Britain is introducing an “entrepreneur visa” to encourage those who have the backing of investors to settle in the country.
“If you’ve got an idea, if you want to create jobs, and if you have the ambition to build a world beating company here in the U.K., we want you,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a speech in east London today. “With our new entrepreneur visa we want the whole world to know that Britain wants to become the home of enterprise and the land of opportunity.”
The move is designed to allay business concerns over a planned cap on immigration from next year. Companies say a temporary limit currently in force is preventing them from bringing in staff. Business Secretary Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat in the Conservative-led government, has warned the limit will hamper economic growth.
Entrepreneurs will have to have “serious investment from a leading investor” to qualify for the visa, Cameron said. Further details of how the visa will work will be announced next year, Cameron’s office said. The Conservatives fought the May election on a pledge to introduce a limit on immigration, while the Liberal Democrats opposed the plan.
Cameron said yesterday that intra-company transfers, which in 2009 accounted for 60 percent of “tier 2” visas for skilled workers, will not be included in the cap.
“It will not be difficult to achieve much better immigration control without disadvantaging business,” he said in the House of Commons. “For example, things such as inter-company transfers should not be included in what we are looking at.”