The route replaces the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route and, for the first time, UK Research and Innovation will endorse applicants from the scientific and research community.
It will provide for a new fast-track scheme which will enable UK-based research projects that have received awards, including from the European Space Agency and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, to recruit global talent.
“This announcement signals that the UK remains open to talent from around the world”
Ministers explained that it would also double the number of eligible fellowships which enable applicants to be fast-tracked, and provide an “accelerated path” to settled status for researchers who are endorsed on the route.
The reforms to the Global Talent route coincide with an investment of up to £300 million to fund experimental mathematical sciences research over the next five years.
Commenting on the announcement, prime minister, Boris Johnson, said that to lead the field and face the challenges of the future “we need to continue to invest in talent and cutting edge research”.
“That is why as we leave the 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,” he added.
President of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of Brunel University London, Julia Buckingham described the Global Talent visa as a positive step towards this for UK universities.
“Universities are globally connected and this announcement signals that the UK remains open to talent from around the world,” she said.
The immigration rules to bring the visa changes into effect will be made on January 30, and come into effect on February 20.