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Global Talent Digital Technology Route: FAQs

The UK Global Talent visa route is open to applicants with technical and business skills in the digital technology sector. In this post we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Digital Technology sub-category of the Global Talent route.

What is Tech Nation endorsement?

In order to apply for a Global Talent visa as a talented and promising individual with technical or business skills in the digital technology sector, first you must receive an endorsement from Tech Nation, the appropriate endorsing body for digital technology candidates. 

The Home Office will refuse to consider an application for a visa or further leave to remain under the Global Talent route if the applicant has not received an endorsement from Tech Nation beforehand. 

There is no longer a limit on the number of endorsements Tech Nation can provide. Tech Nation has its own criteria from which it will decide whether a candidate is a world leader in the digital technology field, or someone with the potential to become a world leader. 

Should I apply under Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise?

Applicants for a Global Talent Digital Technology visa who choose to apply under the Exceptional Promise criteria are normally at an earlier stage of their careers, typically with five years or less experience and therefore have yet to establish a track record for innovation.

Your length of time in the sector, international reputation and the significance of your contributions are all factors to take into account. Ultimately, Tech Nation will establish whether your skills and achievements meet the necessary criteria and whether you should be endorsed for Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise. 

Am I a technical or business applicant?

There are two types of applicant: technical and business applicants.

Technical applicants must demonstrate proven technical expertise in building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure. Examples include, but are not limited to: DevOps engineers, software engineers/developers, data scientists, cybersecurity professionals and those with CTO/VP Engineering experience. Academic applicants focusing on artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning and cybersecurity tend to fall under the technical category.

Business applicants must demonstrate proven commercial, investment, or product expertise in building digital products or leading investments in significant digital product businesses. This includes senior sales experts, product managers, and C-suite executives (CEOs, CMOs, CROs).

For both types of applicant, their line of work must be ‘product-led’. This means those specialising in service delivery, consultancy or managing corporate teams are normally not deemed suitable.

What evidence do I need to provide?

The Eligibility Criteria candidates have to meet differs depending on whether you are applying for endorsement as an ‘Exceptional Talent’ or ‘Exceptional Promise’. 

In either case, you will have to demonstrate you meet the mandatory criterion and two of the optional criteria. Our UK Global Talent: Digital Technology page contains an overview of the specific Eligibility Criteria for Tech Nation endorsement. 

You can provide up to 10 pieces of evidence in relation to the Eligibility Criteria. The type of evidence will differ on a case-by-case basis. An immigration advisor can advise on the most suitable criteria to apply under, and the relevant evidence to submit, based on your role and specialism within the digital technology sector.

In addition to these 10 documents, you must provide:

  • A completed Tech Nation online application form;
  • A personal statement (1000 words) explaining the contribution you will make to the UK digital technology sector;
  • A CV outlining your career and publication history;
  • Evidence of any commercially successful established businesses, share ownership or businesses dissolved in the last 5 years where you have been a founder or senior executive (if applicable); and
  • 3 letters of recommendation from 3 different well-established organisations acknowledged as experts in the digital technology field. These play a crucial role in the endorsement process. You should aim to select referees who are best-placed to comment on your work and demonstrate how you meet the Eligibility Criteria.

How long does the process take?

A Global Talent application is a two-stage process. 

Stage 1: You must first apply to the Home Office using the appropriate Stage 1 form, and to Tech Nation using their application form and your supporting evidence. Tech Nation will assess your skills, abilities and achievements, and advise the Home Office whether you can be endorsed. Stage 1 can take up to 8 weeks to be processed. This stage costs £456.

Stage 2: Following a successful endorsement, the next stage is to apply directly to the Home Office for a Global Talent visa within three months of the date of the endorsement letter. This costs £152. The Home Office will consider your immigration history and the grounds for refusal. Stage 2 ordinarily takes three weeks if applying from outside the UK, and eight weeks if applying from within the UK.

It is possible to apply for both Stage 1 and 2 at the same time, which may speed up the process. 

Will a Global Talent visa provide a route to settlement?

You will be on a route to settlement under this visa. The qualifying period depends on whether the visa is granted under Exceptional Talent (3 years) or Exceptional Promise (5 years). You can apply for a visa of up to 5 years. 

Global Talent visa holders can also combine time spent under the following visa categories: Global Talent, Innovator, Skilled Worker (including Tier 2 (General)), Tier 2 Minister of Religion, Tier 2 Sportsperson, or Tier 1 Migrant other than Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).

Contact our Business Immigration Barristers

For advice and assistance with applying for a Global Talent visa under the Digital Technology route, contact our business immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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