Upcoming changes to the UK’s visa system will make it the “most attractive” in the world for high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs.
At the Autumn Budget Rishi Sunak announced plans to roll out a “scale-up visa” to allow fast-growing companies to easily hire overseas workers and a “high-potential individual” visa which will let graduates from the world’s top 100 universities obtain a visa to live in the UK even if they do not have a job offer.
A new “innovator” visa is also planned for 2022 and will make it easier for entrepreneurs to set up a business in Britain by scrapping the requirement for applicants to have £50,000 of investment funds, The Times first reported.
Speaking at the Bayes Business School, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said that the government had opted to end free movement “to rebuild public consent” in the UK’s immigration system.
“Precisely because we can now decide as a country who comes here, based not on their nationality but on their skill level, I believe we now have the public’s backing to create one of the world’s most attractive visa regimes for entrepreneurs and highly skilled people,” Sunak added.
According to the Chancellor the new immigration system will have “a significant impact on our levels of innovation.” Ian Robinson, an immigration expert at law firm Fragomen, told The Times: “I’m not aware of anywhere that would be more generous.”
The comments come as the government prepares to scrap a “golden visa” scheme offering investors fast-track residency in the UK as part of efforts to sever economic ties with Russia. The fast-track investor scheme, introduced in 2008, was designed to tempt wealthy investors from outside the EU to the UK, but government sources have confirmed the scheme is now under review.