GLOBAL TALENT VISA: DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
The UK Global Talent visa route is open to talented and promising individuals with technical or business skills in the digital technology sector wishing to work in the UK.
Applicants will be leaders in their field, or have the potential to be leaders, as determined by Tech Nation.
There is no cap on the number of applicants that can be endorsed in the Digital Technology sub-category of the UK Global Talent route.
Global Talent Visa Digital Technology Requirements
In order to qualify for a Global Talent visa in the field of Digital Technology, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are aged 18 or over;
- You have been issued with an endorsement letter by Tech Nation or have been awarded a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes;
- Your application does not fall under the general grounds for refusal;
- You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Requirements for Endorsement by Tech Nation
In order to qualify for endorsement by Tech Nation in the field of Digital Technology you will either need to be:
- A technical applicant who can demonstrate proven technical expertise in building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure; or
- A business applicant who can demonstrate proven commercial, investment, or product expertise in building digital products or leading investments in significant digital product businesses.
Technical applicants include, but are not limited to: DevOps / SysOps engineers, principal software engineers/developers, data scientists, cybersecurity professionals and those with CTO/VP Engineering experience, as well as academic applicants focusing on artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning and cybersecurity.
Business applicants include, but are not limited to, senior sales experts, product managers, and C-suite executives (CEOs, CMOs, CROs).
Evidence Required for Endorsement by Tech Nation
Your application for a Digital Technology endorsement by Tech Nation will need to include a CV with career and publication history included and 3 letters of recommendation.
The letters of recommendation must be from 3 different well-established organisations acknowledged as experts in the digital technology field with detailed knowledge of your work over a period of 12 months or more. They must show you how the author knows you, your achievements in your field, how the author considers that you show exceptional talent or promise and the contribution you will make to the UK digital economy.
Exceptional Talent Applicants in the Field of Digital Technology
If you are seeking to evidence exceptional talent in the digital technology industry, you will need to show that you have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology sector in the last 5 years and provide evidence of at least two of the following:
- A proven track record for innovation as a founder or senior executive of a product-led digital technology company or as an employee working on a new digital field or concept;
- Proof of recognition for work beyond your occupation that contributes to the advancement of the field;
- Having made significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as either a founder, senior executive, board member or employee of a product-led digital technology company;
- Having demonstrated exceptional ability in the field by making academic contributions through research published or otherwise endorsed by an expert.
Exceptional Promise Applicants in the Field of Digital Technology
If you are seeking to evidence exceptional promise in the digital technology industry, you will need to show that you have been recognised as having potential to be a leading talent in the digital technology field in the last 5 years, be at an early stage in your career and provide evidence of at least two of the following:
- At least 1 example of innovation as a founder of a product led digital technology company or as an employee working on a new digital field or concept;
- At least 1 example of proof of recognition for work beyond your occupation that contributes to the advancement of the field;
- At least 1 example of significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as either a founder or employee of a product-led digital technology company;
- At least 1 example demonstrating exceptional ability in the field by making academic contributions through research endorsed by an expert.
In all cases applicants must provide evidence of any commercially successful established businesses, share ownership or businesses dissolved in the last 5 years where the applicant has been a founder or senior executive.
Does Tech Nation Require Referees for a Digital Technology Endorsement?
You will need to provide Tech Nation with 3 letters of recommendation in support of your digital technology endorsement application.
The letters of recommendation must be from 3 different well-established organisations acknowledged as experts in the digital technology field.
The signatories must be familiar with your work and contribution to the digital technology sector. They must be a senior member of their organisation. They will need to describe how they know you, your achievements in your specialist field, how you exhibit exceptional talent or exceptional promise, the contribution you will make to the UK digital technology sector, your future plans, and the benefit you would receive from living in the UK.
Is It Necessary to Have Established a Digital Technology Business?
Whilst a proven track record of innovation, or significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions, in the digital technology sector as a founder or senior executive of a product-led digital technology company can be relied upon in support of an application for a Tech Nation endorsement, it is not mandatory to have been a senior executive or founder of a digital technology sector company.
Employees working on a new digital field or concept, employees who have made significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field and employees who have done work outside their immediate occupation that has contributed to the advancement of the sector can also secure an endorsement from Tech Nation.
Academics who have shown exceptional ability in the digital technology field through research published or endorsed by an expert can also be endorsed by Tech Nation.
What Factors Will Tech Nation Take Into Consideration When Considering a Digital Technology Endorsement Application?
When assessing applicants, Tech Nation will take into account the following factors:
- Your track record/career history (including your international standing, the significance of your work and the impact of your activity in a company or as an individual);
- The strength of the supporting statements in the letters of personal recommendation, and evidence in relation to qualifying criteria;
- The expected benefits of your presence in the UK in terms of the contribution to the UK digital technology sector;
- Factors including but not limited to, your academic track record and salary level if employed, the company you are being hired by if an employee or the amount of money raised if an entrepreneur;
- The commercial impact of your previous work, achievements and experiences.
- Global Talent Visa: Frequently Asked Questions
- Changes to the Global Talent Route in October 2021
- Global Talent & Exceptional Talent Dependants
- Global Talent Visa – Digital Technology Tech Nation Endorsement – Top 10 FAQs
Global Talent Visa Application Following Endorsement
Once you have your Tech Nation endorsement, you will have a period of three months from the date of the endorsement letter to make your application to enter or remain in the UK in the Global Talent category.
An application to switch into the Global Talent route may be made from within the UK provided you do not currently have, or were not last granted, permission to stay as a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic worker in a private household or outside the Immigration Rules.
If you hold, or were last granted, leave in any of the above categories then you will be required to leave the UK and submit your application for a Global Talent visa from your home country.
In addition to showing that you have been endorsed, the Home Office will assess your character and immigration history to ensure that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
There is no maintenance or English language requirement in the UK Global Talent visa category.
Leave will be granted for the period that you request (in full year periods) up to five years. The amount of time that you request makes no difference to the application but will affect the amount that you need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Global Talent Digital Technology Prestigious Prizes Route
If you have won a qualifying prestigious award, you will be able to fast-track the endorsement application and instead proceed directly to making a single visa application.
The list of prestigious prizes is set out in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes. This list is kept under review and updated from time-to-time.
How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help Your Global Talent Visa Application
Our immigration barristers have a wide range of experience assisting digital technology professionals to work in the UK. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for individuals in the technology sector and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to clients as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Applications for extension of stay for Global Talent visa holders
In order to qualify for an extension of stay on the Global Talent route you will need to have earned money in the UK during your last grant of leave.
These earnings will need to have been linked to the field which led to your initial Global Talent endorsement (if your initial application was granted using an endorsement) or a field related to the subject matter of your prize (if your initial application was granted using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes).
You will need to provide evidence from an independent source that is verifiable by the Home Office.
If your initial application was granted using an endorsement you must also not have had your endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body and the endorsing body must continue to be approved by the Home Office.
The Home Office will also check your character and immigration history to check that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds.
Applications for settlement for Global Talent visa holders
If you continue to satisfy the requirements for an extension of stay set out above and demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK then you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of 3 years in the UK if:
- You were endorsed by the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or UKRI; or
- You were endorsed under the exceptional talent criteria by Arts Council England or Tech Nation; or
- You were granted your initial application using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes.
If you were last endorsed under the “exceptional promise” criteria for Arts Council England or Tech Nation you will need to spend a continuous period of 5 years in the UK before being eligible to apply for settlement.
The relevant continuous period can include time spent in the following immigration categories: Global Talent, Innovator, Tier 1 (excluding Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)), Skilled Worker, T2 Minister of Religion, T2 Sportsperson, Scale-up or Representative of an Overseas Business.
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the Global Talent category you will need to have spent not more than 180 days outside the UK during any rolling 12 month during the continuous period of leave relied upon.
Global Talent migrants who hold leave following an endorsement by one of the endorsing bodies for science, engineering, humanities and medicine and who have undertaken research overseas directly related to their grant of leave, will not have such absences counted when they apply for settlement. Partners of Global Talent migrants will be treated in the same way.
Fresh applications, Endorsement reviews, Administrative reviews and Judicial reviews for Global Talent migrants
If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Global Talent migrant has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If you believe that an error has been made in a decision on your endorsement, we can assist you in applying for an endorsement review.
If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.