Rishi Sunak’s recent Budget announcement introduced a new ‘elite visa’ that will be created to attract tech entrepreneurs to the UK. Workpermit.com recently reported that the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer was expected to announce a new, tech-based visa. The new ‘elite points-based visa’ will form part of the UK government’s post-Brexit immigration system.
Ministers claim that the new elite visa will help to drive innovation and facilitate UK jobs and growth. The visa will specifically target fast growth tech sectors, with the aim of boosting entrepreneurship. However, while the visa has been well received, some commentators have said that other sectors will need skilled workers to aid their recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
Alongside the announcement of the so-called ‘elite visa’, Sunak’s Budget announcement included plans to reform the Global Talent Visa, which in its current form has flopped. It’s understood that a new Global Mobility Visa could be launched in the spring of 2022.
Similarities to Intra-company Transfer Visa
The Global Mobility Visa shares similarities with the current Intra-company Transfer Visa, in that it will allow international companies, with a presence in the UK, to transfer staff to Britain. The visa will also allow new businesses to establish a presence in the UK.
Or it has been mooted that it could be a rebrand or replacement for the current Representative of an Overseas Business Visa.
There are also plans to modernise the UK visa sponsorship system in line with a ‘delivery plan’ that is set to be announced this summer.
The elite visa is expected to launch by March 2022 and will include what’s been described as a ‘scale-up’ stream, which will enable highly skilled migrants with a job offer from a recognised high-growth business to qualify for a fast-track visa. It’s understood that the elite visa will require no sponsorship or third party endorsement.
However, there has been no information provided on what the criteria will be for recognition as a UK scale-up. Meanwhile, the new visa has been compared to the former Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.
Innovator visa review
The Innovator Visa, like the Global Talent Visa, has also failed to deliver as planned and is set to be reviewed by the government. It’s understood that the revamped route will make it easier for people with the skills and experience to form an innovative business to obtain endorsement and apply for Innovator Visa.
The Global Talent Visa and Innovator Visa have each been criticised because the qualifying criteria are almost impossible to meet.
Other UK immigration developments
Elsewhere across the UK immigration system, it’s understood that practical support will be provided for small businesses using the UK visa system for the first time.
Meanwhile, there are plans to launch a global outreach strategy by way of expanding the Global Entrepreneur Programme, which will help market the UK’s visa offering and drive the building of an overseas talent network.
Additional information on the new elite visa is expected to be announced in July, while the reforms featured in Sunak’s Budget will be introduced through changes to the UK immigration rules and secondary legislation throughout 2021.
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