I am from South Africa, and have been awarded a freestanding post-doctoral fellowship award that I am expected to take up at Birkbeck University in London. The fellowship award is from a South African based funding organisation (NRF). The funding is valued at $26000 per annum which amounts to 18 000 British pounds. I realise that this amount does not qualify me for a tier two visa. I was wondering if I could get any assistance on what other options I have to qualify for a UK visa.
Unfortunately, short of marrying an EU national, you likely do not qualify for a UK visa and there is nothing that can be done about this. This document contains the information about salary thresholds. These apply strictly, there are no exceptions. Even if your position fulfils a shortage occupation the salary threshold still applies. You will need to find some more funding, or give up on taking up the fellowship in the UK. You may also consider contacting the university to see if there is anything that can be done to help your situation.