Tech talent visa cap removed

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route is being expanded and renamed as the Global Talent visa, specifically to make provisions for science and research, while continuing to be open to promising applicants within digital technology.

According to Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs which remains the endorsing body responsible for processing applications on behalf of the Home Office for the sector, the cap on the visa route has been removed.

These changes will enable the UK’s leading digital technology sector to continue to attract exceptional tech talent from around the world, a statement explained.

Tech Nation noted that over the past four years, demand for experienced people to work in the digital and tech industry rose almost three times as much as the wider financial services industry. Demand for a full stack developer, for instance, more than tripled between 2015 and 2018.

Tech Nation’s Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa has seen rising interest, recording a 44 per cent rise last year in applications compared to the previous year. Since its inception in 2014, the visa has received over 2,400 applications, and endorsed over 1,200 visas from over 50 countries worldwide. The countries that recorded the highest amount of visa applications were the US, India, Nigeria and Russia.

The top applications by specialist skills were: software engineers, business development and solution architects, while the most popular applications by sector were: app and software development, artificial intelligence and FinTech.

Gerard Grech, chief executive of Tech Nation, commented: “Today’s announcement of expanding the route to include deep science and research expertise and abolishing the cap will help ensure the best and brightest talent can continue to contribute to the UK’s thriving digital tech sector.”

Natalie Black, HM trade commissioner for Asia Pacific, added: “The Global Talent Visa will enable the brightest and best talent from around the world to work in the UK – as this new route is launched today, I hope even more exceptional talent from Asia Pacific will choose the UK to start and grow their business.”

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