UK introduces new fast-track visa to attract scientists

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new fast-track visa to attract more of the world’s best scientists to the United Kingdom (UK) in hopes of creating a global science “superpower”.

Johnson paired the announcement of the Global Talent route programme with a pledge of GBP300 million (USD392 million) for research into advanced mathematics.

The money will help fund researchers and doctoral students whose work in math underpins myriad developments such as safer air travel, smart phone technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

The new visa route will have no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK under the programme. It starts next month.

“The UK has a proud history of scientific discovery, but to lead the field and face the challenges of the future we need to continue to invest in talent and cutting edge research,’’ Johnson said in a statement. “That is why as we leave the European Union (EU), I want to send a message that the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world, and stand ready to support them to turn their ideas into reality.”

Britain is facing its biggest immigration shake-up in decades after it leaves the EU Friday.