Future Technology Research & Innovation – What Employers Need to Know.

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Introduced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the new Future Technology Research and Innovation scheme enables employers to sponsor international researchers and research interns who wish to carry out short-term (up to 1 or 2 years) work, research or training placements in the UK.

This scheme allows individuals to move to the UK temporarily for work experience, job shadowing or training. It also enables them to take part in an Overseas Government Language Programme, or in the case of the new FTRI scheme – undertake research or a fellowship through an approved exchange scheme.

To successfully sponsor an individual in this scheme, businesses must register their interest as expressed below.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to sponsor researchers through the FTRI scheme, each of the following criteria must be met:

  1. A UK business must be undertaking research and/or innovation in a critical technology specified in the UK Science & Technology Framework. These include artificial intelligence, engineering biology, future telecommunications, quantum technologies or semi conducts.
  2. The business must hold an A-rated Skilled Worker licence.
  3. The business must currently be in receipt, or have previously been in receipt, of Innovate UK funding.

How can we register interest?

UK businesses can register an interest in the Future Technology Research and Innovation Government Authorised Exchange visa scheme by completing the form below. The form contains a series of questions to determine business eligibility and requests information on your organisation’s plans for sponsorship. It must be completed if your organisation wishes to obtain a sponsorship licence for the scheme.

UKRI can sponsor eligible organisations however they are not involved with the visa applications of individuals. Those individuals who are interested in obtaining work in line with the FTRI scheme should contact relevant businesses to ask them to obtain a sponsorship licence for the scheme.

When is the deadline?

The deadline for UK businesses to register interest for the FTRI scheme is 20 December 2024.

Next steps

Once the relevant form has been completed, businesses cannot take further steps until UKRI contacts them.

Once the relevant form has been reviewed, UKRI will contact an interested business. They shall request how the organisation plans to use the scheme in further detail.

After this, the UKRI will determine whether they believe the organisation is eligible, and if so, help guide the business through the steps to obtaining a sponsorship licence.

Please note there is no obligation for a business who has registered interest to seek a sponsorship licence after completing the form.

Register business interest now