News that EU citizens will have access to the five-year Tech Nation visa, has swiftly been followed by an announcement that applications for the Tech Nation visa have increased by nearly 50% in 2020. The surge in applications has been attributed to Britain’s booming tech sector, which continues to attract top talent from around the world.
According to reports, the number of applications received for the visa, which allows employees and founders in the tech sector to work in Britain for up to five years, hit almost 2,000 over the last two years despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Figures show that demand for the Tech Nation visa – also known as the Global Talent visa - was up by 48% in 2020, following on from a rise of 45% in 2019. As the Brexit transition period nears completion, demand for the Tech Nation visa is expected to increase further, with talent from the EU needing a visa to work in the UK from 2021.
Leading UK tech firms benefit
According to Tech Nation data, more than half of successful applicants in 2020 now work for one of Britain’s leading tech firms. Meanwhile, just over a quarter are business founders who have started a company in Britain.
The data shows that London continues to dominate the UK’s booming tech sector, with 59% of Tech Nation visa applicants based in Britain’s capital city. Meanwhile, the most popular sub-sectors for visa applicants include AI, fintech and software development. Most applications for the visa came from India, Nigeria and the United States.
Tech Nation chair, Stephen Kelly, said: “The UK is a global talent magnet for tech founders. The UK provides rich opportunities for entrepreneurs to set up, flourish and scale a business.”
“Tech Nation’s visa Report shows that, despite the pandemic, international interest to work in the UK tech sector has never been higher. Attracting tomorrow’s tech leaders to the UK is crucial to the continued growth of the sector, the UK’s place in the world, and driving the nation through recovery to growth in the digital age,” Kelly added.
Huge interest in digital sector jobs
The Tech Nation report further revealed that interest in digital sector jobs has surged in 2020, with the jobs market undergoing a huge shakeup amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, new data highlighted a 200% increase in the number of UK internet users searching online using terms specific to ‘UK tech visas’ between April and September. This rose by 100% internationally among users in countries such as India and the US.
While the pandemic has resulted in job losses across many industry sectors, the demand for digital tech skills – especially cybersecurity – has increased dramatically as British businesses continue to adapt to a new way of operating.
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