Jul 26 2021

Innovation Strategy Announced

United Kingdom
  • The UK government has published its Innovation Strategy, which sets out a long-term plan to attract global talent to the United Kingdom.
  • This includes the introduction of a new ‘High Potential Individual route’, which will allow individuals to enter the United Kingdom without a job offer.  
  • The UK government will implement the Strategy in a Statement of Changes later in the year.

The situation

The UK government has published its UK Innovation Strategy, which sets out a long-term plan to attract global talent to the United Kingdom.

A closer look

CHANGE DETAILS IMPACT
Introduction of the ‘High Potential Individual’ route There will be a new route for ‘high potential individuals’ to enter the United Kingdom without a job offer, unlike other immigration routes in the United Kingdom that do require this. Eligibility will be open to applicants who have graduated from a top global university. There is not a ranking published at this time – more information is expected to follow.

This will give eligible foreign nationals flexibility to work, and to switch jobs or employers in the United Kingdom.

The UK government will  potentially expand eligibility to more applicants aside from university graduates.

A scale-up route

This will allow individuals with a high-skilled job offer from a “qualifying scale-up” business at the required salary level to enter the United Kingdom.

A scale-up is a business which demonstrates an annual average revenue or employment growth rate over a three-year period greater than 20% and a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the three-year period.

Applicants will be able to apply for fast track immigration processes.

Applicants will have greater flexibility to work in the United Kingdom and to move between different employers, and will be eligible to apply for Settled Status in the United Kingdom. 

Amendments to Innovator route

Applicants will no longer be required to have at least GBP 50,000 in investment funds under the Innovator route.

Applicants will only need to show that their business has a high potential to grow and add value to the United Kingdom, and that it is innovative, instead of having to prove growth in international markets, as is the case currently.

The intention is to make the route more accessible and desirable for eligible applicants. 

Background

The introduction of the new High Potential Individual route is building upon the government’s promises to introduce an unsponsored work route under the Points Based Immigration System, as part of the United Kingdom’s new immigration system.

Looking ahead

The UK government will implement the changes in a Statement of Changes later this year.

Fragomen will report on related developments.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact your Fragomen immigration professional or send an email to [email protected].