Post Brexit, UK plans to double visas to professionals outside Europe

RSTV Bureau
Maidenhead : Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks after the declaration at her constituency was made for in the general election in Maidenhead, England, Friday, June 9, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May's gamble in calling an early election appeared Friday to have backfired spectacularly, after an exit poll suggested her Conservative Party could lose its majority in Parliament. AP/PTI

File photo of British Prime Minister Theresa May. AP/PTI

The United Kingdom plans to double the number of visas given to professionals from outside Europe in the field of technology, art and creative industries.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Theresa May as part of her post-Brexit strategy to present Britain as open to global talent.

The number of visas available through the Tier-1 (Exceptional Talent) route will increase from the current 1,000 to 2,000 a year to attract the “brightest and best” talent from around the world, including in digital technology, said May.

“As we prepare to leave the European Union (EU), I am clear that Britain will remain open for business. That means government doing all it can to secure a strong future for our thriving tech sector and ensure people in all corners of our nation share in the benefits of its success…Our digital tech sector is one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries, and is supporting talent, boosting productivity, and creating hundreds of thousands of good, high-skilled jobs up and down the country. It is absolutely right that this dynamic sector…has the full backing of government,” she added.

May made the statement after she hosted digital entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country at Downing Street on Wednesday evening.

She also added that the measure was directed towards creating a digital tech sector.

“Increasing the number of visas for these sectors (digital tech sectors) will make sure that we continue to be at the heart of world culture and forefront of digital and scientific advances,” UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

The 2,000 visas will be made available to individuals who are recognised as existing global leaders or promising future leaders in the digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors by one of five UK endorsing organisations – Tech City UK; Arts Council England; The British Academy; The Royal Society; and The Royal Academy of Engineering.

(With inputs from agencies)