18 October 2010

UK Visa cap threatens future of cutting edge genetic research

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The UK Visa cap will mean Britain’s leading genetic lab will struggle to continue with cutting edge research, its director has warned.

UK Visa

The UK Visa cap threatens Britain's ability to attract experts to work on scientific projects.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, employs many scientists from outside the European Economic Area but only a few would qualify to stay under the new UK Visa rules.
The institute’s pioneering work in human genetic variation and its influence on many diseases like Aids, cancer, flu and malaria, will be jeopardised because of the difficulty in recruiting experts.

Professor Mike Stratton, the institute’s director, said the coalition’s restrictions to UK immigration will hinder Sanger’s ability to produce science at the highest level.

The Coalition Government introduced a temporary UK Visa cap on non EU migrants of 24,100 until April, when a permanent cap will be introduced. The points system for skilled migrants has also been tightened.
As a result, only four of 19 Sanger scientists with the broadest type of work permit would be able to stay.

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