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Tech companies offered free visa advice

TECH companies across the North are being offered free legal surgery sessions on employing talented workers from overseas.

Top 100 UK law firm Ward Hadaway, which has offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, is working with Tech North – a regional office of Tech City UK in the North of England – to hold a series of free one-to-one sessions to raise awareness about the Tech Nation Visa Scheme.

The scheme makes it possible for tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector.

Tech City UK is one of five Designated Competent Bodies and has the ability to endorse application for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa – up to 200 exceptionally talented tech industry staff from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) every year.

Since the beginning of April 2016, it has received over 170 applications for endorsement, over 110 of which have been endorsed, meaning that there are fewer than 90 endorsements still available until April 2017.

Following on from presentations at a series of breakfast events and as part of its role as an official legal partner for the Tech Nation Visa Scheme, Ward Hadaway is now offering free half-hour consultation sessions to companies and individuals.

The sessions are aimed at:

  • businesses in the North’s digital tech community that employ and want to retain non-EEA nationals or that are looking to recruit non-EEA nationals to work in the Northern cities and surrounding areas to fill skills gaps;
  • employees of businesses in the digital tech sector in the North who currently have or require a visa to work in the UK;
  • students and entrepreneurs (overseas or in the UK) who have recently founded or are looking to start up a digital tech business in the North.

They are being held in the following cities on the following dates:

  • Newcastle – November 16
  • Sunderland – November 23
  • Leeds – November 30

As well as taking place in person, sessions can also be delivered over the phone and internet via Skype.

Flora Mewies

Flora Mewies

Flora Mewies, Solicitor in the Employment team at Ward Hadaway, who will be carrying out the consultations, said: “There has already been a lot of interest in the scheme with companies in the thriving tech sector across the North keen to find out how they can access talent from across the world to come and work here.

“These one to one appointments are the ideal way for companies of all sizes and at all stages of development to get more information about the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa including eligibility criteria, the application process and fast track options.

“They can also get up to speed on other immigration routes such as employers sponsoring employees under the Tier 2 (General) visa and roles in the tech sector which are on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List, which is often an under-used option.”

Appointments can be booked via Tech North by clicking here.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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