By Uglobal Staff
The U.K. has announced a new visa stream for highly-skilled migrants that will enable British financial businesses to hire employees without going through expensive and time consuming bureaucratic procedures.
The new visa stream is expected to be implemented from March 2022.
Currently, any company wishing to hire a non-British citizen, particularly those who come from non-EU countries, would first either have to register for sponsorship licenses or obtain certain endorsements from third parties for the particular foreign employee. The new visa stream would end such cumbersome procedures and is expected to fast-track applications for all migrants who qualify under this category.
Although details of the new measure are yet to be rolled out, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said the visa stream would particularly benefit the U.K.'s fintech companies and would make it easier for them to hire what he called "innovators and job creators."
On Feb. 26, the U.K. Treasury released an independent report on Britain's fintech sector that highlighted the need for a special visa stream to attract talented and skilled workforce from around the world.
It recommended a "bespoke Fintech Scaleup Stream within existing routes such as Global Talent" that would end the current practice of obtaining a sponsorship for migrants who apply for jobs in this sector in the UK.
Shedding light on the type of candidates who might qualify under such visa category, the report said any non-British person who had a valid job offer from a recognized fintech firm should be able to qualify, provided the candidate's skills level is at least RQF6, which basically means that the applicant would have to be exceptionally talented.
The report also called for "practical enhancements to the Skilled Worker Route, including the prioritized roll out of end-to-end online processing to non-EU nationals, which will bring processing times below 72 hours in most cases; the ability to move roles under the same employer without requiring a fresh immigration application; the ability to start employment with a new employer on the issue of Certificate of Sponsorship, rather than the later grant of application for in country applicants."
The main purpose of this new visa stream appears to be the upending of the global competition in the fintech sector. Once U.K. begins processing visa applications under this new scheme, it is expected to become comparable, if not at par, with similar measures taken in other countries such as Canada's Global Talent Stream, France's Tech Visa and Australia's Global Talent Program.
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