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Just the One

Only one person has successfully applied for a visa under the UK's Global Talent scheme, New Scientist reports.

The fast-track visa program was announced in 2020 as a means of attracting and retaining top researchers, as worries had arisen that Brexit would deter high-profile researchers from working in the UK. The program streamlines the visa application process, and the UK Research and Innovation Agency, rather than the Home Office, weighs the applications scientific grounds. The path is further eased for individuals who have received prestigious prizes, such as a Lasker, Japan, or Nobel prize.

But New Scientist reports that the Global Talent visa program has only had one successful candidate in the year since it was implemented. In the first six months of the program, it previously reported, there were no candidates. It adds that the Home Office declined to say where the individual was from or what prize that person had received due to privacy concerns.

"I am surprised indeed, but mostly by the fact that even a single person found this special visa process helpful," Nobel Laureate Andre Geim from the University of Manchester tells it.