Tech Talent visa applications up 48% in 2020, says Tech Nation

By Aisling Finn on Thursday 19 November 2020

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

India, the US and Nigeria are the three top countries for international talent according to Tech Nation’s visa applications.

Tech Talent visa applications up 48% in 2020, says Tech Nation
Image source: Stephen Kelly/Tech Nation


Industry body Tech Nation has today revealed that applications for the Global Talent visa have jumped by 48 per cent over the last year. 

The Tech Nation-endorsed application is aimed at attracting the brightest talent in tech to help bolster the UK tech scene.  

Over the past two years, applications to the visa have grown significantly. Since 2018, applications to the visa jumped by 45 per cent last year, a figure now shadowed by this year’s 48 per cent leap in applications. 

Stephen Kelly, chair of Tech Nation, said: “Tech Nation’s Visa Report shows that, despite the pandemic, international interest to work in the UK tech sector has never been higher.” 

“Attracting tomorrow’s tech leaders to the UK is crucial to the continued growth of the sector, the UK’s place in the world, and driving the nation through recovery to growth in the digital age.” 

Data about those endorsed for the Tech Nation Global Talent visa shows that since 2014, 52 per cent of applicants are currently employed at some of the UK’s leading tech firms.  

Of those using the visa, 28 per cent are tech founders themselves. The Tech Nation-backed visa enabled 421 founders to set up businesses in 2020, up from 400 last year. 

Trecilla Lobo, SVP of people at BenevolentAI and Tech Nation board director, added: “The Tech Nation Visa enables the UK tech sector to maintain its competitive advantage by attracting the best talent in specialist skills in tech, research and AI and a more globally diverse perspective to help us innovate and create amazing products and services.” 

“As an immigrant to the UK in my late teens, the UK visa scheme has enabled me to bring my experience, expertise and contribute to the people agenda for tech scale-ups in the UK, and helped me build a successful career in tech.” 

Nearly half (41 per cent) of those endorsed are currently based outside London, with app and software development, AI and machine learning and fintech being the most popular destinations for visa holders.  

Since November 2018, the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa has received 1,975 applications and endorsed 920 from over 50 countries, with India, the US and Nigeria being the top three countries for visa applications.  

As a result of Brexit, Tech Nation will also be including Europe in applications for 2021. 

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