Tech visa in line for shake-up from UK’s upcoming fintech review

The UK’s package of visa schemes aimed at recruiting top talent for technology firms is set for a facelift, following recommendations from a major review of the country’s burgeoning fintech sector.

A new visa will be put on the cards to accompany the country’s existing Global Talent visa, which was developed in partnership with industry body Tech Nation.

A source familiar with the matter told Financial News that details of the updated visa will be floated in the government-commissioned Fintech Strategic Review later this week, led by former Worldpay chief executive Ron Kalifa.

The review is likely to recommend ways to fast track the application process to a matter of weeks, in a bid to make the prospect of moving to London more palatable to foreign talent.

The new permissions will also be specifically targeted at attracting more skilled workers and investment into the UK’s fintech sector, which is one of the world’s top industry performers.

The UK’s startup scene held on to the top spot for European fintech investment in 2020, raking in $4.1bn in funding — more than the intakes of the next four countries in the rankings combined.

READThe UK is still the top fintech hub in Europe with $4.1bn in funding

It also frequently ranks among the top destinations globally for fintech funding, competing with the US and China for the crown each year.

The proposal will address concerns that the UK is falling behind compared with its international counterparts on bringing in talent, the source added, noting France’s tech visa scheme and global talent programmes in Australia and Canada.

The suggested visa recommendations could be adopted to form part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s upcoming Budget at the start of next month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is understood to be supportive of the proposal, The Sunday Telegraph reported, which will be announced alongside updates to the Job Retention Scheme and Universal Credit.

The Treasury was contacted for comment on the review’s inclusion in the Budget.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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