We are experts in assisting with Global Talent applications endorsed by Tech Nation. Our FAQs provide some useful information for you about the qualifying criteria and how to apply. Please contact us for assistance.
What is the Tech Nation Global Talent visa?
The Global Talent visa in the field of digital technology is a category which was introduced to bring leading technical and business talent in the digital tech sector from around the world to the UK. The Global Talent visa is not a ‘sponsored’ visa and so it gives you maximum flexibility and freedom to live and work in the UK.
Tech Nation has created a strong like-minded community in the UK and one of the best things about obtaining a Tech Nation Global Talent visa is you will get to be a part of that community.
The phrase ‘leader’ is a little scary and is putting me off applying. How do I know if this is the right route for me?
Firstly, very few people believe that they are a leading talent so you are not alone there! To qualify, you have to evidence you meet certain criteria, including one ‘mandatory’ criteria by demonstrating that either you are a recognised leader (exceptional talent) or a potential leader (exceptional promise) in the digital tech sector. A good place to start is to think about those individuals you might ask to be your referees and consider what they might say about you. This can help you gauge whether you might be considered a leader in your field.
You also need to carefully consider the optional criteria and spend some time identifying which optional criteria you think might apply to you. Once you have done this the best place to start is to focus on what you are passionate about and identify those specific achievements of which you are most proud and how you and your specific skillset will benefit the UK digital tech sector. It is also important to think about your plans for the UK and how you might contribute to the UK tech eco-system.
How do I know whether to apply under ’exceptional talent’ or ‘exceptional promise’?
This will be determined largely by your experience and the duration of your career and what your referees are able to say about you. There are no hard rules designating whether you are best suited to ‘talent’ or ‘promise.’ But the guidance is relatively clear and states that ‘promise’ applicants are likely to be in the earlier stages in their career, with roughly 5 years or less relevant experience and are more likely to be able to demonstrate that they have the potential to be a leader but have yet to develop a proven track record. If you have more than 5 years’ experience you are more likely to apply under ‘talent’ unless there has been a recent and significant shift in the direction of your career. It is helpful to note that if you apply under ‘talent’ or ‘promise’ and, based on the evidence provided Tech Nation feels it would be more appropriate for you to be endorsed under the other category, then they would not refuse the application and require you to resubmit, but rather would just ‘endorse up’ or ‘endorse down’.
How do I choose my referees and how do I know if my referees are good enough?
Firstly it is important that the people you choose to act as your referees have worked with you directly and are therefore in a position to speak with authority and examples about your experience.
You also need to ensure that your referees are recognisable figures in your particular field, in a senior leadership position and with a public facing profile, and whose comments on why you should be endorsed by Tech Nation will therefore be afforded significant weight.
It is also very important to remember that your referees should ideally produce the letter on a letter-headed document. Company letterheads will create a stronger reference, but if there is an issue with obtaining company letterheads, your referees could use their own personal letterhead. Getting these letters prepared and signed off on company paper can be a long process, so it is a good idea to reach out to potential referees and get started on these letters at the earliest opportunity.
How do I know what documents to provide?
The evidence you provide needs to help you satisfy the mandatory and optional criteria that you have chosen and you need to be able to connect each document to at least one of the mandatory or optional criteria. The evidence you provide should also enable the Tech Nation assessor to measure you against the criteria, so should provide some form of tangible metric.
The Tech Nation website contains helpful guidance which sets out an indication of some of the documents they would expect to see depending on which key and qualifying criteria you have chosen, but it is important to remember that each application is very different and there is no set formula for success. You need to ensure you consider your application as a whole and make sure that the evidence you provide corresponds with what you say in your personal statement and the information contained in your reference letters.
The most important thing is to take a step back and ensure you are happy that the evidence you have provided clearly tells your own unique story.
How do I apply for endorsement?
You first need to complete an online Home Office application form, which requires you to provide basic personal information. You need to submit this online and pay the £456 endorsement application fee. Once you have done this you will receive a unique application reference number (UAN) and a payment reference number. Within 15 working days of submitting the online Home Office application form you must submit an online Tech Nation application form , and you will need to provide your reference numbers in order to do so. Within the Tech Nation portal you will need to answer additional questions about your career background, write a personal statement, confirm which key and qualifying criteria you are relying on and upload your supporting evidence.
Is there a best time to apply for endorsement?
There is no longer any cap on the number of endorsements Tech Nation is permitted to award, so there is no strategic decision to be made about when to apply. You should just apply when you feel you are ready. However a key consideration may be if you have an existing visa which is due to expire and you hope to be able to ‘switch’ from within the UK or if applying from outside the UK, allowing enough time for any provisional relocation to the UK.
How long will the endorsement application take?
Once you have submitted the Home Office online application form you should receive a decision on the endorsement within 8 weeks. If you have applied via the ‘fast track’ this is reduced to 3 weeks.
What is the ‘fast track?’
If you can provide evidence of being accepted onto a current or future programme at one of the recognised UK accelerator programmes your application will be fast tracked. If you want to follow the fast track route you need to make sure the evidence provided in your endorsement application gives a clear picture of your plans in the UK beyond your involvement in the accelerator programme.
What is the success rate?
Approval rates for the Tech Nation Global Talent visa are around 50%.
I have successfully obtained an endorsement. How do I make a visa application?
If you are one of the candidates who successfully obtain endorsement from Tech Nation you will have a period of three months from the date of the endorsement letter to submit your application to either enter or remain in the UK in the Global Talent category.
I already have a current visa but I want to switch to the Global Talent visa. What do I do?
We recommend that you seek legal advice to discuss whether you may be eligible to switch inside the UK from your current visa as there are a set and limited group of visa categories from which it is possible to make the switch. If you are not currently in the UK in a category from which you are permitted to switch then you will need to make the visa application from outside the UK, and this can be done from any country where you are lawfully present. Our previous blog addresses switching issues.
How long will my visa be valid for?
When you come to make the stage 2 visa application you will be able to choose how much leave you apply for up to a maximum of 5 years. How long you apply for will be guided by whether you think you will be able to meet the requirements for settlement quickly, or whether you want to give yourself a comfort cushion to do so. The number of years you will apply for will impact how much you have to pay in terms of the Immigration Health Surcharge, which currently costs £624 per year, but is frequently reviewed.
Can I bring my family to the UK?
Yes, Global Talent migrants are permitted to bring dependent family members to the UK and you can include these family members when you complete stage 2, the visa application. Dependant family members include your partner and dependent children who are under 18 at the time of your first visa application.
Does the Global Talent visa lead to settlement in the UK?
In short, yes! This is a category which can lead to settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.
How long do I need to spend in the UK in order to settle in the Global Talent category?
If you have been endorsed on the basis of ‘talent’ you need to be resident in the UK for three years and if endorsed under ‘promise’ the qualifying residence period is five years. However you do not need to spend all of this time in the Global Talent category and can combine any time you have spent with leave in the following categories:
- Tier 1 (excluding Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur))
- Tier 2 (excluding Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)
- Skilled Worker
Please note that dependent family members cannot take advantage of the quicker 3 year route to settlement if the main applicant is endorsed for ‘talent’ and will instead need to complete 5 years in the UK in order to qualify for settlement.
What do I need to do to set myself on the right track for settlement?
The key requirement for obtaining settlement in the UK under the Global Talent category is that your endorsement has not been withdrawn and that you have earned some money in the UK in the field in which you were endorsed.
The Global Talent visa is very flexible in that you are not restricted to working in any particular way. You can seek employment, be self-employed, start your own business or even work on a freelance or consultancy basis. You can also study alongside any work. However the important thing to be aware of is that the Home Office has a very specific list of documents which you must be able to provide at the settlement stage in order to evidence the money you have earned. It is worth checking that you understand what documentation you will need to be in a position to provide to ensure you set up your operations in such a way as to put yourself in the best position to obtain settlement in the future.
Is there a residence requirement for settlement in the Global Talent category?
Yes there is a residence requirement and in order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain, Global Talent visa holders cannot spend more than 180 days outside the UK during any 12 month period during the qualifying period. This is assessed on a rolling basis. We recommend that you keep track of any absences form the UK as you go along as this makes it easier when you come to apply for settlement.
If you have had excess absences due to the pandemic, there may be scope to ask for these to be disregarded, we would be happy to advise on this issue further.
What has happened to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category?
The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category closed to new entrants on 20 February 2020 but don’t worry, those who have been endorsed under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) will still be able to extend their visas under the Global Talent category or apply for settlement in the UK as a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrant.
Ilda de Sousa
Immigration Advisor (Global Lead)
Senior Immigration Advisor
Immigration Operations Manager
Jessica Jim 詹穎怡
Professional Support Lawyer
Latest blogs & news
The 22nd June is now officially the day we “celebrate” Windrush. As I have written previously, it’s also to recognise the catastrophic mistake made by the government when they wrongly denied people the right to stay in the UK. The Windrush Report was commissioned to investigate how the immigration services managed to make such a huge mistake and gave recommendations with a view to those mistakes not happening again. I would argue that the government doesn’t seem to have incorporated the recommendations from the report, which is incredibly disappointing.
Supporting Ukraine: Kingsley Napley is organising a Ukrainian lunch to support British Schools and Homes for Ukrainians
It has now been over two months since Russia launched its military invasion of Ukraine. Since then, thousands of people have died, towns and cities have been destroyed and 13 million people have been displaced. As a result, people around the World have mobilised to help in any way they can and Kingsley Napley also wants to play its part.
Launching on 30 May 2022, the High Potential Individual (“HPI”) visa will be one of several new immigration routes introduced by the Home Office this year. Designed to attract “the brightest and best” to the UK, the HPI visa appears to form part of the Government’s wider plan to deliver an ‘elite points based system’, as announced in their ‘Build Back Better: Plan for Growth’, to ensure the UK maintains its status as a “leading international hub for emerging and disruptive technologies”.
On 24 February 2022 Russian armed forces invaded Ukraine. At the time of writing, hostilities are on going. According to UNHCR over 4 million people have fled Ukraine mainly heading west towards and into EU Member States. On 4 March 2022, the EU opened a temporary protection scheme for Ukrainians (and others who were resident in Ukraine and had to flee) using a directive which was adopted in 2001 but had never been used since. In this blog we will examine the scope of the scheme in light of both the Decision which opened it and the Commission’s operational guidelines issued a few weeks later to clarify Member States obligations. The purpose is to understand what those fleeing Ukraine can expect to receive by way of assistance in the EU and compare the UK’s scheme with it.
As Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II has unfolded in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the House of Lords has finalised its reporting stage review of the Nationality and Borders Bill.
The UK government’s so far meagre UK immigration options for Ukrainians are set out in our FAQs.
UK says it’s not all about the money. After the closure of the Tier 1 (Investor) category – what options are there for potential investors?
The Tier 1 (Investor) category was abruptly chopped out of the UK’s immigration system for new applicants at 4pm on 17 February. After previous and on-going reviews, in what appears to have been a hot-headed moment responding to political tensions with Russia, the category has been closed to new applicants. Deadlines (called ‘sunset clauses’) of 17 February 2026 for extension applications and 17 February 2028 for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) applications have also been introduced for those already holding investor status.
As we look ahead to the immigration changes on the horizon for 2022, one big expectation is an expansion of the visa routes available to those looking to work in the UK. Such changes are very welcome given the UK’s on-going demand for top talent. Among those hotly anticipated additions, the Scale-up visa stands out. Here we look at it a little closer and consider what we might expect from this visa option.
Progressive developments in immigration law have become a rare phenomenon, so the Home Office’s new policy – which halves the route to settlement for certain young people who have resided in the UK for more than half of their lives – is welcome news.
Conviction cases are ordinarily relatively straightforward for regulators. If a registrant is convicted of a criminal offence, the regulator will generally treat the fact of the conviction as proof the offence was committed – and take action to protect the public accordingly. See Achina v General Pharmaceutical Council  EWHC 415 (Admin) for an example of the difficulties registrants face when they attempt to ‘go behind’ the facts of a conviction.
With the UK Chancellor’s budget announcement tomorrow, many UK businesses will be hoping for some good news on the recruitment front to help alleviate current skills shortages across a range of industries. They are likely to get short shrift. The Government has repeatedly pushed back on requests for sector specific carve-outs to deal with post-Brexit recruitment blocks. Instead, its relentless focus has been on the much more popular and palatable high-skilled immigration, attracting the “brightest and the best” with a focus on innovation, research and technology and the exceptionally talented.
The Nationality and Borders Bill, the government’s signature piece of legislation on immigration, shows questionable priorities at a time when the UK is in the midst of a wider immigration crisis.
The Youth Mobility Scheme allows employers to access younger workers from countries such as India and Iceland for two years. With skills shortages afflicting critical sectors, now might be the time for the government to consider a youth visa agreement with the EU.
From being the centrepiece of England’s post-Covid recovery with ‘eat out to help out’, the hospitality sector is now struggling to rebuild after lockdowns, furlough and rising food prices. At the same time many restaurants, cafes and pubs are coming up against the hard realities of a post-Brexit immigration policy and discovering what it means for their business.
You have come to the end of your long immigration journey, paid thousands of pounds to UKVI to obtain permission to enter, permission to stay and then, finally, indefinite leave to remain (ILR) (also called settlement). When obtaining ILR, individuals may understandably breathe a sigh of relief – it’s over! For many who, for various reasons, choose not to naturalise or register as British, ILR can provide adequate status to live and work in the UK permanently.
The vast majority of EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who were UK residents by the end of last year were able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by the 30 June 2021 deadline. Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme meant that an EU citizen could stay in the UK for the long term.
The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) was 30 June 2021. But for those who missed it – all is not lost. The Home Office will continue to accept applications from individuals with ‘reasonable grounds’ for having missed the EUSS cut-off point. In this blog, we explore what might constitute a ‘reasonable ground’ and consider the legal implications for those who have fallen short of the deadline.
The Home Office has shown efficiency and innovation in dealing with EU nationals-it now needs to show its humanity
In February 2019, shortly after the launch of EU Settlement scheme for EU nationals to apply for their UK status, my colleagues and I visited one of our global media client’s offices to present on the new EU Settlement Scheme at a town hall meeting with all of their EU national employees.
Gone are the days of computer gaming being viewed as a secluded activity; gaming is now a thoroughly social experience that attracts a global audience of millions and players can compete for large sums of money and celebrity. This burgeoning industry is largely in a virtual world and has developed in a blockchain, decentralised fashion. Often the UK government talks up the UK gaming industry and how keen the government is to support this sector, and there have been instances that show support, but when it comes to playing games competitively, law and regulations have not yet caught up.
The UK left the EU in January 2020, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement there has been a grace period in place since 1 January 2021 which ends on 30 June 2021. The basis of the grace period is that those EU citizens (and EEA and Swiss citizens) who were residents in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.