New UK visa scheme for talented tech experts launched

by Ray Clancy on October 20, 2015

A new visa scheme has been launched in the UK aimed at making it easier for technology firms to employ outstandingly talented people from outside of the European Union.

Government funded Tech City UK, a non-profit organisation set up to support the East London technology sector known as Silicon Roundabout, said that the Tech Nation Visa Scheme is an evolution of the dedicated route for helping businesses operating within the digital technology sector to attract and secure world class talent.

Union JackBased on direct feedback from the digital business community, four new qualifying criteria have been added to ensure that the UK continues to maintain its position as a globally competitive digital powerhouse.

Tech City UK has included a specific provision to help companies to get the talent they need to scale quickly. Whether it’s expertise in taking a company IPO, or individuals with very specific technical knowledge, such as development operations and cyber security, the Tech Nation Visa Scheme will provide a fast track route that will enable rapidly growing companies to access the right talent at the right time to smooth their path to success.

The new Tech Nation Visa Scheme will now consider applications from individuals that demonstrate ‘exceptional promise’, a criterion that aims to open the route to a broader base of aspiring talent from outside the EU. This provision will facilitate companies in recruiting the highly skilled individuals needed to fill specific talent gaps.

It will also include a fast track applications procedure for digital businesses in the seven cities under the Tech North remit of Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland. Like Tech City UK, Tech North will now also provide a visa support service to offer guidance and advice to companies wanting to hire someone from overseas.

Recognising that digital businesses often seek to recruit entire teams of exceptional individuals from outside the EU who have demonstrated success, a new revision to the scheme will cater for this.

From November 12, groups of up to five will be able to apply at once for consideration, allowing UK digital businesses to attract high calibre and high performing teams that have a proven track record of creativity, collaboration and commercial vision.

“Fast growing digital technology businesses play a central role in ensuring the UK stays at the forefront of digital innovation and economic growth on the world stage. Based on the feedback from the tech community, the new Tech Nation Visa Scheme will prove to be a vital tool for companies that want to secure the high calibre people they need to quickly scale their product, service operations,” said chief executive officer Gerard Grech.

Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, added that the new visa scheme will support fast growth digital businesses in their quest to bring the best and brightest to the UK.

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