Lord Crisp – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Crisp on 2015-11-30.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to review their current immigration policies to enable universities, research institutes, and other science and health-based organisations to recruit talent globally.

Lord Bates

Our current immigration policies, categories and processes already explicitly take account of the needs of academics, scientists and researchers. We have consistently protected and enhanced the treatment of these roles in the immigration system, even whilst restricting migration in other spheres.

In Tier 2, the skilled work route, we have given PhD level roles, which include academics, scientists and researchers, higher priority when allocating places within the annual limit and relaxed rules relating to recruitment and settlement. We have introduced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route for world leaders in science, engineering, humanities, the arts and digital technology, and several universities and research organisations are making use of this route. The Tier 5 (Temporary Work) route contains provisions to enable sponsored researchers to participate in international research collaborations, and for overseas medical and dental post-graduates to undertake training in the UK.

The immigration system also supports the health sector, with several health professions, including doctors in emergency medicine, included on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). Nurses have been added to the SOL as a temporary measure, pending a full review of the evidence by the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

We keep all immigration routes under review to ensure they are working effectively in line with the Government’s migration objectives. For the future, we have commissioned the MAC to advise on restricting Tier 2 to genuine skills shortages and jobs which require highly-specialised experts, but with sufficient flexibility to include high value roles and key public service workers. We await the MAC’s report with interest and will consider it carefully before making any significant changes.