Non-sponsored visa to be introduced for science, research and tech experts – return to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme?

Mar 4, 2021

On 20 February 2021 the Chancellor of Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced plans for a new fast-track visa scheme to help start-up and rapidly growing tech firms attract talent from overseas.

Qualifying applicants will no longer need to obtain a third-party endorsement, or a job offer from a sponsoring organisation, simplifying the current rules and making it easier for engineers, scientists and researchers to come to the UK.

Non-sponsored visa science research tech

compiled by Judit Adorjan

This elite points-based route is an acknowledgement that the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system has restrained some businesses and is aimed particularly at fintech firms that are often heavily reliant on European talent.

The final details are still being drawn up, however it is expected to be similar to the Global Talent visa launched last year. Within this visa there will be a scale-up stream to allow those with a job offer at the required skill level from a recognised UK scale-up to qualify for a fast-track visa. This is due to introduced by March 2022.

The 2021 Budget also reveals an upcoming reform for the Global Talent route by expanding the criteria in Spring 2021 so that global prize winners automatically qualify and from Autumn 2021 including winners of scholarships and other elite programmes for early promise.

The Innovator route is also due for a review in Summer 2021 aiming to make it easier for skilled and experienced individuals to set up innovative businesses in the UK.

A new Global Business Mobility visa will be launched by spring 2022 for overseas businesses to establish a presence or transfer staff to the UK.

Sponsorship processes will be streamlined to make them easier to use. A delivery road map of the new and improved immigration system is expected to be published in the Summer 2021.

The chancellor is promising to support small firms who are navigating the sponsorship system for the first time.

The Global Entrepreneur programme will be expanded to establish a global outreach strategy for building an overseas talent network and marketing the UK’s visa offering.


Non-sponsored visa science research tech

Karen Kaur and Jonathan Beech – Immigration Lawyers


If you would like more information on this new category or any other immigration routes, contact Migrate UK 01235 841 568 or email