The government has published a policy paper on the UK’s new innovation strategy. It contains information about two new visa routes that will be opened in 2022: “High Potential Individual” and “Large Scale Development. The document also details changes to the Innovator Program.
High Potential Individual.
The High Potential Individual route will be open to applicants who have graduated from a top global university. Unlike the new Graduate route, which will begin July 1, 2021, there will be no requirement to have a job and will be an opportunity to extend their visa and settle in the UK. The government has said it will explore the possibility of expanding this route into other categories with high potential.
The Scale-up route will be open to people with an offer of highly skilled work from a skilled scale and the required salary level. People will be able to extend their visa and settle in the UK. They will also be able to change jobs or employers. Scale companies that can demonstrate average earnings or employment growth of more than 20% over a three-year period and at least 10 employees at the beginning of the three-year period will be able to expedite the vetting process to take this route.
The government also announced plans to “revitalize” the Innovator route. The following changes were outlined in the UK Innovation Strategy:
Business eligibility criteria will be simplified so that applicants will be required to demonstrate that their business venture has high potential to grow and add value to the UK and is innovative.
an easier approval process will be introduced for applicants whose business ideas are particularly cutting-edge and best-in-class.
international proposals, with all applicants accepted into the Department of International Trade’s Global Entrepreneurs Program automatically eligible.
there will no longer be a requirement to hold at least £50,000 in investment funds if the approving body is satisfied that the applicant has sufficient funds to develop his or her business. the restriction on doing work outside the applicant’s main business will be removed.