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Global Talent Visa brings 5,000 tech workers to UK

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More than 5,000 workers have come to the UK via the Global Talent Visa since it started 10 years ago, as Tech Nation confirms it will continue to assess applications for the Home Office “until further notice”.

A report from Tech Nation reflecting on the decade anniversary of the scheme noted that among the 5,249 international tech workers who received these visas, a quarter of them were founders of new startups.

The Global Talent Visa, previously called the Exceptional Talent Visa, is a scheme in which skilled people working in tech can apply to live and work in the UK.

The report claimed that the influx of international tech workers through Global Talent Visas played a major role in advancing the UK tech sector, which has grown rapidly since 2014.

In 2023, the UK tech industry was valued at more than $1tn, the third most in the world behind the US and China.

Tech Nation has worked with the Home Office to endorse digital technology applications to the scheme since its launch.

Last year, Tech Nation closed after the government reallocated the £12m a year Digital Growth Grant to Barclays Eagle Labs.

The collapse of Tech Nation threw the visa scheme into doubt, with many applicants partway through the process as the group shut down. The government confirmed Tech Nation would continue to provide endorsements for Global Talent Visas on a temporary until a suitable replacement was found.

The Tech Nation brand was then acquired and, in October 2023, relaunched by Founders Forum. The newly launched iteration confirmed at the time it would continue to act as the endorsing partner for the visa until “at least” the end of 2024.

The startup support organisation confirmed to UKTN on Thursday that it will continue to assess applications “until further notice”.

“While the Home Office works to confirm the long-term options for the endorsement of digital technology applications, Tech Nation will continue to assess digital technology applications for the Global Talent Visa until further notice,” a Tech Nation spokesperson said.

Read more: Immigration policy changes cast shadow over UK tech optimism

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