UK set to launch new visa
reforms to boost
FinTech sector

During yesterday’s announcement on the UK’s 2021 budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the UK intends to introduce ambitious visa reforms to make it easier for firms to recruit highly skilled migrants in the fields of tech, science and research.

A proposed new fast-track visa is set to be introduced, which will allow firms to bring in specialist talent from overseas without the administrative burden and red tape associated with sponsoring workers under other routes such as the Skilled Worker route.

Addressing Parliament during the budget speech on Wednesday 3 March, Sunak said: My Right Honourable Friend the Home Secretary knows that a scientific superpower needs scientific superstars so together we’re announcing ambitious, visa reforms aimed at highly skilled migrants, including:

A new unsponsored points-based visa to attract the best and most promising international talent in science, research and tech.

New, improved visa processes for scale-ups and entrepreneurs.

And radically simplified bureaucracy for high skilled visa applications.”

What are the proposed visa reforms?

The UK government recognises that in order to support those organisations delivering the highest economic growth, immigration rules will need to be adjusted to allow businesses to attract the best global talent.

The ambitious visa reforms aim to provide greater hiring flexibility for organisations and start-ups in rapidly growing sectors such as the FinTech sector, which already contributes billions to the UK economy each year.

The proposed new points-based tech visa will make it easier for firms to bring in highly skilled migrants from overseas, without the need to provide sponsorship. Similarly, applicants will not be required to obtain an endorsement from a third party organisation in order to come to the UK under the new route.

The announcement represents a positive step forward for the UK’s economic recovery in 2021 and beyond, however the Home Office should not underestimate the importance of improved immigration processes on a wider scale. Besides the high-growth sectors such as FinTech, the government will certainly need to address skills shortages in other sectors critical for economic recovery, such as health and social care, manufacturing and construction.

Get the latest immigration news

Smith Stone Walters anticipates further details on the proposed visa reforms to be released by the Home Office in due course. We will continue to provide updates on the new fast-track tech visa category as more information is provided.

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