UK Global Talent Visa

The UK Global Talent Visa (formerly called the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) is a special visa introduced to allow highly skilled tech talent apply for the right to live and work in the UK for up to five years.  It is a two stage process where you must be endorsed by an endorsing body with Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise by meeting the strict criteria set by the endorsing body before you can apply for the Global Talent Visa.

There are 6 endorsing bodies that can determine whether you are an exceptional talent or exceptional promise before you can apply for the Global Talent Visa.  The endorsing bodies are:  

 1. Tech Nation, for digital technology (#TechNationVisa);
2. The Royal Society for science and medicine;
3. The Royal Academy of Engineering for engineering;
4. The British Academy, for humanities;
5. Arts Council England, for arts and culture, fashion, architecture and film and tv; and
6. UKRI, for academic researchers.

This post is about the UK Global Talent Visa in Digital Technology also known as the #TechNationVisa. This hashtag distinguishes Tech Nation as the endorsing body for the Digital Technology sector from the other endorsing bodies.

Benefits of the UK Global Talent Visa

The benefits of the Global Talent Visa in Digital Technology is that it will provide you with:

  1. Freedom and flexibility
  2. the ability to live and work in the UK for up to five years
  3. the ability to apply for indefinite leave to remain and British Citizenship 
  4. ability to bring your dependants with you
  5. register a UK Ltd company
  6. work for a tech company without the need for company sponsorship

You must meet the strict criteria set by Tech Nation for endorsement. Here is some information if you wish to apply for the Stage 1 endorsement. 

Technical and Business Skills

The Stage 1 Global Talent Visa endorsement allows applicants with technical or business skills to apply for the endorsement. 

Technical applicants must show they have proven technical expertise with the latest digital technologies in building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure. 

Business applicants are those with commercial, investment, or product expertise in building digital products or leading investments in significant digital product businesses.

Technical skills include but are not limited to engineering, developers, cybersecurity, machine learning, AI, coding, architects and devops.

Business skills include but are not limited to product managers, investors, digital marketing, sales, business development and operations. If you do not fall within these skills, it’s not to say you aren’t eligible because the tech industry moves so quickly that new jobs and new skills are constantly being created.

What is Required?

15 documents must be submitted consisting of:

  1. Your CV;
  2. Personal Statement ;and 
  3. 3 letters of recommendations by experts in your field.

Then you need to meet Key and Optional criteria where you select 3 out of 5 criteria.

What are the Mandatory and Optional Criteria?

The Mandatory Criteria are:

  1. An applicant must show leadership or potential leadership

On 1 December 2020, Tech Nation changed the guidelines and this is now the only mandatory criteria. All applicants must now select and meet one mandatory criteria.

The Optional Criteria are:

  1. Show proven track record of innovation or examples of innovation
  2. Proof of recognition beyond your work that advances the digital technology sector
  3. Significant commercial, technical or entrepreneurial contributions to a product led digital technology company
  4. Academic contributions

You only need to meet 2 out of 4 optional criteria.

With a 54% endorsement rate, it is very important for you to prepare your documents showcasing and highlighting your achievements in the digital technology sector over the last 5 years.

The #TechNationVisa was the perfect route for me when I applied in 2016. I had spent 3 months preparing for my own application for Exceptional Talent and I succeeded! I am now a British Citizen as a result of the Global Talent Visa route.

*Disclaimer – the Stage 1 endorsement for exceptional talent and exceptional promise are not visa applications. I only coach in Stage 1 endorsement applications for the Tech Nation Visa.  For any immigration advice, please seek the services of an immigration solicitor.

Michelle Hua

Michelle Hua

This blog was written by Michelle Hua, UK Global Talent Visa Coach & Recipient. In 2016, Michelle was endorsed with Exceptional Talent and is the former #TechNationVisa Ambassador.  Michelle coaches highly skilled tech individuals working in digital technologies on how they can receive the endorsement for exceptional talent or exceptional promise too.