter some of the world’s brightest talent from considering the UK as a destination.Imran Khan, director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, commented:

“We’re really pleased the Government has taken on board our concerns and exempted migrants in PhD-level positions from the new restrictions on settlement. These individuals form a critical part of the UK’s word-leading science base, and it’s vital for the UK’s economy that we can continue to attract the world’s best talent to come here. The Home Office’s willingness to engage on this issue bodes well for the UK’s global, high-tech future.”

“British companies, universities, and research institutes are in a global competition to attract the world’s top talent, so it’s vital that they have the support of Government. After a rocky start, the Government has now made a series of positive changes. There are still enormous challenges – for instance, new student visa restrictions could undermine the success of our Higher Education Industry, and it’s important the Government changes it’s definition of ‘migrants’ to exclude student visitors. But we’re hopeful that the sector, working with Government, can find a solution.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. CaSE is the Campaign for Science and Engineering, the UK’s leading independent advocacy group for the STEM sectors. www.sciencecampaign.org.uk

2. You can find CaSE’s letter to The Times on this issue, signed by two former Presidents of the Royal Society and the Director of the Wellcome Trust, here: http://sciencecampaign.org.uk/?p=7867

3. You can find an archive of CaSE’s previous work on immigration here: http://sciencecampaign.org.uk/?tag=immigration

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