UK set to offer fast-track visa for fintech workers

The scheme is reportedly set to be announced in the March budget and is a recommendation from the government's fintech review

Rishi Sunak is reportedly set to unveil a new UK visa scheme to help the country's fintech firms attract more talent from around the world. 

The chancellor is due to present the budget on 3 March and it will include a fast-tracked visa specifically for the fintech industry, according to The Telegraph

The proposed changes to the system to aid recruitment in the sector will form part of the government's post-Brexit immigration system, and the visa will act as a fast-track scheme that will give priority access to tech professionals. 

The visa is thought to be a recommendation from ex-Worldplay chief Ron Kalifa who headed up an independent review on how to boost the fintech sector after Brexit. The scheme is also said to be backed by prime minister Boris Johnson and UK tech lobby groups such as Tech Nation. 

London, in particular, is a hive of successful fintech startups and companies, with unicorns firms such as Monzo and Revolt. The industry as a whole is said to be worth around £7 billion to the UK economy. 

The idea of a fast-track visa for the tech industry was welcomed by Russ Shaw, the founder of Tech London Advocates. Shaw has previously called for more support for tech startups along with help to attract talent. 

"We know that demand for highly skilled talent is outstripping supply and risks putting the brakes on for growing firms," Shaw told IT Pro. "The government-backed Fintech Strategic Review is another encouraging and welcomed initiative that will go some of the way in outlining these challenges and proposing tangible solutions.  "The new recommendations will help address and mitigate the immediate challenges posed by Brexit, particularly around immigration - allowing firms to access diverse talent from around the world. While the full details are yet to be unveiled, the new visa scheme outlined appears promising, ensuring that the UK remains open to business - attracting exceptional talent to our shores." Shaw added that the UK's thriving fintech ecosystem has always attracted the capital, talent and proper regulation, but said that the review was yet another testament of the government's commitment to the industry.

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