Editorial

Applications for UK tech visas show dramatic rise

And Tech City UK, the body that does the paperwork for the Home Office, says more should be issued to help with the skills shortage

Posted 29 November 2016 by

MeetingThe UK’s seen a big spike in demand for skilled technology visas in recent months despite the summer Brexit vote, says Tech City UK, the body administering a special visa scheme for the government.

The group says it’s had more than 200 applications since April, a ten-fold increase on the same point last year, it reports – and what it describes as a “record number” in November.

The USA, India and Nigeria are the main home countries of the successful applicants, with 72% of applicants being male and 28% female.

In 2014, Tech City was given the right to help process a limited number of visas for non-EU workers in 2014, but the programme initially got off to a very slow start, it admits.

But that started to change after a relaxation of migration rules 12 months back that is more favourable to talented individuals from companies who can now apply for a group visas and releasing the barriers for individuals with “exceptional promise”.

“It’s an encouraging set of results,” commented Gerard Grech, Tech City’s chief executive, who wants to up the visa limit.

“The Government [knows] that tech talent is a growing part of the economy – and that tech talent is a scarce resource.”