On 17 May 2017, TechCity hosted the Tech Nation Visa Breakfast, Bridging the UK’s talent gap at RSA House.
It was a beautiful morning in London and more than 100 people filled the room to find out more about this exceptional visa. I say exceptional because only 200 people from around the world can be successful in obtaining this visa. And that is because they will have proven to Tech City that they have an exceptional talent or an exceptional promise in the digital and technology sector.
MB Christie, COO of TechCity opened the event by giving us some statistics about the applications.
In 2015/2016, only 84 applications were received with 77% being endorsed. Perhaps it was the lack of marketing or the requirements were too strict which in turn put potential applicants off.
But in 2016/2017, the criteria were relaxed, there was heavy marketing throughout the UK which included sessions in the UK to help applicants with their process.
As a result, the applications increased to 386 with 72% being endorsed. That is 4.5 times more applicants than the previous year.
20% of applicants were from US, while 20% came from India.
And disappointingly, for every one woman who applied, there were 2 applications from her male counterparts.
Listening to Tom Yoritaka from America now based in London, share his journey of the steps he took in securing his visa, my memories came flooding back from the stress, the strict requirements and the amount of research needed to be done but to be rewarded with the visa at the end was worth all the stress.
“Be unique and different, present a unique value proposition, tell them what you want to achieve in the UK in 5 years and choose the right experts for your application who can make an impact” were genuine words of advice from Tom.
Moving onto the panel after the presentations, there was a discussion about how important it is to bring tech talent into the UK so that we can compete effectively with the rest of the world. Which led to the question, are 200 visas enough to bridge the digital and technology skills gap in the UK? Personally, I think not. However, Tech City UK now has the right to endorse another 50 applications, increasing the number to a possible 250 exceptional talent visas.
Again, I think that number is still too low however, the elephant in the room was evidently Brexit. And I will leave the elephant in that room.
Diversity was also a topic for discussion because despite London being a multicultural city, the UK tech sector is predominately made up of white British males. While the panel consisted of all but one female, the panel agreed that diversity brings quality to tech businesses. This is because diversity brings new ideas, innovative solutions and inclusion amongst team members which leads to forging better cross cultural business relationships.
With April now being over, Tech City UK can now endorse another 100 applications through to October. I’m not sure when they can start endorsing the extra 50 applications however, this means there will be more chances of receiving the endorsement for exceptional talent.
Being based in Manchester, I often travel to London for business and to network amongst my peers. It just so happened that I was in London at the same time as this event and am interested in the developments of the TechNation Visa so I can help fellow applicants.
TechCity UK have now also started an alumni via Linkedin for successful applicants to network amongst fellow exceptionally talented peers.
When I started my application for my endorsement, my biggest problem was starting the personal statement and asking my experts to write a recommendation for me.
To save you the same frustrations of staring into a blank page not knowing where to start or what to write, I have templates that you can use to help you get started.
My templates for the personal statement and letter of recommendation will make it easier for you to know what Tech City wants and will help you draft the documents in the right way. It will also save your experts their precious time in writing your letter of recommendation.
Not only will you receive my templates, you will also receive a video explaining how to complete the templates.
And as a special gift just for you, I will also give you a BONUS guide that will give you suggestions on the wording to use, what you shouldn’t do and a list of potential experts you can ask to write your recommendation. This BONUS guide is only available if you use my templates. It won’t be publicly available in any of my blogs.
My templates have also been reviewed and approved by a UK solicitor.
To learn how you can save your own time, frustrations and how your experts can save their time, click the button below to access my templates.
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For my Top 10 FAQs on how to apply for your endorsement, click here!
*It has just been 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! Read more here.