The United Kingdom remains one of the most popular places for foreigners seeking opportunities to enhance their tech careers and get international experience. There are many high-value start-ups in the UK, not just in London but across the country.
According to a Dealroom report for the country’s Digital Economy Council, the tech sector has joined the likes of China and the US in terms of valuation, with a $1 trillion valuation.
The government is also encouraging growth in the industry by introducing attractive immigration options for highly educated individuals and start-up founders who wish to work or start firms in the UK. The move is in accordance with the government Innovation Strategy, which aims to make the country a leading technology centre by 2035. Here’s a look at tech talent work visas in the United Kingdom.
What are the options for tech talent in the United Kingdom?
The UK government intends to introduce new visa channels to make it easier for technology and rapidly-growing enterprises to attract international talent. back in 2020, the government, in collaboration with Tech Nation, announced the Global Talent initiative for talented and exceptional individuals wishing to come and work in specific sectors.
Now, it has followed that by launching, even more accommodating immigration routes called the generous visa scheme. Here is a look at what it entails.
The Scale-up visa
Fast-growing businesses will be eligible for this visa program, which would allow them to hire foreign workers as long as they currently have at least 10 employees and have increased revenue or staff numbers at a pace of 20% annually over the past three years.
The High Potential Individual Visa
Meanwhile, those who have graduated from the world’s top 100 institutions will be eligible for this visa to come and look for employment in the UK. That means you don’t need a job offer in the Uk to apply for this visa.
Global Business Mobility Visa
If your firm has a high-value contract with an overseas company, you can bring in workers from that company to do an appropriate job for your company by obtaining this visa, aka the Secondment Worker visa.
Which visas will need a sponsor licence?
Both the scale-up and Global Mobility visa are for companies wishing to bring over talent from overseas and, therefore, will need approval from the home office. Established firms with at least 10 workers and growth of at least 20% in either turnover or staff over the previous three years can apply for this license.
You must be prepared to persuade the Home Office that the foreign worker you are sponsoring will fill a legitimate position that matches their qualifications.
A foreign worker is defined as someone who is not a permanent resident or citizen of the United Kingdom or another European Union (EU) country. For foreign workers applying for either of these two visas, you will need a certificate of sponsorship stating your sponsor’s name and their sponsor licence number. You must also meet the employment requirements and prove your English proficiency.
How long can you stay in the UK under the visas?
Because the visa schemes have not yet been implemented, little information is available aside from the sponsor licence requirements and proof of English proficiency. Other details, such as the minimum salary requirement, will be updated later by the government.
Scale-Up visas are expected to be extended for up to five years. If this is the case, settlement status may be granted.
The Global Business Mobility visa, on the other hand, is only valid for a maximum of 12 months and cannot be extended. However, after the end of the period, you can move to another visa if you meet the requirements.
For High Potential Visa, your qualifications matter. Doctorate holders, such as Ph.D. grads, can stay for three years. Other degree holders may stay for up to two years.
Getting into the UK to work in the tech industry is going to be easy, thanks to the generous video schemes. You can use a certificate of sponsorship if you already have a job offer from a UK employer or apply for the high potential visa if you’ve graduated from a top global university and want to look for employment in the UK. Work with UK immigration lawyers to navigate the legal procedures and increase your chances of getting approved.
For more information about the UK’s new skilled worker visa scheme, we’ll be happy to help. Contact us with inquiries about any immigration difficulties you may have.