Brexit freedoms have made the UK a magnet for highly-skilled migrants, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Its data showed that abolishing quotas and red tape after leaving the European Union has enabled Britain to lure more global talent.
The international organisation said the UK enjoyed the largest improvement in “talent attractiveness” in 2023, moving up nine places to 7th since 2019 and climbing above the US and Canada for the first time.
The OECD said the rankings reflected the UK’s decision to abolish its quota for highly skilled workers as well as the success enjoyed by many overseas workers in the country.
The number of non-EU, non-visitor visas issued has almost doubled since 2016, according to Home Office data. This comes amid a shake-up of the UK’s immigration policy that has seen far more people come to the UK from outside the EU.
Net immigration to the UK reached a record high of 504,000 in the year to June 2022, though this also reflected inflows of refugees from Ukraine and Hong Kong, surging student numbers and a drive by the NHS to hire more staff.
The OECD also described the UK as “leading start-up nations, with very strong entrepreneurial cultures and many unicorn companies created in the past decade”.