Britain will attempt to attract top global talent with a new Scale-Up Visa, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced as part of his 2021 budget. The visa is expected to launch in the spring of 2022 and will give fast-growing businesses access to highly skilled workers from overseas.
It’s understood that the visa will be available to foreign nationals who have a high-skilled job offer in the UK from an eligible business and pay a minimum salary of £33,000. Announcing the new Scale-Up Visa, Sunak said: “An economy built on innovation must be open and attractive to the “best and brightest minds.”
“A third of our science Nobel Laureates have been immigrants. Half of our fastest-growing companies have a foreign-born founder,” the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer added.
Easier and quicker to access skilled labour
According to Sunak, the eligibility criteria for the Scale-Up Visa will make it ‘easier and quicker’ for fast-growing companies to access highly skilled labour from overseas.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “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 the UK visa system for international talent the most competitive in the world.”
High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility Visa
In addition to the launch of the Scale-Up Visa, the government is expected to introduce a High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility Visa.
Meanwhile, according to startup body the Coalition for a Digital Economy (COADEC), the government’s Scale-Up Visa plans are the ‘biggest UK visa improvement plan in a generation’.
The industry body said: “Plans for a Scale-Up visa are hugely welcome and will make life easier for growing tech companies in the UK.”
Global Talent Visa reform
In a bid to further kickstart Britain’s efforts to attract global talent, the government is also expected to reform the Global Talent Visa category, which has flopped since it was launched. However, the visa category did recently hit 4,000 applications and its popularity is reportedly improving.
In recent years, the government has introduced several UK visa categories in an attempt to attract the ‘brightest and best minds’ from around the world, including the UK Innovator Visa and the UK Start-Up Visa, both of which have not had the impact hoped for.
A spokesperson for the UK government said: “From a business perspective, the government plans to provide practical support to small firms that are using the visa system for the first time, making the system easier to use and removing administrative barriers to talent.”
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