Brexit and immigration
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After coming into office last Wednesday, one of Boris Johnson’s first moves was to appoint Priti Patel as his Home Secretary. Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated that the rights of EU migrants will be protected in the post-Brexit UK, also referring to an intention to investigate an “Australian-style point-based” immigration policy, which is “tougher on those who abuse our hospitality” and “more open to high-skilled immigration”.
Though it seems, for the time being at least, that no new legislation is on its way to protect the UK’s current (and future) migrant population, it is yet to be seen how any new “Australian style” system will differ to that which is currently in place. However, given the aims of “reducing migration pressures on jobs and wages” and lowering migration generally, it seems likely that we will see a continued shift in policy towards a tighter border.
Meanwhile, the proposed increase in funding for research and development in the UK could mean that more individuals are able to apply under the Research and Innovation Talent visa for those with exceptional talent and exceptional promise in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, social science and humanities.
This visa is intended to assist in delivering on the Government’s target of becoming the world’s most innovative economy, with 2.4% of GDP investment in research and development by 2027. The number of visas available through this route is currently capped at 250 annually, though there is an option to issue up to a further 1,000 visas on a first come, first served basis across the five designated competent bodies.
As ever, immigration in the Brexit environment remains a critical area and we will continue to monitor developments.
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