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Simon Bond  

Partner, Employment

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Simon Bond Dec 2012

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Region’s technology sector to benefit from new visa rules

 

Article date:  16/10/2015

A leading employment lawyer believes a forthcoming change to the rules on visas for foreign workers may be of benefit to the region's burgeoning technology sector and advises employers to familiarise themselves with the changes in order to take advantage when they into force next month.

The rules on visas for foreign technology specialists are to be radically overhauled after complaints from the industry that it was struggling to recruit enough staff to match their growth.

"Technology companies have long complained that visa applications take too long," explains Simon Bond a specialist solicitor at Midlands based firm Higgs & Sons. "These new rules will now offer four ways for foreign workers with the right skills to meet visa criteria, making it much easier for non-EU citizens with specialist skills to enter the country." 

The new rules are in response to concerns that a scheme originally unveiled by the Prime Minister nearly two years ago has failed to meet the needs of fast-growing technology companies.

The rules cover the following areas:

  • A new fast-track route for workers being brought into assist companies attempting to grow towards a stock market flotation, including software coding, finance and online security specialists. It is designed to support Government and Tech City attempts to create the conditions for Britain to produce more home-grown public technology companies
  • Teams of talented foreign technology specialists can now apply for visas as a group, raising the possibility of a wider net for the "acquire-hire" deals start-ups often use to accelerate their growth
  • Individuals with "exceptional promise" will also be recognised targeting specific gaps in highly specialised skills areas.
  • Applications to work at technology companies based in one of the six cities included in the Government's 'Northern Powerhouse' initiative will be fast-tracked.

"Though one of these rules is specific to the cities based in the so called 'Northern Powerhouse', they should still be of benefit to the hi-tech organisations who operate in this region but who struggle to find the specialist skilled workers, to enable them to grow," continues Simon Bond.

"Employers wanting to find out more about how these changes can help their organisation should talk to a specialist adviser prior to them coming into force next month."

Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey MP, believes the visa overhaul will help "bring the best and brightest to British shores as we continue to stake our claim as a Tech Nation on the global stage."

For future information, please contact Simon Bond at simon.bond@higgsandsons.co.uk or 01384 327333

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