Following from my last blog How We Received our TechNationVisa (and now adding to my new blogs), I was contacted by a very humble and polite man from a country town near São Paulo, Brazil, Jônatas Vieira.

Chatting to Jônatas from Manchester via Skype, it was abundantly clear that he not only met all the criteria to apply for the UK TechNation endorsement for an Exceptional Talent, but he exceeded them.

The only issue was convincing Jônatas that he had.

Jônatas is based in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil where he has international experience working for 9 years as a freelancer in UX and UI in product design for companies in Brazil, India, Russia, US and London.

He started achieving great things by winning awards for Most Talented Web Designer to being accepted into Toptal, a company based in Silicon Valley that only accepts the top 3% of freelancers globally to work for their clients. Jônatas was still not convinced he had an exceptional talent.

Even working for big brands in Brazil and designing for global brands such as Tom Ford, Omega Watches and McDonald’s could convince Jônatas.

This is because no one ever sees themselves as having an exceptional talent because all they want to do is strive to work hard and achieve the goals their clients set for them as well as achieving their own career aspirations. Sometimes, they make the difficult but exciting choice to leave their home countries to seek new career opportunities while travelling abroad. And London, UK is the destination of Jônatas’s choice.

“I was very apprehensive. The documentation mentions things such as “world leader” and such, it was very hard for me to see myself that way. I think that’s not very uncommon because we tend to think less of ourselves”.

Jônatas chose London because he had started working for a handful of UK companies remotely and by late 2016, he fell in love with the UK tech scene. After visiting London he noticed almost immediately that London was a multi-cultural city, which was important to him.

After Jônatas submitted his documents, he sat waiting anxiously for 3 long weeks for the endorsement from Tech City, Jônatas says he checked his emails three times a day while waiting for the answer.

If anyone has been in that position of waiting for an outcome of a visa or endorsement, it’s a form of stress much akin to waiting for tertiary examination results that determines whether you can/can’t go to the University of your choice or waiting to hear about a job interview.

Time seems to go slower. You can’t plan anything or know what the future holds because your future hangs on this letter to say “You have (or have not) been endorsed”. But life, in the meantime, must go on.

Jônatas says “in between checking for news 3 times a day, I decided to focus on my work because I was uncertain that I would be approved and needed to keep my life moving. I usually don’t pin all my hopes on just one path and like to diversify”.

Jônatas is still the humble, kind, polite and exceptionally talented person before he received his endorsement. He has the same skills and the same achievements. The only difference is he can now confidently apply for the Global Talent visa to enter the UK and if successful (fingers crossed he will be) he can work for 5 years as a UX/UI designer and add value to companies in the UK.

On receiving the endorsement, Jônatas says

“it’s a little weird to be honest. It doesn’t seem like I deserve it. I read it 10 times to make sure I got it right, or that it was really me they were talking about. But it feels great nevertheless. I can say I’m proud of myself”.

And so he should be. Jônatas deserves every success and even more so in the UK.

It was a pleasure knowing Jônatas, hearing his story and sharing his journey before, during and after the endorsement period. Submitting his strong letters of recommendations of support, he says were instrumental in receiving a positive result.

And one last piece of advice from Jônatas:

“Don’t be afraid of the words “world leading talent” that you see on the documents. It may look scary and you may feel you’re not good enough, but don’t let that intimidate you. Be realistic if your profile or portfolio isn’t good enough yet and work on improving that.

Also, never take business-related and multi-disciplinary skills for granted. They make a big difference in any immigration processes, job applications and to your career in general.

And above all else, never give up!”

Wise advice from an exceptionally talented man.

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

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.