The UK set to lift the cap on PhD-level work visas

March 15, 2019
The U.K. government has a new plan to remove any limit applied on granting the number of work visas at the PhD-level. This development has the potential to benefit Indians in a big way. In fact, they will be the largest professionals group to receive this benefit.

The UK set to lift the cap on PhD-level work visas

The announcement

Philip Hammond, the U.K. Chancellor announced this update, in the annual Spring Statement. This will be implemented later this year. Additionally, top qualified roles will not have any cap on the numbers who can apply and arrive for work in Britain.

A major part of the plan is to support Britain for remaining at the forefront of the present technological revolution. It is a great force to transform the economy. Furthermore, such an ambition needs total support and from Autumn 2019 onwards the PhD-level roles will be completely exempt from any Tier 2 (General) cap.

Simultaneously the government will issue an update in the immigration rules regarding 180-day absences. As a result, the researchers who conduct fieldwork overseas will not face a penalty if they apply for settling in the United Kingdom.

Indians benefit from the new rules 

As per the recent data issued by the UK Home Office, Indians account for 54% in such visas in 2018. This is the largest share of top skilled professionals in the Tier 2 work visas General category. Indians also had the largest increase by 6% in receiving Tier 2 visas in 2018. This corresponds to 3,023 additional visas in comparison to 2017.  Several universities in the Kingdom have welcomed this visa exemption of the U.K. government. They are the major employers of global researchers. Universities UK International, the representative body for higher education institutions, stated that the U.K has only 0.9% global population, but its output in the highly-cited research articles in the world is 15.9%.

The next step here will be getting an academic job for these Ph.D. graduates. The UK is home to a great number of opportunities in various sectors. Even the companies in the private sector help them to have an orientation in research to meet their aspirations.

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