The UK is a global leader in digital technology and has the largest tech sector outside of Silicon Valley. However, with Brexit , there are concerns that this industry will suffer because of skills shortages.
The Global Talent Visa draws tech talent around the world to come and work in the UK’s Digital technology sector. Tech Nation is one of the UK’s designated endorsement body for this visa.
Getting endorsed by Tech Nation in Digital Technology is the first and foremost step of the Global Talent Visa. If you are a tech-savvy person with innovative ideas and strong leadership skills, you can receive an endorsement from Tech Nation within a week after your application. Read on to find out more.
What is a Tech Nation Visa?
Tech Nation visa officially called the Global Talent Visa is a visa that allows highly skilled and experienced IT professionals to live and work in the UK for up to 3-5 years. Tech Nation Global Talent Visa holders may then apply for an ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK that allows for permanent residency.
The Global Talent Visa has replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa as of 20 February 2020.
What does Tech Nation do?
Tech Nation endorses experts in digital technology who can contribute to the UK tech industry, either by working for tech companies or establishing their own companies using their technical or business knowledge.
Over the last two years, Tech Nation has received over 1,975 applications and endorsed over 920 visas from 50 countries worldwide. India, US, and Nigeria were the top 3 countries coming into the UK through this visa.
In 2020, 52% of those endorsed by Tech Nation are IT professionals working in the UK's leading tech and 28% are tech founders, with 421 talents having set up their business in the UK. You can be one of them.
Duration of stay in the UK:
- 3 years if you’re applying as a leader (Exceptional Talent)
- 5 years if you’re applying as a potential leader (Exceptional Promise)
Who can apply?
The UK tech visa mainly categories applicants into two types:
- Technical applicants with proven digital tech expertise, and
- Business applicants with proven knowledge in digital product businesses.
Top business skills endorsed: Founders or C Suite in a SMEs + (CEO, CMO, CIO) or head of operations, product managers, SaaS or enterprise sales leadership, commercial/business leads, and so on, for a digital business.
The 7 Main Benefits of the Tech Nation Visa
- No employer sponsorship or IELTS is required
- You can change employers, or be self-employed without requesting the Home Office for approval
- You can stay in the UK for 3 to 5 years
- Visa extensions can be made as many time as you need
- Your family can join you in the UK
- You can apply for permanent residence (ILR) in the UK
- Earlier cap on the number of visas granted has now been removed
Key Requirements for endorsement by Tech Nation
You expected to show that you are an innovator, leader and expert at what you do. Significant achievements in your career and your years of experience become major deciding factors.
When applying under the Digital Technology Sector for Tech Nation, you can categorize your abilities as either:
- as a leader - ‘Exceptional talent’ (5+ years of experience)
- as an emerging leader - ‘Exceptional promise’ (less than 5 years of experience)
Note: The eligibility criteria for Tech Nation’s Global Talent visa has changed from 1st December 2020.
- The earlier ‘Key’ and ‘Qualifying’ criteria are no longer valid
- One of the previous Qualifying Criteria is now the single mandatory criterionwhich is applicable to all applications submitted on or after 1st December 2020
- Older applications will be assessed under the previous eligibility criteria
Tech Nation Visa Eligibility Criteria for ‘Exceptional Talent’
You must meet 1 mandatory and 2 optional “Exceptional Talent” criteria
Mandatory criteria for Exceptional Talent: Applicants must prove their recognition as a leading talent in the digital technology sector
Along with the mandatory proof, you can also opt to show two of the following criteria:
- a proven track record for innovation as a founder or senior executive of a product-based digital company or as an employee working on a new digital field or concept
- proof of recognition for work beyond your occupation and towards the advancement of your field
- contribution to the technical, commercial or entrepreneurial field as a founder, senior executive or employee of a product-led digital technology company
- exceptional ability in the field by academic contributions, through research published or endorsed by an expert
Tech Nation Visa Eligibility Criteria for ‘Exceptional Promise’
You must meet 1 mandatory and 2 optional “Exceptional Promise” criteria
Mandatory criteria for Exceptional Promise: Applicants must show they have the potential to be a leading talent in the digital technology field and are recognised for the same.
Along with the mandatory proof, you can also opt to show two of the following criteria:
- 2 or more examples of innovation as a senior executive of a product-based digital company or as an employee working on a new digital field or concept
- proof of recognition for work beyond your occupation leading to the advancement of the field
- significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder or employee of a product-led digital technology company
- 2 or more examples of exceptional ability in the field by academic contributions, or through research endorsed by an expert
Fast track endorsement applications - get a decision within 3 weeks!
If you accepted onto a current or future programme at one of the recognised UK accelerator programmes listed below, you can apply for a Fast-Track application.
UK accelerator programmes: Antler, Barclays Accelerator, Bethnal Green Ventures, Collider, Creative Destruction Lab, Cylon, Entrepreneur First, Founders Academy, Founders Factory, Ignite, Microsoft for Startups, NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator, SETsquared, Startupbootcamp, techstars, Wayra, Zinc
Points requirement for Global Talent route
You must be awarded 70 points based on the table below.
An applicant making an initial application:
An applicant applying for an extension of their permission:
Total number of points required in each case
Want to know how to be endorsed by Tech Nation?
Let’s understand how to apply for the Global Talent Visa via Tech Nation Visa in the next section.
The application process for Tech Nation Global Talent Visa
The application process for a UK Global Visa can be broken down into two stages:
Stage 1: Applying for endorsement
You can be endorsed by an organisation that is designated by the UK Home Office for applicants applying under the Digital Technology sector.
In this case, you can approach Tech Nation for an endorsement.
Here’s how you go about it:
1. Register on the UK website
You need to first register on the Home Office website. You can this as follows:
- Fill the online application form in English
- If you have family members or 'dependants', you are required to complete a separate form
- Pay the health surcharge and visa fee (online) - £624 per year for a single applicant
- Provide your biometrics for a biometric residence permit - You will receive it when you enter the UK
Once this is completed, you will receive a registration number.
2. Log in to the Tech Nation Website and request for an endorsement
To do so, you will need to
- Log in to the Tech Nation Website
- Fill the Tech Nation Application Form
- Provide your registration number
- Provide your details
- Upload your documents (see checklist below)
- Pay the endorsement application fee
- Submit your application
Tech Nation will assess your application to check if you are eligible for an endorsement or not.
Once this is done, Tech Nation will make its decision and send it to the Home Office.
3. Getting a decision from the Home Office
Tech Nation will then assess your profile and send a decision about your endorsement within 5 to 8 weeks back to the Home Office.
Fast track applications receive a decision within 3 weeks.
So what happens next?
If your endorsement application is accepted,
- you will receive a confirmation from the UK Home Office for the same.
- you can then proceed to Stage 2 of your application, where you can apply for your visa.
If your endorsement application is refused,
- you can request an endorsement review using this form within 28 days after getting your decision. This is free of charge. You will be notified by mail about the result of this review.
- You can also reapply with a new application for Stage 1 if you want to reframe your application and pay a new application fee for the same
- You can apply to the UK Skilled Worker Route instead
It is advisable to approach a visa expert like Kansas Overseas Careers to avoid multiple reiterations and better your chances of successful endorsement in the first try itself.
Image Source: Technation
Stage 2: Applying for the Global Talent Visa through the Home Office
You can either apply for a visa using the online application form on the UK Home Office website or approach a reliable visa consultant to get this done for you.
Tech Nation will not be involved in this process.
Read more about how Kansas Overseas can help you with your UK Global Talent Visa here.
Now that you have a clear understanding of the steps involved in getting an endorsement by Tech Nation, we can move on to the most important part of the process - documentation and proof of evidence.
A Complete Document Checklist for the Tech Nation Visa
Documents for Tech Nation online application form:
1. Personal Statement
The Personal Statement must be included in your Tech Nation form.
A maximum 1000 worded letter explaining in length all the contributions that you can make to the UK digital technology sector. You can add the following questions and any other information you find relevant like:
- Why did you choose to move to the UK and what job you plan to pursue there?
- What are your goals and which place in the UK seems to be a best fit for you to accomplish them?
- How will the UK digital technology sector benefit from your work?
Explain in-depth what you would bring to the table.
Include your achievements and significant experiences in the recent past. Explain what you did, how you had planned stategised and executed an idea, product or service and how did your undertaking positively impact the company.
Mention your activities outside your day-to-day work and how did you help other people in the digital sector.
- mentored people or have given impactful speeches at important events?
- worked on latest technologies or developed an innovative product or idea
- directly impacted the sales, marketing or business through your ideas
2. CV with career and publication history
It must be typed and on 3 sides of A4 paper.
3. Three letters of recommendation (LORs)
The LORs must be from three well-established organisations that are recognized as experts in the digital technology field.
The recommendations must come from a senior member of their organisation and by someone who knows your work.
- Each letter must be unique in regards to what you have achieved in that particular organisation.
- Your roles and contributions must be distinct to every organisation and your leadership attributes must shine through the milestone that you overcame.
- Your plans for work in the future could be derivative of the contributions you’ve made throughout your career.
The letter must ultimately show that you were an asset to the organisation and you will be one to the UK’s digital technology sector as well.
- Note that the organisation of the recommenders must be different from the other two.
- If you have worked with someone in the past who now resides and is recognised in the UK as an expert in the field will also be quite useful.
The letters must be dated and signed by the author who is recommending you. You must include their contact details like phone number and email address, the logo of the organisation and official address. Author’s CV and proof of their credentials must also be added.
Note: Fake recommendations or templates taken off the internet will do you no good.
4. Evidence - Up to 10 pieces that meet the Eligibility Criteria
You must gather 10 pieces of evidence proving that you meet the criteria - each piece of evidence must be no more than three A4 sides in length.
Here are some points to note to help you submit your evidence correctly:
- Clearly mention which of your supporting documents relate to your chosen Eligibility Criteria.
- You must be able to provide evidence for the statements made by your seniors and by you.
- Every document you present will be considered as one of the 10 pieces of evidence.
- Any activity you are providing as evidence of recognition should have occurred within the past 5 years.
- If you’ve founded a business that is commercially successful, you have to provide relevant documents to prove it like shared or sole ownership, financial statements proving growth, and so on.
- You can add personal factors like your academic track record, employment related documents or money you raised as an entrepreneur
- Do not add online links to your documents or send printed hard copies either.
- If any of the documents or recommendations are in a language other than English, you are required to share Authorised English translations of the same.
- All currencies presented as evidence should be converted to GBP, or a summary of appropriate conversion rates must be provided.
Cost of a Tech Nation Visa
Stage 1: Application for Tech Nation Endorsement: £456 (Approximately INR 45,947)
Stage 2: GTV Visa Application cost: £152 (Approximately INR 15,315)
All dependants: £608 (Stage 2 only)
To summarise, here are a few things to consider when you apply for an endorsement to Tech Nation:
- Global Talent Visa is a visa that allows talent from different areas like academia or research, arts and culture or digital technology to come and work in the UK. The Global Talent Visa is popularly known as Global Talent Tech Nation Visa, Tech Nation Visa, UK Tech Visa, and so on.
- Tech Nation one of the Home Office's official endorsement bodies that provide endorsements to those applying under the digital technology sector of the Global Talent Visa
- An endorsement by Tech Nation will prove to the UK government that you are a leader or potential leader in your field and you can be a good resource to the country.
- If your experience is less than 5 years, you can apply under the ‘Exceptional Promise’
- If your experience is more than 5 years, you can apply under the ‘Exceptional Talent’
- It is not just your experience that matters though. Your achievements throughout your career- the process of ideating something exceptional and driving it towards a successful execution and its consecutive impact on the business, people or the digital world, matters immensely.
- Make sure you gather all the documents you need before you apply.
- Talk to people on forums who can guide you through this process or consult a visa consultancy who are knowledgeable and consistent with their approach.
- Most importantly, don’t get overwhelmed with the process. Keep your calm and take it one baby step at a time. Good luck!
If you’d like, we can help you with both stages of the Global Talent Visa.
Our experts at Kansas Overseas Careers ensure that you not only submit your application but also see to it that everything in your application - your details, documentation, LORs, personal statements and so on is drafted in line with the UK immigration standards.
We have successfully helped 20+ Indian applicants receive an endorsement from Tech Nation over the past 2 years. In case of rejection, we have a 100% refund policy as well. Feel free to contact us by walking into one of our offices at Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Vizag.
We’d be happy to help!