UK tech startups are urging the new government to streamline the visa process and make it more attractive for highly-skilled tech workers, according to a report by the Startup Coalition.

The report, signed by tech heavyweights like Wise and Multiverse, proposes key reforms to address the challenges faced by early-stage companies.

Salary Threshold Hurting Innovation

A major concern is the recent increase in the minimum salary requirement for the Skilled Worker visa, which jumped to £38,700 from £26,200 earlier this year. The Startup Coalition argues that this puts young, innovative companies at a disadvantage.

“Many startups can’t afford such high salaries in the initial stages,” the report claims. “This new threshold creates a barrier for them to access the global talent pool they need to thrive.”

Expanding the High Potential Individual Visa

The report also calls for an expansion of the UK’s High Potential Individual visa program. This visa currently allows graduates from a limited list of top universities to work in the UK for two years. However, the Startup Coalition argues that this list excludes many high-ranking institutions with strong tech programs.

Visa Processing Burden

The report doesn’t stop at salary requirements. It also criticizes the high cost and complexity of the current visa application process. has long advocated for simplifying the process to make it less time-consuming and expensive for both employers and applicants.

Investment in Tech Talent is Investment in the Future

The Startup Coalition’s report goes beyond visa reforms. It also urges UK pension funds to invest more heavily in venture capital firms that support promising tech startups. This would provide these companies with the resources they need to compete for top talent on a global scale.

“Immigration is the lifeblood of a successful tech sector,” said Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise and a supporter of the Startup Coalition’s manifesto. “By making it difficult for talented individuals to settle here, we risk losing the very people who can drive innovation and growth.”

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