By Uglobal Staff
The UK has unveiled plans to launch new visa routes for attracting global businesses and the crème de la crème of global talent by spring 2022 alongside already existing schemes, several of which were launched within the last year.
The visas were described in a new 38-page long document released by the UK's Home Office on May 24, which sheds light on the British government's overall plans to reform its immigration system following Brexit.
UK to attract elite talent with new visa streams
The UK will offer, what the document calls, a “scale up” visa stream in 2022 to the elite among the highly skilled and highly qualified individuals from around the world. This would enable them to enter the country much more quickly and without being required to get a work sponsor by any employer; a simple job offer would be sufficient for such individuals to qualify for this visa. This scaled up visa stream would be in addition to the Global Talent stream that was announced in February 2020, which allowed qualified candidates to not be bound to any particular employer; in May 2021, this same Global Talent visa stream offered qualified candidates with globally recognized awards a quicker path by removing the need for endorsements from a Home Office recognized institutions from their applications.
UK to attract global businesses with new mobility visa stream
Also, by spring 2022, the UK plans to launch its Global Business Mobility stream that will specifically be offered to those who want to come to the country and grow their existing global businesses and employ people from within the UK. This global business centric route is expected to offer several incentives such as allowing applicants the facility of intra-company transfers; facilitating the establishment of branches or subsidiaries of the business as well as allowing import/export related secondments.
The UK is also looking to launch a separate Innovator stream that will be offered to foreign entrepreneurs looking for speedy growth in the UK.
Additional visa routes for alternative talent, including sport
The document also discussed in length other visa routes which are not directly linked with global business such as the International Sportsperson route that would replace the existing T2 Sportsperson and T5 Creative or Sporting Worker routes; the Graduate route, which was announced in March this year that will begin accepting applications from international students this coming July, allowing them to stay back for up till 3 years and find work after graduation; as well as the Temporary Worker route for EEA nationals. The EU Settlement Scheme post Brexit is also discussed at length in the document along with reforms linked to refugees and asylum seekers.
The main architect of the immigration reforms, British Home Secretary Priti Patel, said in a separate statement that she was challenging the supposed “wrong-headed approach” to UK immigration with these steps. Hinting at the fact that UK would become even more exclusive in the coming years in terms of immigration, she said: “It is sheer fantasy to say that we can give a home to anyone who wants to come here.”
The emphasis would remain on “attracting the most qualified people from overseas,” she said, adding: “We are introducing bespoke routes to enable more students, scientists, academics, investors, and entrepreneurs to come here.”
The home secretary has presented the immigration plan to the British parliament where it is expected to pass following a debate.
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