As the digital technology sector is booming at a high pace, there is a surge in demand for technology experts as well as digital technology business leaders globally. This has resulted in a fierce talent race, urging countries, particularly nations with a critical shortage of technical skill, to pitch to attract the best brains in the digital space to grow their tech sectors and create employment. Amid the global talent competition, the UK is staying at the forefront by promoting the best immigration policies involving Global Talent Visa program. According to the UK government report, in the last two years, 3,400+ digital technology visa applications received from over 90 countries worldwide. The report also confirmed a sharp 48% rise in application this year and expected to increase even more with the EU coming into the route (Brexit).
What is a Global Talent Visa?
To stay ahead of global tech competition, the United Kingdom recently launched a Global Talent Visa Program, a UK immigration category for talented and aspiring individuals in the digital technology industry who intend to work and reside in the UK. This visa empowers individuals with its unique offering for applicants and the flexibility to contribute to the UK digital technology sector in many ways, as employees with technical or business backgrounds, founders and academics. Global talent visa holders are much regarded and hugely respected for their contribution in cutting-edge expertise, creativity and innovation to upholding the UK’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy.
Why choose the UK?
The UK is one of the most promising countries for technologists and business leaders. From Fintech, cybersecurity and big data to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the UK is becoming the world tech leader. Even amid a tumultuous year marked by massive change and instability, UK tech has boomed with more than 19,465 new technology businesses in alone December 2020. In short, UK tech is resilient, and there has never been a great time to become involved in the UK tech scene.
Technology experts say it is a perfect time to start or join a digital tech business in the UK. This is because the UK is driving a new era of growth with FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, ClimateTech, FoodTech, MobilityTech and InsurTech. Its tech VC investment is hitting a record high of $15bn with a 17% rise in deep tech investment (the fastest rate of growth in the world) and 120% improved valuation of the tech start-up and scaleup ecosystem in the UK. In terms of employment, the UK has a stable employment rate of 76.5% and growing rapidly-live tech vacancies of 116,000 seen in the first week in March 2021 (2.1m digital tech jobs).The UK proved to be a global leader adding 220,000 tech companies and leading tech unicorns worldwide. Aside from this, the UK is a diverse, multicultural country with enriched social and cultural values and picturesque landscapes, thrilling sports culture, and equal opportunity for professional and social participation.
Benefits of Global Talent Visa
International individuals require a visa to live and work in the UK. They can opt for a skilled worker visa or a global talent visa (two options broadly). It may not be an easy option to obtain sponsorship and apply for a skilled worker visa as that requires an organisation's interest and willingness to sponsor you and offer you a job. Organisations generally prefer to hire local candidates with UK market experience owing to the existing regulations and stringent rule. Thus, the global talent visa comes into the picture, where international talents can directly apply to the UK govt without depending on an employer and losing their autonomy. The global talent visa provides absolute freedom and greater flexibility regarding work, location, remuneration, leave and engagement with organisations. This is the only inexpensive visa category that offers the fastest settlement/British citizenship option. The Global Talent Visa also provides numerous advantages for individuals and their family.
Global Talent Application Process
The process involves the following two stages:
- Application for Endorsement, where international talents need to make an application along with proof of their past achievements in line with the government guideline. This stage involves evaluation of your past accomplishments and your future potential. On successful approval, individuals can apply for immigration.
- Application for Visa; this stage is very much guaranteed subject to standard immigration checks. If stage one, which is the application for endorsement, is unsuccessful, individuals still have the right to submit an Endorsement Review requesting that this decision be reassessed. Alternatively, individuals can make a new application.
Although the global talent visa is highly competitive and includes a rigorous application process, following the UK government’s guideline and putting extra effort to prepare a quality application will definitely pay off.
By Gayatri Panda, Business Partner, Themis Technologies Ltd