Ministers on Tuesday introduced plans for a brand new “start-up” visa for entrepreneurs, reflecting rising disquiet over the consequences of the UK’s restrictive visa insurance policies.
The brand new visa class would change one meant solely for graduates and would make the visa course of “sooner and smoother” for entrepreneurs coming to the UK, the House Workplace stated.
Sajid Javid, house secretary, introduced the plans as a part of London Tech week, a sequence of occasions selling the UK’s know-how sector. He stated the UK could possibly be proud it was a number one nation when it got here to know-how and innovation however that it wanted to do extra to draw companies. “Our migration system performs a key half in that.
“This [new visa] will assist to make sure we proceed to draw one of the best world expertise and keep the UK’s place as a world-leading vacation spot for innovation and entrepreneurs,” he stated.
Nevertheless, the plans fell wanting the great remodelling of the visa system for professionals that many enterprise leaders have been calling for.
Mr Javid’s announcement got here a day after the Monetary Instances reported that 1,946 IT professionals from exterior the European Financial Space had been refused visas since November due to restrictions on the provision of so-called “Tier 2” visas for professionals. The sector was one of many worst affected after drugs — 2,360 functions from docs had been rejected due to restrictions in the identical interval.
The House Workplace stated the brand new visas would turn out to be out there from spring subsequent yr and additional particulars could be introduced “sooner or later”. It added that candidates would require sponsorship from a college or an authorised enterprise.
Seamus Nevin, head of coverage analysis for the Institute of Administrators, stated the announcement was an indication that the federal government was lastly beginning to recognise the significance of making certain that the UK was open for enterprise.
“Reforming the UK entrepreneurs’ visa system to make it simpler and faster for these folks seeking to transfer right here to begin a enterprise, create employment and wealth is a really constructive step,” Mr Nevin stated.
Ian Robinson, a companion at Fragomen, a specialist immigration regulation agency, stated the brand new visa was a “nice initiative” however expressed hope that Mr Javid would quickly act to take away public sector employees resembling docs from the Tier 2 system altogether.
Mr Javid has pledged to look at this proposal — which might unencumber visas for different employees — and is anticipated to announce a shake-up as early as this week.
“We have to get to some extent the place immigration is about greater than attempting to hit a numerical goal,” stated Mr Robinson, referring to the federal government’s goal to convey web annual immigration down beneath 100,000 a yr.