World

UK to double ‘exceptional talent’ visas

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 15, 2017

Will make visas available to those recognised as global, future leaders in digital tech. science, arts and creative sectors



The British government is to double the number of “exceptional talent” visas it issues to non-EU citizens as it seeks to respond to industry concerns about the ability to hire top talent globally after Britain leaves the European Union, particularly in sectors such as digital technology.

The government will raise the number of Tier-1 (exceptional talent) visas it can issue to a total of 2,000 a year, the Home Office said on Wednesday. “Increasing the number of visas for these sectors will make sure that we continue to be at the heart of world culture and forefront of digital and scientific advances. Increasing the number of visas for these sectors will make sure that we continue to be at the heart of world culture and forefront of digital and scientific advances,” said Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Under the scheme introduced in 2014, largely to help Britain’s burgeoning tech industry, visas are made available to those recognised as global leaders or future leaders in digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors by one of five British organisations including Tech City UK, the Arts Council England, the British Academy, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. The 2,000 visas will remain split between these bodies, dependent on need, the government said.

In the early days of the visa, there were concerns about limited uptake but demand has increased in the past year. While the British government has toughened the rules for non-EU migration in many sectors, it has emphasised the need for flexibility in sectors such as technology, where a domestic skills shortage remains. It has commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to make recommendations on a reformed migration system.

“We envisage that the committee’s advice will allow us to set aside significant numbers of visas for workers in strategically important sectors, such as digital technology, without adding to net migration as a whole,” the Conservative party manifesto promised at the June election.

Published on November 15, 2017
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