New UK Visa Route Announced For Expat Tech Recruits

By Fiona Moore, for ExpatBriefing.com 23 October, 2015

A new Tech Nation Visa Scheme has been announced to ensure the digital business community has the sufficient routes to attract overseas talent.

The scheme, announced by Tech City UK, one of five Designated Competent Bodies appointed by the Home Office to review applications from individuals wishing to enter the country under Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa route, introduces four new qualifying criteria for visa applications. The first deals with situations where companies need to scale-up very quickly and aims to enable rapidly growing companies can access the right talent at the right time.

The second concerns individuals who display "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.

The third criterion focuses on the cities of the North of England. A fast-track application procedure will be introduced for digital businesses in the seven cities of Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland.

Finally, the new scheme will apply where businesses need to recruit entire teams of exceptional individuals from outside the EU. From November 12, groups of up to five will be able to apply together for consideration.

Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey commented: "The digital technology sector is a core building block of the Government's plans to support an internationally competitive Northern Powerhouse as well as the UK's leadership in digital innovation. Today's announcement furthers that strategy. This new visa scheme will support fast-growth digital businesses in their quest to bring the best and brightest to British shores as we continue to stake our claim as a Tech Nation on the global stage."

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