The U.K. government has announced new plans to modernize the country’s immigration system to “attract and retain the most highly-skilled, globally mobile talent.” The plans are detailed in a budget plan submitted to the House of Commons last week and focus on attracting global talent in academia, science, research and technology.

Among other proposals, the budget calls on the government to:

  • Introduce an elite points-based visa. This visa would be introduced by March 2022 and would include a “scale-up” stream that would allow those with job offers from a recognized U.K. scale-up to qualify for a fast-track visa.
  • Reform the Global Talent visa. This reform would include allowing winners of international prizes, scholarships and programs for early promise to automatically qualify for a visa.
  • Review the Innovator visa. This would be done with the goal of making it easier for individuals with skills and experience to start a business and obtain a visa.
  • Launch a new Global Business Mobility visa. This would be done by spring 2022 and would allow for overseas businesses to more easily establish a presence in the U.K. or transfer staff to the U.K.
  • Provide practical support. These efforts would target small firms that are using the visa system for the first time.
  • Modernize the immigration sponsorship program. The government plans to publish a delivery roadmap this summer, detailing plans to make the sponsorship program easier to use.
  • Establish a global outreach strategy. This would be done by expanding the Global Entrepreneur Program, marketing visa offerings and exploring the possibility of building an overseas talent network.

Analysis & Comments: Employers will welcome the steps being taken to ensure that the U.K. can attract and retain the most highly skilled, globally mobile talent from around the world. Employers will also welcome the steps being taken to modernize the immigration sponsorship system and will wait with interest for the roadmap due to be published in the summer. Deloitte will continue to follow developments related to the budget proposal, and will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

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