13 September 2013 #Immigration
Boris Johnson has plans for a fast-track visa to attract the world’s “best and brightest” technology experts and fashion designers to London in proposals that he has submitted to the Home Office. The aim is to make it easier for exceptional applicants in these fields to get jobs in the capital. Supporting the proposal Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse emphasised that individual talent is essential to the technology and fashion sectors.
There already exists the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) immigration category which is for people who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts, and who wish to work in the UK.
Under the current system individuals apply for endorsements from the bodies designated to allocate them. The relevant bodies are the Royal Society, the Arts Council England, the British Academy and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Between them the bodies share a total limit of 1,000 endorsements for visas each financial year. The Mayor wants to see 100 of these endorsements under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) allocated to London.
UK entrepreneurs including technology startups have found it difficult to recruit from outside the EU under the current system.
Speaking to The Financial Times, Mr Johnson said: “It is a clear message to the elite of Silicon Valley or the fashionistas of Beijing that London is the place they should come to develop ideas, build new businesses and be part of an epicentre for global talent.”
The deputy mayor suggested there was room for growth if the proposal goes ahead and it proves successful.