This week, TechCrunch’s Disrupt European annual conference was held in London for the first time. This event saw the coming together of the brightest and best tech gurus hoping to be the next best thing. Despite the international talent available in the UK, it seems that the UK’s harsh immigration policy is holding back the technology sector and as a result of the UK government’s unwelcoming attitude, Canada, Australia and others are racing to attract tech entrepreneurs.
UK “Outstripped” by Countries with More Welcoming Visa Systems
In April this year, a survey by Tech London Advocates, revealed that the people making up the coalition believe that the tech talent shortage is the single biggest impediment to the future of the sector in London – with 43% pointing to the talent gap and 10% to immigration legislation as the key threats to London technology’s continued growth.
Speaking after the conference, Jospéhine Goube, spokesperson for Migreat, an immigration research company stated:
‘What we see on the ground is that start-up entrepreneurs are struggling with immigration bureaucracy. When you look at how Canada, Australia and other countries like Germany are offering smoother immigration processes for these guys, what we fear is that start-up entrepreneurs are going to move there instead of London.’
Changes to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Category
To add to this, as we reported last week, the Home Office had published the statement of changes to a number of UK visa routes including the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route. The following is a summary of some of the changes to this category:
- Applicants submitting in-country have to show that they have funds intended to be invested in the business must be in the UK. This is to show that the funds are genuine;
- Applicants who have already obtained a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa and wish to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain have to show they have invested their funds. This only applies to those who have not been required to this in their previous applications;
- There will also be a number of technical clarifications in terms of documentation relating to funds being held in joint accounts, multiple bank accounts, or another business; and
There will also be clarifications made to the documentation required for applicants who already have a business established in the UK, to the job creation requirements for indefinite leave to remain, and to the definitions of “Venture Capital firms”, “new businesses” and “property development or property management”.
Successful Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Applications & Appeals
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