The biotech sector in the UK is one of most progressive and forward thinking in the world. The UK is ranked in the top ten best locations for life science jobs.
Biotechnology is a high growth industry with an average annual growth rate of 6.9%. The government is a significant investor as it recognizes the high-risk nature of the industry and that products may not always receive approval.
The market is expected to continue growing over the coming years as the government increases investment in research and development to help drive the economy after its exit from the European Union.
With an aging population and the resulting increase in demand for treatments combined with the development of a COVID-19 vaccine the UK’s biotechnology industry is in an unusually strong position.
The UK has over 3,400 biotech companies plus service and technology providers and employs some 20,000 people. UK companies account for approximately 40% of biotech products in the pipeline worldwide.
In the last three years the UK has seen a record 65% increase in the number of biotech businesses working in the field of research and experimental development. The most important segment of the biotech market is health applications accounting for 49% of the total market, DNA sequencing is in second place.
Now is the most exciting time to be part of the biotech industry in the UK. However, the UK biotech industry depends on attracting overseas talent to continue its record of innovation.
On 4th March 2021 the Government announced an update to the Shortage Occupation List The biotechnology industry was one sector where a skills shortage was identified.Therefore, it is a perfect time to apply to come to the UK to work. Most popular options for people working in this sector are either a Skilled Worker or Global Talent Visa.
Global Talent Visa
On 27th January 2020 the UK Government announced the new Global Talent Visa which came into force on 20th February 2020. It aims to make the UK the most appealing country to attract the brightest minds.
Eligibility and requirements:
- Recognized as a leader “talent” or potential leader “promising talent”
- Endorsement letter from a UK approved body. For science focused candidates will be the UK Research and Innovation funder agency, Royal Society or Royal Academy of Engineering. For technology candidates, it will be Tech Nation.
- For Tech Nation, the person must show that they meet at least two out of four different criteria, including proven track record of innovation, proof of recognition for work outside immediate occupation, significant contribution to the technology sector or exceptional ability in academic contributions.
- For scientific bodies, the candidate needs to have a PhD, be an active researcher. In addition, for talent the person must either have an award, be a member of academy or have a recommendation letter from a senior researcher in the field. For promise, you need to be awarded a fellowship or advanced post.
- All applications require letter(s) of recommendation from a leader in the field. Three letters for Tech Nation endorsement and either two or one for scientific endorsements.
- Apply for settlement after 3 years for main applicant, unless the Tech nation endorsement as a Promise which requires 5 years.
- Bring your family to live with you whilst in the UK. Your partner will be permitted to work in the UK.
- There is no restriction on what type of work you can do in the UK.
- There is no minimum salary threshold.
- There is no English language requirement.
Skilled Worker Visa
This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.
Eligibility and requirements:
- Job offer in an eligible occupation from a Home Office licenced sponsor.
- Job offer at the required skill level of RQR 3 and above.
- English language requirement at B1 level.
- Shortage occupation job salary requirement of £20,480 per annum
- Evidence that you have savings of £1,270 to sponsor yourself in the UK unless a certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you.
- Apply for a settlement after 5 years.
- Bring your family to live with you whilst in the UK as your dependents.
Taylor Hampton Solicitors is a leading law firm who helped many bright and talented individuals to obtain their visas and settle in the UK.
We specialise in complex cases and have an experienced team of immigration lawyers, some of whom speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian who are here to help you every step of the way.
Our specialist immigration lawyers will be able to advise and guide you through the complex evidence that is required for those type of visas, whether in the field of biotechnology or elsewhere.