London | India along with the US are among the countries with the highest number of visa applications for the UK’s technology sector, according to the latest data from Britain’s leading network for digital tech entrepreneurs.
Tech Nation, a UK Home Office designated body for tech visas, found that applications from India covered a wide range of sectors, as the Tech Nation Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa for Digital Technology experienced a 45 per cent increase in applications in 2018-19, up to 650 from 450 the previous year.
“The countries with the highest amount of visa applications continue to be India and the US, from Software Engineers and Business Developers in Software Development, AI & Machine Learning, FinTech and Enterprise/Cloud sectors,” a Tech Nation report said this week.
“Nigeria, Russia, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa also top the list for number of applications,” it added.
Tech Nation is one of just five designated competent bodies (DCB) appointed by the UK Home Office for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, in the fields of 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 Tier 1 visa applications.
“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,” said Margot James, UK Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries.
“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,” she said.
First launched in 2014, the Tech Nation route enables the “brightest and best” tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector, contributing their cutting-edge expertise, creativity and innovation to maintain the UK’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy.
Matt Jeffs-Watts Head of Visas at Tech Nation, said: “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 skills that will help in the UK keeping its position at the forefront of the global digital economy.”
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 said it endorsed roughly half of the applications it received, and as a result exceeded its allocation of 200 endorsement places by roughly 63 per cent.
The Tech Nation Visa has received over 1,650 applicants, with over 900 endorsed from more than 50 countries worldwide since 2014.
In September, Tech Nation will begin processing endorsement applications on behalf of digital technology entrepreneurs for the two new Start-up and Innovator Visa routes, as part of the UK government’s post-Brexit immigration strategy.
“We announced the new Start-up and Innovator visa to enhance the UK’s visa offer to leading international talent and I am determined to see this continue as we leave the EU and introduce a skills-based immigration system,” said UK immigration minister Caroline Nokes, in reference to the new visa routes.
“I am spending this year speaking with businesses and communities, including the tech sector, about our plans for a system that focuses not on where someone is from but on the skills and talents they can bring to our country,” she said.