Immigration clampdown could harm UK's digital economy, warn fintech start-ups

Immigration clampdown could harm UK's digital economy, warn fintech start-ups

A consortium of UK startup bosses have petitioned the government over plans to curb the numbers of skilled migrants, warning that such a clampdown could instead curb the growth of the UK's digital economy.

An open letter to UK prime minister David Cameron was signed by the founders of more than 230 tech start-ups and investors, including a number of successful fintech outfits such as Nutmeg, TransferWise and Yo-Yo Wallet.

As part of an effort to reduce net migration levels, the UK government is considering raising the minimum salary level requirement for its entrepreneur visa and Tier 2 system of skilled work visas, both of which are used by many tech start-ups to bring in IT talent from abroad.

"The UK has become a global tech hub thanks in large to start-up founders and employees from across the globe, including many of us who were not born in Britain but choose to invest our time and talents here," states the letter. "We call on you to ensure that any future changes to the immigration system make it easier, not harder, for qualified digital entrepreneurs to come to the UK to start their business and for growing start-ups to hire top international talent."

The letter also cites the government's pre-election promise to make the UK 'the startup nation in Europe and one of the great startup nations in the world'.

 

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