Our immigration and visa partner, Kingsley Napley, offer an update on the Tech Nation Visa following the closure of Tech Nation. Read it below or visit their blog for this and other issue updates.
After a tense period of uncertainty over who would assume Tech Nation’s role as the endorsing body administering the tech branch of the UK’s Global Talent Visa, or indeed if the visa route would disappear altogether (either temporarily or permanently), Tech Nation have now confirmed that they will continue to accept applications “for the foreseeable future” and “until a new endorsing body is in place”.
Tech Nation have also entered discussions with Founders Forum Group to acquire the Tech Nation brand and carry on its legacy of supporting and advocating for the UK tech sector.
Two months ago, on 31st January 2023, Tech Nation announced that it would cease operations tomorrow, on 31 March 2023, after the government pulled key funding, awarding it instead to Barclays’ tech incubator Eagle Labs. This sparked upset, and no small degree of panic, among those of us who think the Global Talent visa route has been pretty darn great. So, the news that Tech Nation plans to continue to accept applications and bridge the gap between their winding down and the appointment of a new endorsing body is a welcome relief.
This is an extremely promising update for a vital visa route. The Tech Nation visa has been integral in attracting top tech talent to the UK, which experts agree is a crucial factor in the UK retaining its status as a world class centre of tech innovation. The fact that Tech Nation has confirmed that it will continue to accept new Global Talent endorsement applications until a new endorsing body is in place, means that the tech arm of the Global Talent visa can continue to operate without interruption. It is not yet clear whether the Founders Forum Group is also looking to take over Tech Nation’s role as the endorsing body for the Global talent visa, or whether the contract will be put out to tender by the government but, knowing how painfully slowly things in the public sector can move, the fact that we know there is interim provision for this route is a weight lifted.
Either way, ensuring this is a smooth transition will be key in retaining the attention of tech talent, who may have already, in the interim, begun looking elsewhere to locate their start-ups and investments.
Considering the increased competition in foreign visa policies intended to entice top tech talent, this news could not have arrived at a better time for the UK’s tech sector. If this deal proceeds, it will be an extremely welcome outcome that reinforces the UK as an attractive, strong and inviting location for tech development.
Contact Kingsley Napley to learn more about how they can help tech entrepreneurs establish in the UK.