The Home Office and Tech London Advocates today launched a series of events designed to give tech entrepreneurs and businesses access to immigration officials who will help them to grow in the UK.

The first event in the "Home Office Hours" series is taking place at Google Campus this Wednesday. It will focus on the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa, the criteria for endorsement, the application process and the role that Tech City UK is playing in its implementation.

Last month, Tech City UK was told it would be able to give out 200 endorsements of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visas to world-leading individuals in the digital technology sector. At the event, Tech City UK will deliver a presentation on the Tier 1 Visa criteria and there will be free one-on-one sessions with Home Office officials and immigration experts from Pennington Manches law firm. 

Tech London advocates, a private sector led coalition of individuals from the tech sector and broader community who aim to support start-ups, recently found that a lack of talent and strict immigration policies are holding back London's tech companies.

Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, said: “We know that a lack of talent is one of the biggest impediments to London’s tech future and that tech sector businesses can find immigration policy daunting.”

He added that the workshops will help ensure the “right people” are coming to work for London’s tech companies.  

Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO, said: “Historically, it has been challenging for digital entrepreneurs to hire great talent from overseas. Last summer, we began working with the Home Office to resolve the issue, and with colleagues from across the UK’s tech community, we developed the criteria against which applicants to the Tier 1 visa are now measured.

"Tech City UK is the Visa’s Designated Competent Body, and it is our aim to make Britain’s tech sector a magnet for the best and brightest digital talent.”

Attendees are requested to pre-register for the "Options for Innovators" event via Eventbrite.