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4 March 2021

2021 Budget Report released

The UK government has proposed new immigration changes to attract highly skilled talent to the United Kingdom in the 2021 Budget Report. Woodcock Law looks at these proposed changes and what they may mean for business immigration in the coming year.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
EU ID Cards no longer accepted as travel documents to strengthen UK borders

The 2021 Budget Report released on 3 March 2021 presents several new proposals for the UK immigration system. These proposed measures are in response to the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of the Brexit transition period.

The government has committed to helping businesses grow in the next year by modernising the immigration system to help the UK attract highly skilled talent from around the world. The focus will particularly be on talent in the fields of academia, science, research and technology.

Woodcock Law looks at the specific proposals set out in the 2021 Budget Report.

Scale-up visa subcategory

The government aims to introduce an elite points-based visa category by March 2022. This will enable applicants with a job offer from a recognised UK scale-up to qualify for a fast-track visa.

This new visa subcategory could give foreign nationals an opportunity to live and work in the United Kingdom without needing an employer or family member’s sponsorship.

Global Talent visa

The proposed reform of the Global Talent visa category will allow foreign nationals who are holders of international prizes and winners of scholarships and programmes for early promise to automatically qualify for a Global Talent Visa. Currently, these foreign nationals are not automatically eligible for this visa and must be endorsed by a registered organisation.

Innovator Visa

Attracting innovators to the UK is likely to create jobs and promote investment in the country. To boost this, the Innovator Visa category could be revised to make it easier for foreign nationals with the skills and experience to establish an innovative business to obtain a visa.

The current requirement to have an endorsement from an eligible endorsing body may be removed from the criteria for this visa.

Global Business Mobility Visa

This proposed new visa category will allow overseas businesses to establish a presence or transfer staff to the UK. The government aims to launch this new visa category by Spring 2022.

Other proposals

  • The government will provide practical support to small firms that are using the visa system for the first time
  • The government will modernise the immigration sponsorship system to make it easier to use. The government will publish a delivery roadmap in the summer
  • The government will establish a global outreach strategy by expanding the Global Entrepreneur Programme, marketing the UK’s visa offering and explore building an overseas talent network.

Any changes that are implemented will be announced via a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. We will keep up to date with these changes and make announcements on each visa category as more details emerge.

Contact us for immigration advice
Woodcock Law can assist you in your application to work and live in the United Kingdom.

Woodcock Law is well placed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on immigration applications. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous, but we can assist you in your application.

We recommend getting in contact with us on 020 7712 1590 for our expert advice before any action is taken.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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