In today’s blog post we shall comment and examine the recent decision by the U.K government to relax the visa requirements for non EEA national technology specialists.
This week the U.K government was under pressure from a large group comprised of start ups and established tech giants in regards to its immigration policy. Issues have arisen in regards to the perceived difficulties that companies in the tech industry have faced in contacting specialists who are non-EEA residents. The government intend to relax the requirements that said workforce are subjected to in order to facilitate and encourage the movement of these specialists into the country.
The scheme, that was set up two years ago, has attracted criticism from tech companies who claim that the current immigration rules have stifled their ability to attract top global talent to work in the U.K. In response the government have decided to change the current requirements to remedy a sector that has huge potential for growth in the U.K
Tech City, the organisation funded by the tax payer to promote the U.K’s digital sector, cites that, whilst it has the capacity to grant 200 visas through this special route, it has only granted 17 out of the 19 application that it has received in the last year.
Four new measures will be introduced so that specialist tech non-EEA nationals can meet the requirement. Firstly, a fast track service for workers who are tasked with looking to expand their company through flotation on the stock market as well as those in certain fields such as online security.
Secondly, and for the first time, it will be possible to apply for the visa as part of a group. Additional changes include delving into even more specialist areas and looking to fill the shortages in these highly skilled, highly sought after areas. Finally, those applying to work in six government identified cities will be see their applications fast tracked.
The U.K government are keen to create a booming tech economy that is hoped to be the envy of the world stage. As such, the direct feedback received from the sector has created real and tangible changes that is hoped to be the kickstart the industry needs.
It is clear that the industry is crying out for a more relaxed approach to the current visa requirement and that the industry may have suffered as a result of the difficulties imposted by the Home Office. We welcome the decision to support an industry that is key to economic growth and that can create a lasting legacy of innovation and creativity across the country. Moving forward, the investment in this area could allow U.K nationals to learn from their foriegn counter parts and ‘skill up’ in the future.
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