The Home Office was censured by the fintech industry today after announcing it would delay a fast-track visa scheme due for delivery this month.
Fintech firms have called for a ‘scaling’ visa to ensure they can attract top talent from abroad, with the specialist visa one of the top recommendations of a major industry review Fintech commissioned by the government last year.
But speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Summit today, Philippa Rouse, director of the Home Office, said the scheme would now be pushed back to August.
The decision to delay the visa has drawn industry ire after repeated calls for a rollout.
“The Kalifa Review recommended the creation of a new visa stream more than 12 months ago,” said Janine Hirt, patron of industry body Innovate Finance.
“This is an unfortunate delay that will have a big impact on the growth of UK FinTech businesses.
Hirt said fintech companies said “repeatedly” at the summit that competition for top talent is fierce and inaction will hurt businesses.
It came as Rouse confirmed that a number of other programs would be rolled out in the coming months, including High Potential Individual Route, which will allow a short-term work visa for graduates from top 50 universities. of the world, and an Innovator visa, which would be expanded to attract top overseas entrepreneurs to the UK.
“For the current innovator route, there is a minimum investment threshold and we are removing it,” she said.
“Through a business exercise, we select approving bodies to assess innovation and entrepreneurship. We should deliver these reforms in the fall.