Rishi Sunak recently provided further information on the new visa routes aimed at attracting the 'best and brightest minds' to the UK.
The changes that are set to be introduced aim to make the UK's visa offering more attractive to top talent from overseas, whilst also making it quicker and easier for businesses to access the talent they need.
During his speech the chancellor said:
“A third of our science Nobel Laureates have been immigrants. Half of our fastest growing companies have a foreign-born founder. So, an economy built on innovation must be open and attractive to the best and brightest minds.
Thanks to our Home Secretary, today’s Budget confirms the eligibility criteria for our new Scale-Up Visa, making it quicker and easier for fast-growing businesses to bring in highly skilled individuals.
And the Trade Secretary’s new Global Talent Network, launching initially in the Bay Area, Boston and Bangalore will identify, attract and relocate the best global talent in key science and tech sectors. All part of our plan to make our visa system for international talent the most competitive in the world.”
The Scale-up Visa, also referred to as an 'elite points-based visa', will be open to applicants who pass the language proficiency requirements and have an offer of a highly-skilled job paying at least £33,000 from an eligible business. The sponsoring company would benefit from a fast track verification process but would need to meet special criteria to do so. An annual average revenue or employment growth rate over a three year period of greater than 20% with a minimum of 10 employees at the start of that three year period. The scale-up visa will launch in Spring 2022.
The Global Talent Network will bring highly skilled people to the UK in key science and technology sectors.
This network will work with businesses and research institutions to identify UK skills needs and source talent in overseas campuses, innovation hubs and research institutions to bring to the UK. A concierge service will also be available to support people moving to the UK.
The Global Talent Network will launch in 2022 in the Bay Area and Boston, United States and Bengaluru, India.
The Government will also maintain the expanded Department for International Trade (DIT) Global Entrepreneur Programme. This will allow the programme to continue to expand its global footprint to bring an extra 100 innovative, highly-skilled entrepreneurs to the UK each year.
It does not appear that any new immigration categories will be introduced specifically for the Network; instead it would appear that eligible individuals will be supported through their applications by DIT.
The Government has promised to continue to try and improve the UK's visa offering to attract the 'brightest and best international talent' as it recovers from the effects of Brexit and the pandemic. Reforms to the Intra-Company and Representative of an Overseas Business routes are expected in 2022 and it's hoped that further immigration reforms will be announced to support sectors with labour shortages.