On 30 January 2020, the UK Government confirmed that a new Global Talent Visa will take effect from 20 February 2020. This new Global Talent Visa replaces the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa that has been in existence since 2014.

Why the Change?
These reforms follow an announcement by the UK Prime Minister on 8 August 2019, setting out the Government’s intention to develop a new fast-track immigration offer for the brightest and best within the science and research sector, to ensure the UK is the most attractive country to live in and develop new ideas. This also recognises the importance of science and research to the modern industrial strategy and the Government’s stated objectives to increase GDP to 2.4% by 2027. These changes represent the first phase of reforms to achieve these objectives.

Whilst specific provisions are made for the science and research sector, the Global Talent category is also open to talented and promising applicants within the digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) sectors.

What does this mean?
In relation to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa and endorsement process for digital technoloy, Tech Nation can and will still endorse applicants.

Summary of the Main Changes
1. The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is now rebranded to the Global Talent Visa.
2. The #TechNationVisa in digital technologies remains a viable option.
3. The main change to the whole scheme is that there is a new endorser for scientists and researchers and that they are fast tracked.
4. There is no longer a limited number of endorsements available. Previously, for Tech Nation, it was capped at 200 (+1000 from a pool) but now there is no limit.
5. CVs submitted can now be 3 pages instead of 2 pages.
6. Designated Competent Bodies are now called Endorsing Bodies. i.e. Tech Nation is now called an Endorsing Body.
7. Removal of the extra 4 months for those who apply outside of the UK for their Stage 2 visa.  Previously they were able to have a 5 year + 4 month visa.  Under the new rules, it’s 5 years which is similar for those applying from within the UK.
8. These changes will take effect from 20 February 2020.
9. More information can be found here.

No changes
1. Tech Nation will continue to endorse applications for Exceptional Talent or Promise.
2. Applicants must continue to show that they have an exceptional talent or promise. In other words, they must show that they are a leader or potential leader in their field.
3. All the other criteria remain the same.

Tech Nation have updated their website announcing the changes.

This is great news.  The UK tech sector need highly skilled and talented people working in the tech sector to make it more diverse. Because diversity of people, diversity of thought and diversity of teams leads to true innovation.

If you would like guidance and help on the Stage 1 Global Talent Visa Endorsement process or appeals, I help highly skilled tech entrepreneurs and talent increase their chances for a successful application for endorsement for exceptional promise or exceptional talent.  For all my packages of support for the Stage 1 UK Global Talent Visa, click here.

To understand more about the Global Talent Visa in Digital Technologies or the #TechNationVisa, read my blog here.

four months after the name change, minor technical changes have been announced due to take effect from 4 June 2020. Read my blog on the new changes to the UK Global Talent Visa in Digital Technologies #TechNationVia here.

*Please note: I’m not an immigration solicitor.  I assist with the Stage 1 endorsement applications only and if you require immigration advice, please refer to a UK immigration solicitor.

This blog was written by Michelle Hua, Consultant, Speaker, CEO & Founder of Made With Glove. In 2016, Michelle was the recipient of the Exceptional Talent Visa (now called Global Talent Visa) and is the former #TechNationVisa Ambassador.  Michelle consults for highly skilled tech entrepreneurs and people working in digital technologies on how they can receive the endorsement for exceptional talent or exceptional promise. Read Michelle’s other blogs on the #TechNationVisa here and Michelle’s own journey here.