With 20% of #TechNationVisa applicants coming from India and 28% of applicants are software engineers, Anurag Jain was on a UK Tier 2 General visa before deciding to make the switch to the Exceptional Talent Visa.
So when Anurag, Software Architect and Entrepreneur received the great news that he had been endorsed by Tech City and received his visa shortly after, he was very excited that he could work independently in the UK. This is because while Anurag was working under his Tier 2 General Visa, he felt constrained by not being able to fulfil his potential in the UK with the opportunities that are available to technology entrepreneurs.
For Anurag, the Exceptional Talent Visa gives him the freedom and choice to work in the UK by taking on projects that he is passionate about and has a keen interest in. It also means he can work on his two existing tech startups, Prodnote and Shoonye.
While researching visas to stay in the UK, Anurag concluded that the Exceptional Talent Visa was a viable option for him. However, with the strict criteria, Anurag, like many applicants, was hesitant about applying.
When I first read the guidelines, it felt like I needed a Phd. degree or owned multiple patents. I was convinced that I will not get this visa however, two friends encouraged me and convinced me that I had an exceptional talent.
The TechNation Visa while seems like it is out of reach for most, it allows potential applicants to select the less scary option, that is, the exceptional promise route rather than the exceptional talent route. The burden of proof for the exceptional promise route is less demanding and daunting so as long as the applicant follows the strict criteria and seeks legal advice to confirm the quality of their application, there is no reason why a person with a tech or business background cannot or should not apply for the TechNationVisa.
Anurag says it took him some time to put together a good application and says it was very much like submitting a thesis of his career. He spent time building a cohesive story and collating relevant examples from his career with supporting evidence. His advice is to be calm and submit your application only when you are satisfied.
I completely agree. When I applied for my Exceptional Talent visa, it took me about 3 months to put together a solid application, one that I was happy with and more importantly, one that I was proud of. Like Anurag, it is like a thesis of your career, an ever evolving one so having gone through the process, I encourage potential applicants to get started on collating their documents and drafting their CV as early as possible. There will be bits of paper, documents, certificates, articles, supporting evidence scattered all over the dining room or study table and selecting the best 10 pieces of evidence is a challenging process. It’s about putting the best evidence forward that shines the best light on your achievements while also adhering to the strict criteria.
Anurag submitted evidence and supporting documents such as trademark documents, his company brochures, balance sheet of his company, recommendations by senior leaders in his field and VCs, evidence of winning hackathons such as news clippings as well as evidence of his high involvement in his start-up community.
Recommendations from experts and senior leaders are key to receiving the endorsement by Tech City because it is a strict requirement.
The personal statement is also one that offers potential applicants an opportunity to explain and convince Tech City that he or she deserves to be in the UK by making high value impact to the tech ecosystem.
Anurag is now busy enjoying his life in London amongst many other tech entrepreneurs and focussing on his 2 startups, Prodnote and Shoonye. Anurag is also working as a Consultant Technical Architect.
Since Anurag and I applied for and received our Exceptional Talent Visas, the UK Government announced on 15 November 2017 that the number of Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visas to be granted has doubled from 200 to 400 per year! This means that there will be more opportunities for more applicants to be endorsed by Tech City.
This blog was written by Michelle Hua, Speaker, Writer and CEO & Founder of Made With Glove, a UK wearable tech company designing heated gloves. In 2016, Michelle was the recipient of the Exceptional Talent Visa and is now the #TechNationVisa Ambassador. Read Michelle’s other blogs on the #TechNationVisa here.