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UK set to shake up tech visa rules

brexit
(Image credit: Image Credit: KurKestutis / Shutterstock)

The UK is working on a fast-track visa program for home-grown tech companies, designed to protect their ability to attract global talent.

According to a report from City AM, the program was triggered by a report from the former Worldpay boss Ron Kalifa.

International workers make up almost half (42 percent) of the UK's tech workforce, the Kalifa review states. Of that number, more than a quarter (28 percent) are workers from EU member states

 “Brexit gives Paris, Berlin and other European fintech hubs a window to capitalize on uncertain messaging. In order to sustain its global dominance in fintech, the UK needs to strengthen its position on immigration or risk a significant shortage in human capital,” the report said.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said such a program would be an “excellent idea” that would help “scale up” the industry. He said the UK leaving the EU could be seen as a great opportunity for the technology industry.

“We want to be innovative, entrepreneurial, agile. We can do things differently after Brexit. We want to be open to the world, we want to be world class at things,” said Sunak.

The Kalifa review also urged the UK government to pledge at least $1.4 billion as a scale-up fund.