The new points-based immigration system, which launched in December 2020, is based largely on the previous system but over time more points-based elements will be introduced. An overview of the new immigration system is provided on the Home Office website. The main visa routes of relevance within the collegiate University, are:
- the Skilled Worker visa route which is the main work route. Skilled Worker visas are for those coming to the UK who have a job offer from an employer which holds a Skilled Worker sponsor licence. Within the University the Tier 2 visa route, which this route has replaced, was used mainly for research roles but also covered statisticians, bioinformatians, lecturers, engineers, and other specialist roles including those in IT. A wider range of roles are now sponsorable than were under Tier 2;
- the Global Talent visa route has been expanded slightly. The Global Talent visa route is used for emerging leaders in academic and research roles, which includes senior appointments, such as Associate and Statutory Professorships, researchers who hold certain fellowships or whose roles are funded by certain 'endorsed funders', and some technical roles which are essential to research projects funded by certain 'endorsed funders';
- the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa route is used for research, training and work experience has not changed significantly. The University holds a licence for the Tier 5 Sponsored Researcher subcategory which is used for visits to participate in collaborative research;
- the Student visa route is based on the existing Tier 4 student visa route, which it replaced on 5 October 2020;
- a new Graduate Route to be launched in summer 2021, under which students will be able to stay and work, or look for work, for two (undergraduate and Masters students) or three (PhD students) years after they graduate;
- Visitor visa routes which have not significantly changed; and
- some other visa routes which will remain largely unchanged (such as Tier 5 Youth Mobility, UK Ancestry, creative, sporting and religious worker routes, which are not seen as often within the collegiate University).
Family members will be able to apply for Dependant visas under most of these visa routes and under the new immigration system it is easier to switch from one visa route to another (as long as the relevant visa requirements can be met) without having to leave the UK. Switching from the Visitor, Short Term Student, or other temporary visa routes, howeever, is not permitted.
Europeans will, in most cases, need to apply for and be granted a visa before coming to the UK and will have to pay visa fees and the NHS Surcharge. Current visa fees are detailed in the 'Costs' pages of the guidance on the current visa routes found at the links above. The Immigration Health (or NHS) Surcharge is a charge per year for the length of the visa, which must be paid in full when applying for the visa, and then ensures access to treatment through the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS Surcharge increased on 27 October from £400 per year, to £624 per year for the main applicant and their partner and £470 per year for Dependants under 18.
Those with queries can contact the department, faculty, or college offering employment or hosting a visit in the first instance, or the Staff Immigration Team.