15 November 2017
Tier 1 visas are set to double in order to increase the migration of tech based talent to the UK. The new immigration plan is a statement of Britain’s aim to remain open to business post-Brexit.
The British government is planning to double the number of visas in the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category in a bid to lure highly skilled foreign workers to the UK.
Prime Minister Theresa May revealed that officials were working out the practical details of the proposal to raise the current, annual total of 1,000 visas under the ‘exceptional talent’ route to 2,000 route.
The main emphasis will be on attracting migrants in digital technology from outside the EU, but will also apply to cutting-edge practitioners in science and the arts.
Mrs May also announced a £61 million package of support for the technology sector – including a new training programme and measures to boost the industry in cities outside London, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham – as she and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond met with tech firm entrepreneurs in Downing Street.
Praising the tech sector’s “immense contribution to our economic life and to our society”, Mrs May said, “Helping our world-class entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed is how we lay the foundations for our prosperity and build an economy fit for the future. “Technology is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, and we will continue to invest in the best new innovations and ideas, in the brightest and best talent, and in revolutionary digital infrastructure.
“And as we prepare to leave the European Union, I am clear that Britain will remain open for business. That means government doing all it can to secure a strong future for our thriving tech sector and ensure people in all corners of our nation share in the benefits of its success.”