In the Spring Budget presented on 3rd March 2021, Rishi Sunak announced many reforms in the UK’s Immigration System.
The reforms aim to rebuild the country’s economy which was adversely affected first by Brexit and then by COVID. It will attract highly skilled international talent, improve staff mobility as well as boost Start-ups and fast-growing businesses.
Here, we discuss the four major reforms announced in the budget.
- Global Outreach Strategy
With the Global Outreach Strategy, those with international prizes (like the Nobel Prize), scholarships and other recognitions will automatically qualify for a UK Visa.
The strategy also includes an expansion of the Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP)
The GEP offers mentoring and business support to entrepreneurs who are willing to relocate and set up their headquarters in the UK. The government of the UK will support such entrepreneurs by
- Helping them to develop a business plan
- Introducing them to investors and other key networks
- Giving them guidance through experienced entrepreneurs
- Helping them with relocation of staff as well as in export
To qualify for support under the GEP, you need to
- Have an especially innovative customer-validated product or technology which is ready to launch or is already in the market
- Have a business plan of expanding from the UK
- Show how your product or technology has the potential of expanding and making profits globally
If you qualify for support under the GEP, the government will help you get a Tier 1 Innovator Visa.
- New Points-based Visa System
The government wants to have a new points-based immigration system in place by March 2022. With this new system, you can qualify for a fast-track visa if you have a job offer from a ‘recognised scale-up’ in the UK.
- Modernisation of the Immigration System
The purpose of modernising the immigration system is to bring overseas talent to the UK and retain them. The government is especially looking for people who have exceptional talent in the fields of science, technology, research and academia.
The modernised system will also provide support to the smaller firms who are using the visa system for the first time. Additionally, it will make it easier for employers to obtain sponsor licence for their prospective employees.
This will be a great boost for those who want to be self-employed and those who want to set up a business.
- Global Business Mobility Visa
At present, only one business representative of a company can move to the UK. He needs to establish the company, obtain sponsor licence, and then bring other staff members. But with the Global Business Mobility Visa, it is possible for staff members to move along with the representative at the same time.
This ‘overseas business transfer’ should likely be in place by the spring of 2022.
Apart from the four major reforms mentioned above, the government will also review the Innovator Visa route to make it easier for people with skills and experience to obtain a visa.
As the pandemic and its resulting restrictions ease up, the reforms in the Immigration System will no doubt be welcomed by employers in the UK.
The country needs good quality international talent to rebuild the economy and after the Spring Budget 2021, things look hopeful for the UK.
If you are looking to invest, visit, work or study in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us for an obligation-free advice.