Amid criticism on immigration policies, the UK Home Office has decided to establish a new “startup visa program” with the sole purpose of attracting foreign entrepreneurs with fresh ideas.
The startup visa program, which will be launched in spring 2019, is going to replace a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, thus opening it up for a wider pool of people, who do not necessarily have a degree. Instead, the applicants will only need an endorsement issued by a university or business sponsor, from an approved list under the program.
The news was made known at the London Tech Week on June 12, The startup visa was invented by the Migration Advisory Committee in collaboration with leading figures in Britain’s own tech sector.
The UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who succeeded Amber Rudd after the former stepped down amid criticism on UK’s migration policies, said that Home Office wants to do more when it comes to tech and innovation and attracts entrepreneurs to the UK.
“…we want to do more to attract businesses to the UK and our migration system plays a key part in that. That is why I am pleased to announce a new visa for people wanting to start a business in the UK. This will help to ensure we continue to attract the best global talent and maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading destination for innovation and entrepreneurs,” he said.
Javid also announced that other reforms would be undertaken to the visa system, as a result of the establishment of the new startup visa, what he called a commitment of the government to make the UK a dynamic, open, globally-trading nation.
The changes come after many UK Tech Companies have complained that the reduced access to European funding and the difficulties they face to find talented employees have discouraged business which is one of the key drivers of the UK’s economic growth.
The new visa program comes at a time when PM May has been criticized a lot on her immigration policies, especially because of the job shortages at the National Health System, which needs to bring doctors from outside in order to overcome a possible crisis caused as a result of vacant posts for doctors.
Home Secretary Javid promised recently to introduce a “fairer, more compassionate” immigration system, which will permit Home Office staff to use their common sense, during a two-hour-long appearance at the parliament’s joint human right select committee after the Windrush scandal.