Technology firm speaks out over visa issues for skilled staff

23 Apr 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK visa regulations are preventing growth at a technology business, which has lost staff and income due to red tape, it’s been claimed.

Cryogenic, which developed the equipment used to make graphene, said it has struggled to bring skilled people to the UK who can help the company’s expansion.

Founder, Jeremy Good, told the Daily Telegraph: “We need the best people from all over the world to come to work for us. But you can’t imagine the trouble we’ve had trying to secure visas for staff.”

He said that on one occasion, the company had spent more than a year attempting to obtain a UK work permit for a Ukrainian scientist to join the London-based business. And when he attempted to renew the scientist’s visa, he was told only emergency applications were being processed.

In addition to problems obtaining UK visas for Cryogenic staff, the company has also been beset by issues when attempting to showcase its equipment to foreign customers.

Mr Good said the business has lost around 25 per cent of possible sales due to customers not being able to get into the UK to view its products because of the six-month wait for a visa.

He said: “It’s hugely damaging to cash flow to have £250,000 worth of equipment sitting in the factory while we wait for the visa application to go through.”

As a result of the problems, Cryogenic has sent its own staff to other countries to train overseas staff. The company is now looking to shift some of its work outside of the UK and Europe because of the lengthy delays and costs it has suffered because of the visa issues.

It comes as the Government is aiming to encourage science and technology businesses with a £300 million job creation fund.