INDIAN origin chief of OakNorth has urged the government to introduce a ‘unicorn visa’ system.
According to Rishi Khosla, a unicorn visa would reduce the time taken by the British unicorns to recruit talents from foreign countries after Brexit.
Khosla wants the ministers to introduce a fast-track system that would process visas within two days if the applicant had secured a job with a ‘unicorn’.
Unicorn is a technology firm valued at over $1 billion.
The unicorn visas would be for the talents who would generally apply for tire 1 exceptional talent visas or tire 2 visas for skilled workers.
If introduced, the Unicorn visa system could end all types of visa processing delays that can stretch to 60 days or longer.
Tier 1 exceptional talent visa category permits only a small number of talents who are considered to be leaders or emerging leaders in a small number of fields to enter the UK, while the tier 2 visa is the main British visa route for skilled workers coming into Britain to take up employment.
The number of tier 2 visas issued by the Home Office for workers from outside the European Union increased by 15 per cent to 106,524 during the first three months of 2019.
Applications for the tech nation tier 1 exceptional talent visa climbed by 45 per cent to 650 over the first half of the current calendar year.
Major British technology firms urge the government to fast-track the visa approvals to ensure that the technology sector can continue to attract skilled talents from foreign countries after Brexit.
OakNorth chief executive Rishi Khosla was quoted by The Times: “Our hope is that even in a post-Brexit world, we’d still be able to attract diversity of talent- and I think we will.”
Earlier, Will Shu, the chief of the $2 billion worth Deliveroo, urged for a special visa system for unicorns.
Jonathan Hendry, an immigration lawyer at Qore Legal, said a fast-track service should be made available to tech firms that need to get experts quickly.
Hendry was quoted by The Times: “There would have to be a massive administrative effort on the part of the Home Office to set that up- even if it is achievable.”
London-based OakNorth employs 550 people. It reported a 220 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £33.9 million in 2018.
Last month, OakNorth provided an £11.4m property development finance facility to Ocea, one of the UK’s leading developers which specialises in commercial to residential property conversions.