The UK Home Office has released the UK Innovation Strategy, a plan that maps the government’s vision to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035. The strategy introduces new High Potential Individual and Scale-up visa routes and revitalizes the Innovator route.
- The High Potential Individual route will be available to applicants who have graduated from a top global university. The UK government will explore the scope to expand eligibility to other characteristics of high potential. There will be no job offer requirement, giving individuals the flexibility to work, switch jobs or employers and make contributions to the UK economy. The route will also allow eligible individuals to extend their visa and settle in the UK, subject to meeting specific requirements.
- A Scale-up route will support UK scale-ups by allowing talented individuals with a high skilled job offer from a qualifying scale-up at the required salary level to come to the UK. Scaleups will be able to apply through a fast-track verification process to use the route, so long as they can demonstrate an annual average revenue or employment growth rate over a three year period greater than 20%, and a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the three-year period. The route will allow eligible individuals to work, switch jobs or employers. Individuals will be able to extend their visa and settle in the UK, subject to meeting specific requirements.
- A revitalized Innovator route, will allow talented innovators and entrepreneurs from overseas to start and operate a business in the UK that is venture-backed or harnesses innovative technologies, creating jobs for UK workers and boosting growth.
- In revitalizing the Innovatory route, the government will simplify and streamline the business eligibility criteria; fast-tracking applications; be flexible, no longer requiring at least £50,000 in investment funds to apply for an Innovator visa.
These visa route efforts are intended to attract high-skilled, globally mobile innovation talent.
Following significant changes, due to Brexit and the pandemic, the Innovation Strategy is being presented as an opportunity for the UK to lead the future by creating it.
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