An Indian-origin entrepreneur has called on the UK government to consider a new streamlined visa to make it easier for the technology industry to continue to hire the required talent from around the world even after Britain has left the European Union (EU).
Rishi Khosla, the CEO co-founder of London-headquartered fintech start-up OakNorth, believes a new so-called "unicorn visa" would help fast-growing tech companies in the UK bring in talent from other markets, including countries like India.
"It would be great to see something that specifically helps the fastest-growing tech companies in the UK bring in talent from other markets such as a 'unicorn visa' whereby we could get applications fast-tracked from any UK consulate anywhere in the world," said Khosla, himself the head of a successful unicorn or a start-up valued at over $1 billion.
"We're growing by 15 people on average every week and last week was a record for us with 27 new joiners. A special visa like this would be hugely helpful in ensuring we're able to get access to the talent we need, when we need it, and ensure we can continue pursuing our ambitious growth plans," he explained.
Britain is scheduled to leave the EU by October 31, which would mark the end of freedom of movement rules within the 28-member economic bloc.
The Boris Johnson-led government has plans to introduce an Australian-style points-based post-Brexit visa system, which it believes would be able to attract migrants to the country based on their skills rather than nationality.
Many of the UK's different business sectors, including financial technology, have urged the government to ensure any new system makes it easier for Britain to acquire the requisite talent.
"The UK has managed to maintain its pole position in fintech thanks to its diverse mix of talent, world-renowned higher education institutions, forward-thinking regulators, and a sophisticated and active investor network. Our hope is that even in a post-Brexit world, we'd still be able to attract this diversity of talent and I think we will," said Khosla, whose OakNorth is considered among Europe's valuable fintech companies as a scale-up business lender, which uses an artificial intelligence model to provide loans for small and medium sized companies to be able to grow their businesses.