How a crackdown on immigration is hurting UK startups
Our European correspondent Natasha Lomas I’ve spent the last few weeks researching what has been happening to immigrant founders and tech talent in the UK, who have been receiving more scrutiny from the Home Office in recent months. Natasha zooms in on Metail, a new virtual wardrobe facility, and his tribulations with immigration authorities and the damage those actions are taking on the broader ecosystem:
The January 31 decision letter, which TechCrunch has reviewed, shows how the Home Office is accelerating the results against immigrants. In a short paragraph, the Interior Ministry says it considered and rejected an alternative outcome: downgrade, not revoke, the license and issue an “action plan” to rectify the problems identified during the audit. Instead, he said immediate termination of the license was appropriate because of the “seriousness” of the breach of “sponsor duties.”
The decision centered on one of the two Metail employees. I had working on a Level 2 visa, which we will call Alex (not his real name). In essence, Alex was a legal immigrant who had worked his way through a mid-level promotion by learning on the job, as should regularly happen in any good early stage start. However, the Ministry of the Interior perceived that the promotion had been awarded to someone without adequate qualifications, out of potential candidates born in the country.
In addition to reporting the story, Natasha also wrote a guide specifically for Extra Crunch members on how founders can handle their immigration matters, both for themselves and their employees.
The status of the smartphone.
TechCrunch Hardware Editor Brian Heater analyzed the slowdown in smartphone sales, finding some reason to be optimistic about how smaller phone makers can compete with giants like Apple Y Samsung. There is some good news from the developing world and also from 5G and foldable technology, but don’t expect earnings to peak again any time soon.