Do you have tech skills that can contribute to the UK’s economy? If yes, you can take advantage of the new UK visas for tech talents. The UK government is set to launch new visas that’ll make it easier for businesses to hire foreign talents. The plan is to make the country a global hub for innovation by 2035.
While these new visas accommodate various talents and fields, their scope shows tech talents will benefit the most. Already, you can work in the UK as a leader in digital technology via the Global Talent visa route. The new visas include the Scale-up visa and High Potential Individual visa. In addition, there have been some major reforms to the Innovator visa. Below is a comprehensive overview of these visas:
This visa aims to bolster scale-up businesses in the UK. It allows these companies to easily hire scale-up workers from foreign countries. To qualify for this visa, you must have the required skills to help your employer grow. Hence, you’ll need a highly-skilled job offer with a minimum salary rate.
The Scale-up visa is primarily a sponsored route and mandates a sponsorship licence. Your employer will apply for a sponsor licence and, if approved, issue you a Certificate of Sponsorship before you can apply for the visa.
To qualify as a Scale-up sponsor, an employer must show proof of annual growth of at least 20% in terms of turnover or staff in the past 3 years. They must also have had at least 10 employees at the start of the 3 years. Only those who have previously gotten the Scale-up visa can apply without sponsorship.
Furthermore, you’ll need to prove proficiency in English and have enough funds to support your stay. The latter is exempt if your employer agrees – and states in the Certificate of Sponsorship – to support your stay.
This visa leads to settlement in the UK – indefinite leave to remain. Also, you can bring dependents (spouse, children under 18, civil partner, and unmarried partner if you’ve lived together for at least 2 years). The Scale-up visa is set to launch in late August.
2.High Potential Individual Visa
Looking for an unsponsored route for tech talents? You can apply for the High Potential Individual Visa. As an unsponsored route, the visa’s main requirement is extreme. You must be a top global university graduate before you can apply. Also, you must be a recent graduate (within the past 5 years).
A top global university, in this case, is any university that appears on the Home Office Global Universities List. This list is compiled annually but will likely contain similar universities as other renowned lists like the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
You must demonstrate proficiency in English unless you’re a native English speaker or your degree was taught in English. Since this visa doesn’t require a sponsorship licence, you must show you can financially support your stay. With the High Potential Individual visa, you can come to the UK and work in a self-employed position. You can also work an employed job but you don’t need one for the visa application.
How long you can stay depends on your degree. Ph.D. or other doctoral graduates can stay in the UK for up to 3 years. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree holders can stay for 2 years. The High Potential Individual visa is set to launch in early May.
This visa is for you if you have an innovative tech idea – different from anything else in the tech market. Before you apply, you must get an endorsement from an approved endorsing body. You can find a list of potential endorsers on the Home Office website.
Aside from having an innovative idea, you must have a minimum of £50,000 in investment funds with proof of how you got the funding from. This is key for getting an endorsement. If the endorsing body approves your “innovative idea,” they’ll issue you an endorsement letter.
Other requirements include proficiency in English and that you have enough personal savings to support your stay – at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before your application.