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British Academy responds to House of Commons Science & Technology Committee report

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The British Academy has responded to the publication of the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee report, An immigration system that works for science and innovation.

The report follows a joint contribution from the UK National Academies calling for measures to attract and retain highly-skilled people to UK academia to underpin research and innovation as well as maintaining present opportunities for UK nationals to study and work elsewhere in the EU. In particular, the British Academy welcomes the recommendations to remove the cap on Tier 2 (General) visas, to reducing the cost of applying for a visa, to review the operation of the shortage occupation list and to reinstate the Tier 1 (post-study work) visa route.

In response, Ash Amin, Foreign Secretary at the British Academy, said:

“We welcome the Science and Technology Committee’s report today on the UK’s immigration system and hope that these recommendations are given serious consideration. The UK’s position as a world-leader in research depends on its ability to attract the best international talent. It is therefore vital that we have an immigration system that works for academics and researchers.

“We were particularly pleased to see a recommendation to remove the caps on Tier 2 visas and review the associated costs, which are burdensome and can be prohibitive for academic staff with dependents. These costs are equivalent on average to 11% of their annual salary. These are a vital route in for researchers and academics who contribute enormously to our research environment.

“Moreover, the Committee is absolutely right to recognise the role of Tier 1 visas for exceptional talent and the role of the national academies as designated competent bodies in endorsing the applications. We agree, too, that post-study talent visas, would contribute to the UK’s competitiveness and strengthen the UK research community.”

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