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Geological Society supports CaSE call for action on visa restrictions

8 March 2018

The Geological Society has today supported a letter to the Prime Minister published by the Campaign for Science and Engineering, calling on the government to take urgent action in revising current immigration policy.

Due to the cap on Tier 2 (General) visas being reached in each of the last three months, employers are unable to hire skilled workers from abroad. With two thirds of roles on the Shortage Occupation List in the fields of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine, hundreds of business-critical roles across the economy are going unfilled.

"Surely it is shooting ourselves in the foot to deny visas to engineering, tech and medical specialists ​recruited to the UK to fill a specific need’ said CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main. “Yet this is now happening, alongside many other business-critical roles, leaving employers frustrated and the public poorly served.”

The letter calls on the government to take positive action in recognition that circumstances have significantly changed since the Tier 2 visa cap was introduced, and to exempt those roles which are on the Government’s Shortage Occupation List and PhD level roles.

The letter states ‘This change would enhance prospects for raising productivity, would support the Industrial Strategy and would be widely welcomed.’

It is supported by 46 organisations from across business, universities, professional institutes and research charities.

Supporting organisations:

Arthritis Research UK

Loughborough University

Association of Medical Research Charities

Microbiology Society

Babraham Institute



Royal Astronomical Society

Biochemical Society

Royal Society of Biology

BioIndustry Association

Royal Society of Chemistry

British Chambers of Commerce

Royal Society of Edinburgh

British Heart Foundation

Society for Applied Microbiology

British Psychological Society

The Association for United Kingdom Interactive

British Society for Immunology


Cancer Research UK

The Entrepreneurs Network

Canterbury Christ Church University

The Geological Society

Council of Professors and Heads of Computing

The Institution of Mathematics and its



Food and Drink Federation

The Learned Society of Wales

Institute of Acoustics

The Manufacturing Technologies Association

Institute of Directors

The Physiological Society

Institute of Physics

UK Deans of Science

Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

Ulster University

Institution of Environmental Sciences

University College London

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

University of Aberdeen

John Innes Centre

University of Kent

London First

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 

London Metropolitan University

Zoological Society of London


  1. The letter and a press release from CaSE can be read at

  2. The Geological Society of London, founded 1807, is a learned and professional body of over 12,000 Earth scientists with a remit to investigate, interpret, discuss, inform and advise on the nature and processes of the Earth, their practical importance to humanity, and, in the interests of the public, to promote professional excellence. The Society offers advice to Parliament and Government, at individual and corporate levels. Registered Charity No. 210161.

  3. CaSE is the leading independent advocate for science and engineering. Find out more at

  1. For a more detailed CaSE comment on reforming the Tier 2 visa immigration system see here: