As part of its ongoing commitment to welcome talented people from across the globe, and in recognition of the importance of these innovative industries to the UK, the number of visas available through the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route is increasing from 1,000 to 2,000 a year.
This will ensure that more highly skilled people who enhance the UK’s economy can come to, and work in, this country. It is a further demonstration of the government’s dedication to the global mobility of individuals who will help make sure that the UK remains at the forefront of these world-leading industries.
The Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
I am delighted that we are able to welcome more talented people from across the world to our country. Increasing the number of visas for these sectors will make sure that we continue to be at the heart of world culture and forefront of digital and scientific advances.
The UK’s innovative industries, including the thriving digital technology sector, are at the centre of our industrial strategy and making sure that businesses in these fields have access to exceptional talent from across the world is vitally important.
That is why I will be meeting with technology experts to seek their input on making sure that our visa processes are as efficient as possible.
The 2,000 visas will be made available to individuals who are recognised as existing global leaders or promising future leaders in the digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors by 1 of 5 UK endorsing organisations:
- Tech City UK
- Arts Council England
- The British Academy
- The Royal Society
- The Royal Academy of Engineering
Matt Clifford MBE, Co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First said:
We commend the Home Office’s decision to increase the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas.
We cannot ignore the fact that our digital and tech economy cannot survive on home-grown talent alone and is substantially boosted by exceptional foreign individuals who have chosen to build their businesses in the UK.
If London is to continue being the European hub for tech, and if it is to grow to rival other internationally significant tech centres, we must ensure the UK becomes an increasingly welcoming hub for EU and non-EU nationals alike.
The current allocations of the 1,000 visas – which are split between the 5 endorsing organisations – will remain and the additional places will be made available across all of the endorsing bodies dependent on need. The government is keen to ensure that all nations and regions of the UK benefit from this change. The Home Office will look at how it can work with organisations across the UK to ensure wider take up of these visas outside London.
This announcement is part of the government’s ongoing reforms to routes to the UK from outside the EU. Ahead of the UK leaving the EU, the Home Office has also commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU on the labour market. The results of the commission, which was published in July, will help shape the government’s decisions on the future immigration system.