Record breaking month for UK Tech Visa Applications

Last month (September) was the highest month for Tech Nation visa applications since records began in 2014. August 2020 was the third highest month for visa applications on record, and applications in Q3 (calendar year) were up 42% on the previous quarter, and up 8% on Q3 of last year. It is clear that applicants have predominantly come from India, Russia and the US, and applicants come from backgrounds in software development, cloud computing and AI.

Stephen Kelly, Chair of Tech Nation, commented: “It is fantastic to see that demand for the Tech Nation Visa is growing, and that the UK continues to attract exceptional tech talent from all over the world. 

“The data flies in the face of claims that remote working and COVID-19 will deter people coming to the UK to work. Quite the contrary. In an environment where talented entrepreneurs are facing potential obstacles in moving to the US, the UK is a natural home.

“Maintaining the ability to attract talent from abroad is critical for our economic recovery. 25% of those who receive a Tech Nation visa are founders. These individuals are setting up businesses across the UK, bringing capital and jobs that are fuelling our economic growth. In 2019, £10.1bn was invested into UK tech companies, which created 2.92m jobs.

“As countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands become more competitive tech ecosystems, it’s essential international entrepreneurs feel welcome. In addition to low administrative burdens, we need to continue to have support structures in place for a soft landing when talent arrives as well as favourable business environments. But finally, as we consider the long-term effects of Covid-19 and as borders collapse as we move to the cloud, the UK needs to carefully consider the future of the digital nomad.”