Graduates from the world’s top universities will no longer need to have a job offer in place to secure a UK work visa. The new rule has been introduced as part of plans to boost innovation in Britain. The new route for ‘internationally mobile individuals’ will also allow people to extend their UK visa and settle in Britain, provided that they meet certain criteria.
The newly announced rule is part of broader plans to overhaul a series of rules and regulations facing a number of UK industry sectors, with the Tory government aiming to improve Britain’s competitiveness in areas such as financial services and technology, following Brexit.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently published plans to boost British innovation. According to the plans, fast growing companies will have access to a fast-track process enabling them to recruit staff from overseas.
The government has said that it will also review an existing program to make it easier for innovative or venture-backed entrepreneurs to set up firms in the UK.
The UK secretary of state for business, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “The primary objective is to boost private sector investment across the whole of the UK, creating the right conditions for all businesses to innovate and giving them the confidence to do so.”
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy report outlining the plans said: “Eligibility will be open to applicants who have graduated from a top global university. The UK government will explore the scope to expand eligibility to other characteristics of high potential.”
“There will be no job offer requirement, giving individuals the flexibility to work, switch jobs or employers and make contributions to the UK economy,” the report added.
Global hub for innovation
The strategy to boost UK innovation outlines the government’s vision to make Britain a ‘global hub for innovation’ by 2035. In an effort to achieve this, the UK will open its borders to the ‘brightest and best’ from around the world.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy report said: “We know that exceptional people and teams are key to vibrant innovation ecosystems. The location of new high-tech industries around the world is in part a function of where the early scientific and entrepreneurial leadership happened to be located.”
“To lead the industries of the future, we need to make the UK the best place in the world to work in Research and Development,” the report added.
However, it has been acknowledged that the UK is currently losing the global ‘battle’ for top talent, with more inventors currently leaving the UK every year than arriving, according to official figures.
Kwarteng said: “Innovation is central to the largest challenges the world faces, from climate change and the ageing society to global pandemics. The UK must be in the vanguard of the response to these challenges.”
“Now we have left the EU, we can move quickly to respond to these challenges, and other global opportunities, to cement the UK’s position as a world-leader in science, research and innovation. Furthermore, by supporting innovation in places, sectors, and businesses across the UK, we can level up the economy and create high-value new jobs and trading opportunities as we build back better,” Kwarteng added.
The announcement of the new UK visa rule comes after the Home Office officially opened the new look Graduate Visa route on 1 July. This route allows students to work or search for work in the UK for a maximum period of two years, or three years for PhD students, following graduation.
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