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Margaret Harris: November 2010 Archives

By Margaret Harris

UK government proposals to cap the numbers of skilled non-EU immigrants could seriously hurt the country’s science departments and hi-tech industries. That, at least, is the message in an editorial in this week’s Nature, which goes on discuss how such a cap could make it hard for UK institutions to recruit and retain the best overseas scientists.

But I think there’s an unexplored question here, which is this: how hard is it to qualify for a highly skilled worker visa to the UK under current rules? Would a typical postdoc make the cut? How about a more senior scientist? And, for that matter, how about you?

In the interests of finding out, I paid a visit to the UK Border Agency’s Points-Based-System calculator. The calculator allows you to see how many points you’d earn under the current system based on various attributes like income, age and qualifications.