Immigration Update: November 2021

Posted Friday 26th November 2021

The release of the Autumn budget provided much-needed further detail on the future of Business Immigration in the UK, specifically the Scale-up, High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility visa routes anticipated to launch in Spring 2022. A Global Talent Network has also been announced, aimed at finding and attracting talent across the globe post-Brexit.

Scale-up visa route

The scale-up route will be aimed at individuals with high-skilled job offers from an eligible business. This will differ slightly from the current sponsored Skilled Worker route, as qualifying scale-ups will be able to apply through a fast-track verification process. There is still much to be revealed about this process, but a qualifying scale-up will be expected to evidence annual average income or employment growth rate greater than 20% over a three-year period with at least 10 employees at the start of the third year. The Autumn budget has confirmed that the minimum salary for individuals on this route will be £33,000.

Individuals on the scale-up visa route are expected to be able to extend their visa and apply for settlement once they fulfil the required period of continuous residence in the UK.

High Potential Individual route

The High Potential Individual route will offer significant flexible by allowing eligible individuals to live and work in the UK without prior sponsorship or endorsement. At present, it will be open to graduates of a “top global university”; an indication of which institutions will qualify is expected in due course. Further potential options on how high potential can be demonstrated are also expected to be released, although it is unclear what these may be at this point in time.

Individuals on the High Potential Individual visa route are also expected to be able to extend their visa and apply for settlement once they fulfil the required period of continuous residence in the UK.

Global Business Mobility route

The Global Business Mobility route will target overseas businesses looking to establish a presence and/or flexibly transfer staff to the UK. This visa is expected to build on the current routes already available, such as the Intra-Company Transfer branch of the Skilled Worker route and Representative of Overseas Business visas, and consolidate them into one streamlined route.

Further detail on this route is yet to be released, but many speculate that the Migration Advisory Committee’s recent October report may be a sign of what is to come; for example, allowing ‘teams’ of five employees to travel to the UK and establish a business presence, opposed to a sole representative. This will allow businesses to send highly-skilled individuals with various skillsets for this purpose, with one individual fulfilling the ‘sole representative’ criteria and the others at Skilled Worker level.

Global Talent Network

Alongside the new visa routes, the Global Talent Network will aim to actively source and attract high-skilled individuals from overseas hubs. The Network will focus on the science and tech sectors, and intends to work with businesses and institutions to pinpoint skills needs in the UK. Initially, the Network will launch in Bengaluru in India, and the Bay Area and Boston in the US, but this is likely to be expanded on in the future if the Network is successful.

For advice on your business immigration requirements, please contact Jennifer Maxwell-Harris. Further information on these routes will follow as and when released.

This article is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.

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