These changes to the Immigration Rules will help UK businesses employ skilled international workers as well as supporting the government’s long-term economic plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy.
From today (Thursday 13 March) the changes include:
- opening up the Exceptional Talent visa route to world-leading individuals in the digital technology sector by enabling Tech City UK to endorse visa applications
- a new category for government sponsored language teachers, which will create closer relationships with China
- longer periods of leave for skilled workers to increase flexibility
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:
These changes today will ensure that the UK remains competitive in attracting global talent to work for British businesses, so that we can succeed in the global race.
We are building an immigration system that works in the national interest as part of our long term economic plan. One that is fair to hard-working British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who break the rules or flout the law.
Tech City UK
Expanding the exceptional talent route was announced by the Prime Minister last December and will allow Tech City UK to endorse top innovators and professionals in their field so that they can then come to the UK without the need for a sponsoring employer. This will make the UK more attractive to top digital tech specialists and allows our digital technology industry to attract the best global talent in the world.
Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO, said:
Digital technology companies across the UK are engines for growth; creating jobs and attracting investment. Essential to a digital entrepreneur or CEO as they grow their business is the ability to attract global tech talent. I am pleased that Tech City UK is able to play a role in advising the Home Office on what exceptional talent in digital technology constitutes.
Steve Orr, Director, NISP CONNECT at Northern Ireland Science Park CONNECT, said:
When scaling a digital technology company, the ability to attract the best and brightest talent at the required moment to stay on that growth path is essential. Tech City UK has collaborated with government and colleagues from across the tech community to develop immigration criteria that will help open the UK to exceptional tech talent. This is good news for digital business builders and good news for the UK economy.
Creating a new category for overseas government sponsored language teachers will enable teachers to share knowledge and awareness of foreign languages and cultures in the UK. The first of these schemes will support a Mandarin teaching scheme designed to foster good cultural relations between the UK and China.
Offering 5-year grants of leave to skilled workers, instead of 3, so that skilled workers have more flexibility and do not need to re-apply after 3 years. It will also benefit businesses allowing them to send employees on business trips overseas around the time when they would otherwise have needed to make their extension applications.
Other rules changes include:
- introducing a visa regime for all visitors from Venezuela. We keep the visa system under regular review to make sure we have the right regimes in the right places. The new regime will be implemented from the 5th May 2014.
- increasing the threshold for maintenance funds for student, worker and family migrants, in line with the costs of living in the UK. These changes will affect all applications made from 1st July 2014. As applicants need to have held the funds for 28 or 90 days, anyone planning to apply from July is advised to take note of these changes now.