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How to obtain a Global Talent Visa to relocate to the UK?

12/10/2022
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The Global Talent Visa is an immigration route that grants talented tech specialists a fast track to working and living in the UK. Tech Nation – the official Home Office endorsing body – is trusted
to assess applications and endorse candidates. When it comes to making the Global Talent application, it’s important to evaluate your achievements and make sure that you include each and every proof of your talent. We have compiled a list of document types required in the application process and specific examples you can include.
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What is the UK Global Talent Visa, who and how can obtain it, what benefits it gives and how it differs from other work visas, what challenges applicants may face. Immigram team answers these and many other questions.

HOW TO OBTAIN A GLOBAL TALENT VISA TO RELOCATE TO THE UK

12/10/2022
What is the UK Global Talent Visa, who and how can obtain it, what benefits it gives and how it differs from other work visas, what challenges applicants may face. Immigram team answers these and many other questions.
CONTENT
1. Side-occupation evidence
2. Evidence about innovation
3. Amount of supporting documents
4. High level of achievements
5. Letters of recommendation
6. Correlation between ‘Talent’
and ‘Promise’

WHAT IS THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA

Global Talent Visa, also known as Tech Nation Visa, Exceptional Talent (Tier 1) Visa or just Talent Visa is an immigration route for talented and promising tech professionals from around the world who want to move to the UK to live, work, succeed in their field, and subsequently become a British citizen.

WHO CAN GET THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA IN 2022

The visa is intended for those who are already recognised "talents" or "promising" professionals in the fields of science, medicine, digital technology, art and culture.


Depending on the candidate's specialisation, they will need to get an endorsement from one of the endorsing bodies authorised by the British government. For digital tech specialists it is Tech Nation.


Immigram offers Global Talent Visa guidance to digital tech candidates. Take our scoring test to evaluate your chances of getting the visa and get detailed feedback from our team.


Rules for obtaining the Global Talent Visa in 2022


In 2022, visas are issued to everyone without any restrictions. In early March, Tech Nation released a statement that applications from Ukrainians and citizens of other countries who are currently in Ukraine have a priority status. The second priority is given to Russians and Belarusians, especially those who are already working in the UK technology companies and cannot get paid because of SWIFT sanctions.

WHAT DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO PROVIDE FOR A GLOBAL TALENT VISA

To get the Global Talent Visa, you first need to apply for an endorsement from Tech Nation and only after that –– for the visa itself.


Stage 1 – Endorsement application


The application bundle for Tech Nation should include 4 types of documents:

  1. Personal statement
  2. 3-5 letters of recommendation
  3. CV
  4. Up to 10 pieces of evidence proving that the candidate meets the criteria for the Global Talent visa

Read more about this stage of the application and the required documents in the article.


Immigram assists in preparing your case bundle and gathering all the necessary documents for Tech Nation.


Stage 2 – Visa application


When you receive the approval letter from Tech Nation, it’s time to apply for the visa itself. Documents you’ll need for the application:

  • An endorsement letter from Tech Nation;
  • A passport;
  • A photo;
  • TB test results (if you are from a country listed here).
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THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA PROCESSING TIME

It takes 5-8 weeks for Tech Nation to evaluate your application. Immigram clients usually receive a decision in 2-4 weeks.


If you are applying for the visa in the UK, the Home Office will make a decision within 2 weeks (as of August 2022). If you are applying for the visa outside the UK, the process takes 5-8 weeks (as of August 2022).


If you need a quicker decision, you can apply for fast-track visa services — Priority (5 working days) and Super Priority (by the end of the next working day). These services are available in some visa centres during the online application process.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA

Once approved by Tech Nation, the candidate has only 3 months (90 days) to apply for the Global Talent Visa itself.


Apply for the visa outside the UK


You can apply from any country in the world, but you must include a cover letter explaining why you are not applying from your home country.


Once you have collected the necessary documents, you can make an appointment at the visa centre to have your biometric information taken. After that you will receive a vignette — a temporary document in the form of a visa sticker. You will have 3 months (90 days) to enter the UK. After 90 days, the vignette becomes invalid.


Apply for the visa in the UK


You can apply for the Global Talent Visa, send your entire bundle of documents and sign up for biometrics and photos online.


Immigram helps you with the application for the Global Talent Visa as well as guides you through the whole relocation process – read more about the Dependant visa for close relatives here.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA

A technical candidate needs to meet 3 Tech Nation criteria — one mandatory and two optional.


Mandatory criterion

Recognition as a leader

Recognition as a (potential) leader in your field. Your case itself may serve as evidence:

  • Reference letters from IT industry leaders celebrating your merits and achievements;
  • An employment contract or job offer, performance review, payroll or proof of received bonuses and internal awards;
  • Presentations at IT conferences;
  • Interviews or media coverage of your project or product.

Optional criteria

There are four optional criteria in general, but you will only need to prove two of them for the application.


Significant contribution to the field

Significant contribution to the field is one of the most frequently selected criteria. Evidence for this criterion includes any metrics of the project/product you have worked on that have benefited your company or the IT industry as a whole. You can also show your contribution through reference letters that mention the impact of your project/product on the company's metrics.


Innovation

Innovation is the second most popular optional criterion. Tech Nation views the word “innovation” as “something new” — a new approach, a new solution, a new trend. Patents as well as an unusual approach to a project or a new solution to a problem can serve as evidence for this criterion.


Recognition for work outside the immediate occupation

Recognition for what you did outside your main job. Evidence may include:

  • Participation in a conference related to IT;
  • Running a tech blog or podcast;
  • Mentoring or lecturing on a topic related to your specialisation;
  • Volunteering in projects for SWE;
  • Open source of any format.

Academic contribution

If you have a PhD, three published scientific articles, and reference letters from academics and a supervisor, consider the criterion proven.


Assess your immigration chances with our scoring test.

“EXCEPTIONAL TALENT" AND "EXCEPTIONAL PROMISE" SUBCATEGORIES

The Global Talent Visa is divided into two subcategories — Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise.


The main difference is the experience and level of achievement of the candidates. Typically, candidates who apply as a “Talent” have held senior positions, managed large-scale projects, and can provide evidence of significant accomplishments in the digital field.


According to Tech Nation, if a specialist has worked in the field for more than 5 years, they cannot apply as an Exceptional Promise. However, a candidate with less experience may apply for any of the subcategories.


The level of evidence for “Promise” and “Talent” is also different. While Promise can provide one piece of evidence for the selected criteria, Talent candidates must attach several pieces of evidence.


The subcategory of the Global Talent Visa also determines when its holders may apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain; British Permanent Residence): 3 years for Exceptional Talent and 5 years for Exceptional Promise.


Learn more about the subcategories of the Global Talent Visa in our article.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

Software engineers, founders, investors, UX designers and many other professionals can apply for the Tech Nation Visa. Specialties can be divided into two categories — technical and non-technical (business). The main requirement is to work for a product-led digital company in any IT sector.


Business candidates must demonstrate experience in creating digital products or investing in recognised digital product-led companies.


Examples of non-technical occupations (business):

  • CEO and other C-level positions;
  • Сommercial/business lead;
  • VC investor/founder;
  • UX/UI researcher;
  • Project/product manager;
  • Senior VC/PE analysts (with track records of leading investments in digital businesses);
  • SaaS or enterprise sales leadership (with contribution to product development).

Technical candidates should demonstrate experience in working with/creating the latest technologies, use or operate digital products.


Examples of technical occupations:

  • CTO;
  • DevOps and SysOps engineer;
  • Software engineer / software developer;
  • Data scientist;
  • AI, NLP, ML expert;
  • Cyber security expert;
  • Hardware engineer;
  • Front-end/back-end developer;
  • OS engineer;
  • Video game developer;
  • UX/UI/Product designer;
  • Mobile application developer;
  • VR developer;
  • Solutions architect.

Take our scoring test to find out your chances of becoming a Global Talent Visa holder.

THE DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO PROVIDE FOR TECH NATION ENDORSEMENT

The application for Tech Nation includes 4 types of documents. Let's look at each of them.


Personal Statement


The personal statement should be no longer than 1000 words. It should be complementary to your case and explain what you plan to contribute to the UK IT sector.

According to Tech Nation guidelines, you should answer the following questions in the personal statement:

  • Why do you want to come to the UK?
  • Where do you plan to work once in the UK?
  • Which city/region are you planning to relocate to?
  • How will the UK’s tech sector benefit from your work?

While Tech Nation recommends answering these questions, we suggest a more creative approach. In your Personal Statement, explain why you are a (potential) leader in your field, convince Tech Nation experts that you fit the Global Talent Visa criteria perfectly, and show specific examples (metrics) of your achievements. Also, make sure to describe the documents you attach to your case — why you attached them and what criterion each one proves.


For example, "My online course was taken by over 500 people" or "Thanks to my product, the company's revenue has increased fivefold".


CV

Tech Nation recommends that CVs should be up to 3 pages, but it can be longer. The CV should include a detailed description of your career, publications, and media mentions. Don't forget to add links to your projects, open source screenshots, and photos of you speaking at conferences.


Here’s what to include in your CV:

  1. A summary of what you have done as a professional.
  2. A list of your roles and the impact you have made while in the position.
  3. Your achievements in the digital technology field. Especially if they are related to some international projects.

What should not be included in a CV:

  1. Your skills.
  2. The languages you speak.
  3. Your education (except for the PhD).
  4. Your hobbies.

In other words, your CV should be designed for Tech Nation’s endorsement, not for a job interview.


Reference Letters


Tech Nation requires applicants to attach 3 reference letters. We advise you to attach at least 4-5 letters in case any of them are rejected during the evaluation process. For instance, this can happen if Tech Nation does not view your referee as an expert in the field or for some other reason.


Who can be a referee

The main advice is to choose a referee with whom you have a good relationship. At the same time, the letters should be signed by recognised experts in your field. The person should be familiar with your work and hold a senior position.


Letters cannot be written by your relatives, friends, or people who work for you.


What to write about in reference letters

Each letter must:

  • Be written specifically for the Global Talent application and also be addressed to Tech Nation;
  • Include the referee's experience, highlight where their expertise lies and why it is relevant to your case;
  • Explain how the referee and the candidate met;
  • Describe how the candidate meets the criteria and requirements for the visa;
  • List the specific projects in which the candidate and the referee have been involved;
  • Demonstrate the candidate's achievements and leadership qualities through examples;
  • Explain how the candidate would benefit from living in the UK and demonstrate what contribution the candidate would make to the UK tech field.

The letter should also be typed, dated, and signed by the referee or company representative.


10 pieces of evidence


These documents should also confirm that you meet the requirements. If you have given specific examples or metrics in your personal statement or recommendation letters and CV, these documents must support them. These could be excerpts from performance reviews, job offers, payrolls, investment deals, internal awards and so on.


Read our article to learn more about the necessary documents for the application.

ADVANTAGES OF THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA

The Global Talent Visa offers many benefits. It is valid for up to 5 years, enabling its holder to:

  • Work for one or multiple companies;
  • Change employers and company positions without notifying Home Office;
  • Be self-employed;
  • Start your own business in the UK;
  • Enrol for full-time studies;
  • Combine all of the above or do nothing at all.

There are also other benefits:

  • No need for a high school or university degree;
  • No need for a business idea or seed capital;
  • No need for IELTS or other English language certificate;
  • No need for a job offer;
  • No requirement to have funds in a bank account or financial statements;
  • Opportunity to relocate with your family;
  • A fast-track to IRL (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and UK citizenship.

Essentially, Global Talent Visa holders have all the same rights as UK citizens.


Read more about the Global Talent Visa benefits here.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR GLOBAL TALENT VISA ENDORSEMENT IS REJECTED

You can:

  1. Apply again. In the rejection letter, Tech Nation states the reasons why you were rejected. If you forgot to attach any documents or want to rewrite your CV or Personal Statement — we advise you to recompile your case.
  2. Appeal Tech Nation's decision. You have 28 days to file an appeal, free of charge. To do so, you must fill out a special form and explain why you do not agree with the decision. The candidate is not limited in the number of applications, but it is important to remember that each one will cost £456 (the application fee for applying to Tech Nation).

Learn more about Immigram’s appeal process here and the reasons for Tech Nation's rejection here.

HOW MUCH DOES THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA COST

To apply for the Global Talent Visa, you will need to pay a fee — £623 per person. It includes the endorsement application fee (£456) and the visa application fee (£167).


If you intend to bring close relatives with you, you must also pay £623 for each person.


You will also need to pay a Healthcare Surcharge for yourself and your family members — £624 for each year of your visa. For example, for a 5-year visa for one person you would have to pay £3.120.


Read our blog to find out if you can get a discount on the Healthcare Surcharge.


You may also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information taken.

HOW LONG CAN YOU STAY ON THE GLOBAL TALENT VISA

The Global Talent Visa is issued for up to 5 years. The candidate themself chooses the duration of the visa — from 1 to 5 years.

GLOBAL TALENT VISA EXTENSION

The visa can be extended an unlimited number of times. You will not need to get approval from Tech Nation again, but you will need to provide evidence that you have earned money in the UK working in your field of expertise. There is no minimum income requirement.

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