This week, Tech City reported a huge increase in applications for visas that allow non-EEA tech workers to work in “exceptionally talented” roles in the UK. This is in stark contrast to reports early last year that too few applicants were successful under this route. The huge surge seems to have come after the government agreed to relax the rules in November 2015 following feedback from the business community.
Tech City UK is the Designated Competent Body for digital technology and has the right to endorse up to 200 applications for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. In October 2015, the government quango announced the launch of the Tech Nation Visa Scheme which is described as an “evolution of the dedicated route for helping businesses operate within the digital technology sector and secure world-class talent from outside the EU.”
Tech City’s new scheme expanded its qualifying criteria for Tier 1 to focus on early stage firms trying to scale up, recognising applicants with exceptional promise, bringing skills to Tech North and recruiting entire teams of foreign talent.
Immediately after the rules were relaxed, Tech City found an increase in applications and numbers seemed to have spiked since the referendum vote. Tech City reports that it has received over 200 applications since April with the majority coming from applicants in the USA, India and Nigeria. 72% of applicants were male against 28% female.
Tech City can endorse up to 200 applications for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa but its chief executive, Gerard Grech believes this is not enough and he would like to increase the cap for the visas, which could take on growing importance if access to EU migrants is curbed after Brexit. It seems the chief executive is in talks with the government which recognises that tech talent is a growing part of the economy but is a “scarce resource.”
If you believe you can demonstrate world-class aptitude and would like to live and work in the UK, contact our team of business immigration solicitors who can meet with you and guide you on your eligibility and the application process.
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