UK tech visa applications increase by almost a third

The UK remains an attractive destination for tech talent despite Brexit and the pandemic, Tech Nation says

Applications for the UK's Global Talent Visa increased by 28% between April 2020 and March 2021, according to industry data.

The Global Talent Visa is aimed at people working in the tech industry and Tech Nation has been designated by the Home Office to endorse the visa to maintain the UK's position as a leading technology hub. 

It allows founders or employees with technical or business experience to work in Britain for up to five years, after which they can apply for an extension or settled status. Since its launch in 2014, the visa has received over 4,000 applications from 102 different countries, with more than a third of applications (35%) coming through in the last 12 months, according to Tech Nation.

Despite both Brexit and the pandemic, it seems that the talent coming through via the visa is helping to drive growth across the UK with over a third (39%) deciding to base themselves outside of London at hubs including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cambridge, Oxford, Leeds and Manchester. 

"The UK is a global powerhouse for tech, not only due to our world-class ideas and innovation, but our world-class talent too," said Tech Nation founding CEO, Gerard Grech. 

"Tech Nation's Global Talent Visa is just one of the many reasons the UK is such an attractive hub for ambitious and inspiring tech entrepreneurs, and will help ensure the UK remains one of the best destinations to start and scale a tech business in the months and years to come."

Since 2018, the number of founders applying for the visa has grown by an average of 74% per year and counts for over 600 active entrepreneurs endorsed by Tech Nation. These founders have driven growth and employment opportunities within the UK's digital sector. The main sectors for the visa appear to be cyber security and fintech, with the former seeing a 172% increase in applications since 2018. 

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