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Royal Society monitoring visa problems

Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, has written to universities asking them to inform his organisation about any problems they are experiencing with the government’s new visa rules.

In a letter sent on 20 October and seen by Research Fortnight Today, Nurse reveals the reservations with which the RS has agreed to vet scientists wishing to enter the UK on an “exceptional talent” visa. It has “reluctantly agreed” to examine applications in order to endorse up to 300 candidates, he writes.

Arts Council England will also be able to endorse up to 300 candidates, while the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Academy will each be able to endorse 200.

Nurse has asked universities to share any issues they are experiencing with the immigration system in order to “ascertain if the current migration arrangements are having a negative impact on the movement of scientists to the UK”.

The letter says the Royal Society has a particular interest in problems with Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas as well as those for academic visitors.