Britain on Sunday announced a new fast-track visa scheme for top scientists, researchers and mathematicians as it prepares a new immigration system for life outside the European Union.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the plan just days before Brexit finally takes place on January 31.
Concerns about mass migration were a driving force in the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, and Johnson has promised to end free movement with the bloc.
But he said on Sunday: “As we leave the EU, I want to send a message that the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world, and stand ready to support them to turn their ideas into reality.”
EU free movement will continue for 11 months after Brexit during a transition period designed to allow London and Brussels to agree a new future partnership.
The government hopes to introduce a new points-based immigration system on January 1, 2021, for EU and non-EU citizens, but the details are still being worked out.
The newly announced Global Talent visa system will come into effect from next month, to replace the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.