"There is an argument that the UK could position itself as an attractive alternative, or even primary global destination for young technology professionals," she said. "However, as the UK's present Conservative government has renewed its pledge to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands, the avenues for these professionals to enter and work in the UK will likely only become more exclusive, rather than inclusive.
"Moreover, with a referendum on whether the UK remains in the EU to be held by 2017, a 'Brexit' (as a potential 'British Exit' is being termed) could make hiring the necessary talent even more onerous for businesses."
Devine added that she believes the US' failure to expand technology visas is down to the fact that it wants to protect its domestic labour market, not homeland security. She also added that the US has failed to update the IT platforms underpinning the US immigration system.
Commenting specifically on the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, Devine said: "The primary draw back to the category's wider popularity is in the very nature of its design, to wit, its exclusivity," said Devine. "Unfortunately, this means that most young talent are precluded from applying under this route in the first instance. Moreover, even were the bar set lower, the present limit of just 200 places in the field of technology in this category would prevent any meaningful increase in the number of hires."
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