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UK Visas helping starve Russia of Talent

More than 200,000 of Russia’s brightest and best have fled, removing their talents from the war economy. Russia is talking about emigration restrictions, while the UK is realising that helping anti-Putin young professionals build a new life in the UK also starves Putin of resources, and western companies are thriving as Russian talent fills their skills gaps.

Russia sees IT skills loss as a war issue

“Never believe anything until it has been officially denied” (Otto Von Bismark) springs to mind when seeing the headline “Kremlin slams possible restrictions on IT Specialists departure from Russia as fake news” in TASS (the Official Russian state news)

Russia knows its skilled people are a key resource to keep the economy functioning. As English is the language of IT the world over, IT professionals are particularly able to slot into jobs overseas, and the Kremlin wants to stop them. This can be scary, dissent is already criminalised, so a programmer who does not support the war, and is known to be trying to leave, may find the FSB (a re-branded KGB) knocking on their door.

Welcoming these professionals to the UK would be a triple win for the UK and for the west

· Russian IT professionals tend to be very good indeed, a legacy from soviet days when a career in maths/sciences made it easier to get on with ones job and avoid risky political situations. They are an asset to whoever employs them.

· The UK has increasing shortages in the tech skills needed to maintain the UK’s position as the foremost European hub for FinTech, blockchain, ‘Web 4’ and cloud computing.

· Denying Putin the skills, and foreign exchange generating capabilities, of Russians with highly marketable and internationally desirable expertise is a sensible move.

For all the reasons that Putin wants to stop Russian IT professionals leaving, the UK should be rolling out a red carpet. Key measures needed are to allowing Russians

· To apply for UK visas in neighbouring countries, so they don’t have to wait in Moscow, sitting ducks at the mercy of the FSB/KGB, while the applications are considered.

· To prove their English language skills in an interview with a visa officer, rather than forcing them to sit an English language test (test centres are full, causing delays)

Even without the changes, if a company doesn’t yet have a UK presence, we can often set up a partnership that turbocharges their opening, and can sponsor the right global talent for their launch. The Skilled Worker visa which replaced Tier 2 is a big improvement. It works brilliantly for companies hiring Russian, or any other, talent. There is no more 28 days advertising, no more quotas. Western businesses keen to extract talent from Russia can get boots on the ground in London in under a month. It’s a great way to fill a skills gap.

To get UK visas to hire Russian talent, call 07879 480 755

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