New changes for the UK Global Talent Visa in Digital Technologies #TechNationVisa come into effect from 4 June 2020. This is the first change after the UK Government renamed the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa to UK Global Talent Visa on 20 February 2020. Read my blog on those changes here.

The Explanatory Memorandum on the 4 June 2020 changes provides an explanation of the new changes and why they are taking place. The explanatory memorandum provides that:

At the request of the endorsing bodies, letters of recommendation have been restricted to three sides of A4, excluding the credentials of the author. This prevents applicants providing lengthy letters of recommendation to circumvent other restrictions on the amount of evidence which can be provided and ensures that evidence focuses on the key skills and contributions of applicants to aid consideration of applications. The requirement is being applied to all endorsing bodies for consistency.

A small number of technical changes applying to digital technology applicants have been made at the request of Tech Nation, including increasing the length of documents allowed to demonstrate key and qualifying criteria from two A4 sides to three A4 sides. This ensures consistency with the maximum length of a curriculum vitae.

The 10 changes are:

  1. The requirement for the letters of recommendation have increased from 2 pages to 3 pages;
  2. The requirement for the 10 documents submitted against the Key and Qualifying criteria has increased from 2 to 3 pages;
  3. The eligibility of applicants has been further clarified. The new rules state that “Technical and Management” Consultants are not suitable applicants for the Global Talent Visa route. The words “technical and management” have been added to the word Consultant.
  4. If an applicant is a founder or senior executive or shareholder of any active digital technology businesses or any dissolved businesses in the last 5 years, the businesses must have been either commercially successful or demonstrate how the applicant meets the endorsement criteria. This evidence must be included as part of the 10 pieces of evidence provided.
  5. The Global Talent Visa in digital technologies allows both applicants with technical or business skills the ability to apply for the endorsement for exceptional talent or promise. This new change states that Technical applicants must demonstrate proven technical expertise with the latest digital technologies” in building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure. “With the latest digital technologies” is the new insertion which means that while applicants may have evidence of proven technical expertise on “old” technology, it appears that Tech Nation now requires applicants to show evidence that the applicant has proven technical expertise on the latest digital technologies.
  6. Key Criteria (Exceptional Talent) provides that applicants must show that they have a proven track record of innovation in the digital technology sector as a founder or senior executive director of a product-led digital technology company or an employee working in a new digital field or concept that must be clearly evidenced. The change is the removal of “Director” and replaced with “senior executive”.
  7. Qualifying Criteria (Exceptional Talent) provides that applicants must show that they have made significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector as either a founder, senior executive entrepreneur or employee of a product-led digital technology company. The change is the removal of “entrepreneur” and replaced with “senior executive”.
  8. Qualifying Criteria (Exceptional Promise) provides that applicants must show that they have made significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector as either a founder, entrepreneur or employee of a product-led digital technology company. The change is the removal of “entrepreneur”.
  9. The fast track route has been clarified in that it is only open to applicants accepted on a current or future recognised accelerator programme, not previous alumni. New accelerators have been added to the “recognised accelerator” list including: Antler, Creative Destruction Labs and Natwest Accelerator.
  10. Further guidance on how to demonstrate continuous learning/master of skill has been provided. This new paragraph has been added: “Mastery of skill is defined as a comprehensive knowledge or set of sector specific skills developed over the course of your professional career, culminating in expert knowledge of the latest commercial or technical processes / software“.

These changes will be reflected in Tech Nation’s website and I always encourage applicants to check Tech Nation’s website before they submit their applications in case changes take place while they are working on their applications.

These are positive changes because the strict requirements to squeeze everything in 2 pages was one of the biggest challenges all my clients faced. The Stage 1 UK Global Talent Visa endorsement process requires applicants to submit a thesis of their career in just 15 documents or 15 pieces of evidence. Having a strict 2 page limit per document is just too restrictive therefore, the increase to 3 pages is a welcome relief.

UK Global Talent Visa Michelle Hua Changes 1 December 2020
New changes take effect from 1 December 2020. Read my blog here!

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.

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.