News Archive - February 2020

Sociologist UK Work Permit Fight Sparks Outrage

14 Feb 2020 | Carl Thomas

Following Brexit, the UK government has claimed that it will be doing everything possible to make sure that the country is open to global talent. Boris Johnson has now discussed reducing the cap on the amount that a person needs to earn to get a UK work permit. Additionally, there’s a new visa being introduced into the system that will allow the country to woo more researchers from overseas.

However, while the updates to the UK work permit seem largely positive, many angry academics have responded, saying that the Home Office still refuses to grant residency to worthwhile individuals. For instance, an Indian sociologist at Cambridge University, Dr Asiya Islam has not been able to achieve a UK work permit or right to remain in the UK, even though she has lived in the country for more than 10 years. The Home office refused her application in November, stating that she has spent too many days outside of Britain.

However, Dr Asiya has responded to this statement, saying that her time spent out of the country was conducted on a research period, which is backed up by the Cambridge University. The government’s global talent visa, which is announced to support researchers, is designed to help universities and other societies endorse applicants. This new visa will also make it easier for people on a specific form of work permit to spend time outside of the UK.

If Dr Asiya had access to the new work permit, she would have no problem remaining in the UK. That is why many think tanks and groups have urged the Home Office to reconsider her case, particularly because she is such a valuable academic.

With the sector already in crisis, many of Asiya’s colleagues are concerned about whether she will have an opportunity to re-enter the UK, particularly since Islam will not be able to reapply for right to remain now that her tier 2 visa has been rejected.