1000 Extra UK Visas For Entrepreneurial MBAs

UK visas for entrepreneurial MBAs

UK home secretary Theresa May has announced that 1,000 extra places will be added to UK net migration caps for MBA graduates who plan to start a business in the country. The announcement was during a speech on immigration policy made on December 12th.

Cutting net migration is one of the current UK administration’s cornerstone policies. Tightened restrictions on economic migration and student visas have already seen a significant slowdown in the number of people allowed to take up residence in the country.

However, as May emphasized in her speech, the aim is to reduce immigration while continuing to attract those perceived as being able to make a positive contribution to the UK: “We have always been clear that we want Britain to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world – the top academics, brightest students, the best businessmen, investors, skilled workers and entrepreneurs who will contribute to our society, our economy and our way of life.”

This is considered to be a constructive development by Kai Peters, CEO of Ashridge Business School: "I welcome the statement made by Theresa May concerning the creation of visas aimed at MBA graduates seeking to start businesses and look forward to reading about the details to be able to inform present MBA students and MBA candidates accordingly.”

This sentiment is echoed by Ebrahim Mohamed, director of the Imperial College's executive MBA program. “This is a positive move to dispel the notion that UK is closing its borders to well meaning and capable entrepreneurs which are very much needed for the economic benefits that they can bring to the UK economy.” The UK, he adds, is not necessarily perceived to be the friendliest environment for entrepreneurs.

Does he think further steps could be taken to encourage MBAs to do business in the UK? “More visibility on this issue from leading politicians in the international markets where we draw our students from would be helpful. Mayor Boris Johnson’s recent visit to India was a positive gesture and also perhaps more controversially a fiscal incentive should be considered to incentivize an influx of high quality international entrepreneurs.”

In addition to the new policy, May highlighted other moves implanted by the coalition government to facilitate and promote entrepreneurship. MBA graduates are excluded from quotas on Tier 2 skilled migration visas (which must be applied for by employers), and inter-company transfers do not count against migration caps where transferees earn in excess of £40,000 (around US$65,000). Visa categories for prospective and graduate entrepreneurs have also been created in order to encourage business in the UK.

“So our reforms to economic migration…send a clear message. If you have skills we need, and a company is willing to give you a job, come to Britain. If you have an investment to make, do it in Britain. And if you have a great business idea, bring it to Britain,” she concluded.

Written by QS Blogger

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