Home secretary Sajid Javid has announced a new visa route specifically designed for people who want to start a business in the UK.
The new visa path, announced during London Tech Week, will replace a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, opening it up to a wider pool of business founders.
The current graduate visa is capped at 2,000 people, and had 839 approved applicants in the year ending March 2018.
The home office said the new visa will make the application process “faster and smoother” for entrepreneurs wanting to come to the UK.
The start-up visa will require applicants to have an endorsement from a university or approved business sponsor, including accelerators.
The visa route has been designed following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee and feedback from the tech sector, according to the home office.
Home secretary Sajid Javid, said: “The UK can be proud that we are a leading nation when it comes to tech and innovation, but we want to do more to attract businesses to the UK and our migration system plays a key part in that.
“That’s why I am pleased to announce a new visa for people wanting to start a business in the UK.
“This will help to ensure we continue to attract the best global talent and maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading destination for innovation and entrepreneurs.”
The expanded route will launch in Spring 2019, with the home office to announced further details in due course.