September 2020 breaks record for UK tech visa applications

The UK Tech Nation visa, designated to Tech Nation by the Home Office, allows tech talent worldwide to work in the country’s digital technology sector, contributing expertise and innovation.

122 visa applications were submitted to Tech Nation over the course of last month, with applicants predominantly coming from India, Russia and the United States, with the most common backgrounds being artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and software development.

In the third quarter of 2020, visa applications rose by 42% from the previous quarter, and were up by 8% from Q3 2019.

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Stephen Kelly, chair of Tech Nation, said: “It is fantastic to see that demand for the Tech Nation Visa is growing, and that the UK continues to attract exceptional tech talent from all over the world.

“The data flies in the face of claims that remote working and Covid-19 will deter people coming to the UK to work. Quite the contrary; in an environment where talented entrepreneurs are facing potential obstacles in moving to the US, the UK is a natural home.

“Maintaining the ability to attract talent from abroad is critical for our economic recovery. 25% of those who receive a Tech Nation visa are founders. These individuals are setting up businesses across the UK, bringing capital and jobs that are fuelling our economic growth. In 2019, £10.1bn was invested into UK tech companies, which created 2.92m jobs.

“As countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands become more competitive tech ecosystems, it’s essential international entrepreneurs feel welcome. In addition to low administrative burdens, we need to continue to have support structures in place for a soft landing when talent arrives as well as favourable business environments. But finally, as we consider the long-term effects of Covid-19 and as borders collapse as we move to the cloud, the UK needs to carefully consider the future of the digital nomad.”

Tech Nation recently appointed new board members in Annette Wilson, Eric Collins, Hussein Kanji and Trecilla Lobo, to bolster support for UK tech scaleups.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

Related Topics

Tech Nation
UK Tech Sector