CaSE calls on Prime Minister to revise current visa restrictions

Posted by
Fri, 09/03/2018 - 08:59

CaSE has today published a letter sent to the Prime Minister, calling on the government to take urgent action in revising current immigration policy to better attract international research and innovation talent. The letter is supported by over 40 organisations from across business, universities, ​professional institutes, and research charities.


Training and attracting talented people is critical to the success of the Industrial Strategy and to the UK’s productivity. Alongside nationwide efforts to develop the UK's domestic skills base, it will always be desirable to attract talent from abroad. However this is currently being hampered by the cap on Tier 2 (General) visas - the main route for international skilled workers to enter the UK workplace. Due to the cap being reached in each of the last three months, hundreds of business-critical roles across the economy are going unfilled, and repeated visa rejections are ​damaging​ the UK's international appeal.


CaSE's letter today calls on the government to take positive action in recognition that circumstances have significantly changed since the Tier 2 visa cap was introduced, and to exempt roles on the Government's​ Shortage Occupation List and PhD level roles from the cap. Such a move would be widely welcomed; relieving pressure on the cap, renewing business-confidence, and enhancing prospects for boosting the UK's economic prosperity.

Commenting, CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main said:


"Surely it is shooting ourselves in the foot to deny visas to engineering, tech and medical specialists ​recruited to the UK to fill a specific need. Yet this is now happening, alongside many other business-critical roles, leaving employers frustrated and the public poorly served. 


To​ ​relieve pressure on the system, roles on the Government's Shortage Occupation List and PhD level roles should be made exempt from the Tier 2 visa cap. This would allow recognised skills shortages to be filled and would create the headroom to allow the visa cap to operate effectively for other business roles."

This letter is supported by the following 46 organisations:


Arthritis Research UK Loughborough University
Association of Medical Research Charities Microbiology Society
Babraham Institute Prospect
BASF Royal Astronomical Society
Biochemical Society Royal Society of Biology
BioIndustry Association Royal Society of Chemistry
British Chambers of Commerce Royal Society of Edinburgh
British Heart Foundation Society for Applied Microbiology
British Psychological Society The Association for United Kingdom Interactive
British Society for Immunology    Entertainment
Cancer Research UK The Entrepreneurs Network
Canterbury Christ Church University The Geological Society
Council of Professors and Heads of Computing The Institution of Mathematics and its
EEF    Applications
Food and Drink Federation The Learned Society of Wales
Institute of Acoustics The Manufacturing Technologies Association
Institute of Directors The Physiological Society
Institute of Physics UK Deans of Science
Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine Ulster University
Institution of Environmental Sciences University College London
Institution of Mechanical Engineers University of Aberdeen
John Innes Centre University of Kent
London First Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 
London Metropolitan University Zoological Society of London