45% rise in demand for UK tech visas

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Tech Nation has revealed a 45% rise in demand for applications for the Tech Nation Visa.

The countries with the highest amount of visa applications continue to be India and the USA, from Software Engineers and Business Developers in Software Development, AI & Machine Learning, FinTech and Enterprise/Cloud sectors. Nigeria, Russia, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa also top the list for number of applications.

Margot James MP, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, commented: “The UK continues to attract talent from all around the world. This is thanks to our world-leading academic institutions, strong access to finance and long-standing reputation for innovation.

“Making sure we have the talent and skills so the tech sector can continue its incredible growth, is a priority of our modern Industrial Strategy.

“Following the publication of the Immigration White Paper, Home Office have also launched the new Startup and Innovator routes as part of Tier 1 to attract the brightest tech entrepreneurs. We are determined to ensure the tech sector has access to the talent that it needs.”

First launched in 2014, the visa enables tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector.

Since its inception, the scheme has experienced year-on-year growth in the number of applications received for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa for Digital Technology. For the financial year 2018-2019, it saw a 45% increase with a total of 650 applications, compared to 450 for the previous year.

Tech Nation is one of five designated competent bodies (DCB) appointed by the Home Office for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, which together endorse applicants who can demonstrate exceptional talent or promise across digital technology, engineering, medicine, science, the arts and media. Tech Nation specifically endorses those applicants via the digital technology track, and receives approximately half of all the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa’s applications.

Each DCB is allocated 200 endorsement places per financial year, with the opportunity to draw upon a contingency pot of 1,000 additional places allocated by the Home Office in the event of unprecedented levels of incoming exceptional talent. As a result of the outstanding quality and demonstrable talent of applicants during the financial year 2018-2019, Tech Nation endorsed roughly half of the applications it received, and as a result exceeded its allocation of 200 endorsement places by roughly 63%. The visa has received over 1,650 applicants, with 900+ endorsed from over 50 countries worldwide since 2014.

Matt Jeffs-Watts Head of Visas at Tech Nation commented: “The UK tech sector is an incredibly attractive place to work, with its unparalleled connectivity, access to exceptional talent, and significant levels of innovation and investment.

“This view is evidenced by the overwhelming enthusiasm from Tier 1 Exceptional Talent applicants wishing to enter the UK tech sector. It is this level of talent and skill that will help in the UK keeping its position at the forefront of the global digital economy.”

Herman Komashko, Digital Engineer from Uzbekistan and Tech Nation Visa alumni commented: “Receiving endorsement from Tech Nation is a public recognition that tells you ‘your work has a positive impact, keep it up’, and at that very moment, every particle of your brain starts working faster.

“The UK tech network is the biggest asset, and it’s fascinating what kind of people you can run into. The freedom to work and move within the UK provided by the Tech Nation Visa is what allows us to experiment and understand where we can contribute the most.”

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