Coadec launches campaign to ensure tech talent reaches UK shores

Save Skilled Migration campaign follows revelations that Home Office rejected 1,300 visa applications by non-EU skilled workers in June

The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) has launched a campaign to ensure UK technology businesses are able to hire tech talent from around the world.

The non-profit organisation’s Save Skilled Migration campaign is calling on tech start-ups to fill out an online survey, and explain how the government’s proposed changes to the Tier 2 visa for skilled migrants outside the EU could negatively impact British businesses.

Currently, those wishing to enter the UK on a Tier 2 visa are required to have a degree level qualification and a definite job offer – and the company recruiting them needs to become an accredited sponsor, have advertised the role(s) for 28 days in the UK first and met salary thresholds for the position.

Prime minister David Cameron has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a review into the system and Coadec says that this is to explore how to make it even harder for non-EU nationals to enter the UK.

These changes may involve raising the salary threshold, restricting which roles are eligible, limiting the period of time in which a role can be considered as in shortage, introducing a skills levy and restricting the rights of dependents. The report is due to be submitted to the Home Office mid-December.

The Home Affairs Committee, which examines the policy, administration and expenditure of the Home Office and its associated bodies, is also looking into the impact of the cap on Tier 2 visas as it is concerned about the cap’s effect on the UK economy.

The campaign follows recent revelations that the Home Office refused 1,300 visa applications made by skilled workers outside of the EU in June of this year.

Outlining the campaign’s aims on its website, Coadec said:

“We believe this could have a major impact on digital start-ups, who rely on talent from around the world, including outside the EU. We need your help to demonstrate why this would be damaging for UK start-ups and to help.”

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