How UK Immigration is Supporting the Tech Sector

Recent events and technological advances have highlighted the importance of migrants, and hence the importance of a UK immigration policy that allows skilled workers to migrate freely. Migrants have been at the vanguard of technological advancements, from Covid vaccinations to AI breakthroughs. This is especially true in high-income countries, where the prospect of a better life for themselves and their families can entice employees with the necessary skills from lower-income families. Foreign-born workers account for 24% of the information, communication, and information technology workforce. This trend is expected to continue under the new points-based UK immigration system, which awards additional points to candidates with advanced degrees, such as a PhD in a STEM field. Several new UK visa channels have opened as part of the system, aimed at tech workers. The 'Global Talent Visa' is open to extraordinary talents in various fields, including the digital sector.

The modifications to the Global Talent Visa route will assist the UK's digital sector to continue to attract digital expertise from across the world, according to Tech Nation, the entity responsible for endorsing and processing applications through this route for the digital technology sector. Tech Nation said that demand for tech employment has increased in recent years, citing a 44 per cent increase in Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa applications in 2019. It has supported more than 1,200 applications since its inception in 2014. The former immigration system required applicants to have a degree-level qualification to work in the UK; currently, applicants need to be qualified up to A-level or equivalent. The objective is to provide a greater pool of skilled workers to the UK labour market.