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Zopa Bank to sponsor 50 Ukrainian tech professionals with visa offer

IT companies are reaching out to IT professionals in the Ukraine with offers of support for those looking to work in the UK

Digital bank Zopa said it will sponsor 50 UK work visas and provide financial support to Ukrainian tech professionals.

The financial technology (fintech) unicorn is one of a number of tech companies trying to help Ukrainians who are leaving the county as Russian troops advance.

Zopa will sponsor 50 work visas for eligible Ukrainian applicants already in the UK. These will be engineering, technology, and data analytics, as well as those with experience in consumer financial services.

It will also provide a relocation allowance of one month’s salary to support moving costs on receipt of right to work in the UK.

“We are working with the Ukrainian Embassy in London and ambassador Vadym Prystaiko to facilitate the process and encourage fellow members of our tech and fintech communities to extend their support,” said Jaidev Janardana, CEO at Zopa bank.

Sam Kingston, CEO at software development company Mobica, said that the company has 600 of its development staff in Poland and around 25 in Ukraine.

Kingston was previously the chief operating officer at Ukraine based software development company Ciklum. During this time, he lived in the country’s capital Kyiv. “We are supporting our guys in Ukraine and looking how we can help financially,” he said.

Kingston said that Mobica will help to fast track applications for Ukrainian IT professionals and help them to relocate: “When they want out, we will try to fast track applications and try to relocate them.”

Meanwhile, fintech Revolut is waiving fees on transactions to send money to the Ukraine. Co-founder and CTO Vlad Yatsenko is a Ukrainian national. It is also providing emergency support for its 28 employees in the country to help them relocate.

According to Altfi.com, Yatsenko, writing in Russian, said on Twitter: “I hope most Russians will finally be able to see that their president is one of the most brazen liars in history...Using the overtones of ‘defending’ the Russians, Putin attacked a peaceful Ukraine. Ukraine is and will be free!”

Countries such as Ukraine, Poland and Moldova have become alternatives to traditional locations for offshore IT such as India.

UK-based global businesses have moved jobs to Central and Eastern Europe to balance their operation to take advantage of skills and lower costs with similar time zones, and many have established business support centres in the region.

Mobica’s Kingston said there are more than 200,000 IT professionals in Western and Central Ukraine. “It’s a big industry in Ukraine, and its loss will be felt across Europe,” he added.

Read more about the cyber crisis in Ukraine

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