By Uglobal Staff
The UK has announced that it plans to introduce three more visa routes to attract global talent as it continues to look for way to boost its economy and regain its innovation edge in a competitive post-pandemic world.
The new visa routes would be named the High Potential Individual route, the Scale-up Route, and the Revitalized Innovator route but an exact date for the launch of these routes has not been announced but is expected to be launched in the coming months, according to the UK government. The visa streams were released in the "UK Innovation Strategy: Leading the Future by Creating It" report by the UK's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
UK aims to launch three new visa routes for skilled workers
The High Potential Individual route is aimed towards attracting graduates from top global universities who promise to show great potential if they get a chance to live in the UK. While the official government report did not specify the exact criteria for this route, it did say that prospective candidates would not need a job offer; they would be to switch jobs, work flexibly and even get opportunities to extend their visas or even settle in the UK, provided they meet certain conditions.
The Scale-up Route is being aimed at foreign talent who get an offer for a highly skilled job from an eligible British scale-up firm; the job offer would have to meet an unspecified salary level threshold. The scale-ups would need to show an annual average revenue or employment growth rate that is above 20% as well as at least 10 employees on their payroll at the beginning of their 3-year operation period. In this route too, eligible candidates would be able to switch jobs as well as settle in the UK if they meet conditions.
The Revitalized Innovator Route is targeted towards foreign innovators and entrepreneurs who want to run a business in the UK; the business could be a new one but it would need to have venture capital funding as well as create jobs for British workers. Certain growth targets and innovation requirements would have to be also met while the government in exchange promises to fast-track their applications as well as end the previous condition of having at least 50,000 British pounds in funding; all they would now need is an endorsement from a recognized UK body that the business has enough funds to run and grow.
The government document added that all these new routes would be in addition to the existing visa schemes already announced by the government.
The UK Innovation Strategy aims to turn the country into a "global hub for innovation by 2035", according to the government. It outlines four key pillars as part of its official strategy: Pillar 1: Unleashing Business, which is expected to see an annual public investment of 22 billion pounds on research and development; Pillar 2: People, under which the new visa routes were announced; Pillar 3: Institutions and Places that would see if business needs were being met by current research; and Pillar 4: Missions and Technologies that would among other things identify "key seven technology families" and significant issues confronting the world.
UK is taking steps to strengthen economy with new visas
The UK in recent months has taken several initiatives to strengthen its economy. On July 1, the country launched its Graduate route for all international students, allowing them to stay for up to three additional years upon completion of their studies to look for jobs.
On May 24, the Home Office also unveiled plans to launch new visa routes for attracting global business, foreign entrepreneurs and global talent by spring 2022.
The country is also offering new visa routes to specific countries for the purpose of attracting talent; for example, on May 4, the UK announced a new visa route for young Indian professionals, allowing them to work in the country for at least two years.
In February this year, the UK also announced a separate visa stream for highly skilled migrants under which they would be able to find jobs with British financial firms without the need for going through cumbersome bureaucratic processes; this scheme is set for March 2022.
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