Interest in UK's Global Tech Talent Visa continues to grow

2020-11-20

Tech Nation's latest Visa Report shows that interest in the Global Tech Talent (GTT) visa - which aims to attract skilled technologists from around the world to the UK - has risen in the last two consecutive years. E5-2660

, demand for the GTT visa increased 45 per cent and 48 per cent in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Tech Nation is the official body authorised to assess endorsement applications from talented digital technology professionals who want to come to the UK under the GTT visa and contribute to the growth of high priority tech sectors such as artificial intelligence and cyber-security.

Professionals who enter the UK under the visa can stay in the country for up to five years, working as employees or self-employed individuals. After completion of initial visa period, they can apply for an extension or permanent settlement in the UK.

Tech Nation says that since November 2018, it has received 1,975 applications under Global Talent Visa programme, endorsing 920 visas from more than 50 countries.

Fifty-two per cent of the individuals endorsed under Global Talent Visa programme since 2014 have joined various tech firms as employees, according to the group, while 28 per cent are tech founders, who brought ideas as well as capital into the UK's tech sector.

In 2019 alone, the GTT visa enabled 400 founders to set up businesses in the UK, and 421 in 2020.

AI, software/app development and financial technology are the most popular sectors for visa holders to work in, according to Tech Nation's report.

The demand for cyber skills has increased intensely in recent years. Between 2017 and 2019, the demand for these skills in Wales, the East Midlands and the West Midlands rose by 351 per cent, 140 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively.

Companies are also looking for professionals with AI skills. In Northern Ireland and Wales, demand for these individuals increased 418 per cent and 200 per cent, respectively, between 2017 and 2019.

Most technologists coming the UK under the GTT visa programme are from India, the US and Nigeria.

Tech Nation expects the demand for the GTT visa to continue to rise in 2021, as Tech Nation will open applications to tech talent from the European Union (EU) - who will need a visa from next year. However, the capacity of endorsed visas is not set to rise significantly.