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Moving to the UK ON A Global Talent Visa: a VC investor’s story

19/10/2022
ELIGIBILITY
22/09/2022
LIFE IN THE UK
13/07/2022
LIFE IN THE UK
24/08/2022
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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Gleb, VC investor and immigram's client, moved to the UK on a Global Talent Visa. We asked him to share his immigration experience and fresh impressions.

MOVING TO THE UK ON A GLOBAL TALENT VISA: A VC INVESTOR’S STORY

19/10/2022
Gleb, VC investor and immigram's client, moved to the UK on a Global Talent Visa. We asked him to share his immigration experience and fresh impressions.
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’

ON HIS DECISION

I decided to relocate because of my work. The fund I work for invests in European markets, so Europe was a logical destination. In December 2021, the company offered me a Luxembourg sponsorship visa. But when a colleague of mine who relocated to the UK via the Global Talent Visa told me about this route, I shifted my aim to the UK. There were several reasons for this: first of all, I didn’t need to learn a new language. Secondly, the Global Talent Visa grants a big scope for action –– from working at a company without being tied to an employer to launching your own business. Moreover, London is the European startup and fintech capital, so moving there seemed more beneficial for my professional growth.

ON GETTING THE VISA

Ironically, my first call with Mikhail (immigram’s co-founder) took place on February 24. My strategy for the meetings with the team was simple: I told everything there was to know about my life, and immigram then helped build my case. I also contributed via Notion and tried to get my reference letters signed as fast as possible.


Naturally, I feared I wouldn’t get the visa. A couple of days before I received my endorsement letter, my friend “delighted” me when he shared the information he got from a lawyer –– that VC investors can’t get endorsed under the Exceptional Promise subcategory. Evidently, it was a mistake, but at that moment I felt extremely frustrated.


In March I moved to Armenia and spent several months in daunting uncertainty. Because of that the process of getting the visa seemed long. In reality, it was fairly quick: I applied in April, received the endorsement in 3-4 working days, got the visa itself in 6 weeks and was already in London by June.

ON FIRST IMPRESSIONS

After the February events, when the future appeared to be especially foggy, I realised that I missed the simple things. For instance, after living in different airbnbs for months, I started to miss the possibility of setting up, decorating my own space. So when I rented an apartment in London, I finally found my home and felt at ease.


Also, once I moved to the UK, I started having a lot more in-person meetings, making new acquaintances and attending events. While in Moscow, I had minimal networking opportunities, the majority of the meetings were held via Zoom. There’s a large Russian-speaking community in London: talented and successful people from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and other countries who work at BigTech companies and build their own startups. Due to the fact that we’re all immigrants and are in similar circumstances, relationships grow naturally. I wouldn’t have met this many people in Moscow –– just wouldn’t have the motivation to.


Relocation is an interesting experience in terms of reorganising your life, even the smallest of details. When you start everything from scratch, you gradually reveal some flaws from your past life that now you have the will and time to change. That’s how I stopped using the tube: I rented an apartment near the office and started walking to work.

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ON THE MAIN DIFFICULTY IN THE UK

The hardest thing for me was finding an apartment. I was surprised by the formal and clear approach to renting in the UK, with careful selection of the tenants and advance payment for several months (I had to pay for 6 months at once). Finding a place is a full-time job that is hard to combine with your main work and day-to-day errands. Thankfully, Repit really helped me out –– it’s much easier to know that someone is going to do all that unpleasant work for you and you won’t have to torture yourself.


Other than that, I didn’t experience any difficulties –– opening a Wise or Revolut account is fast, I didn’t have a language barrier nor did I struggle with the post-relocation paperwork.

ON FUTURE PLANS

I plan to go all the way and become a British citizen. For now, I can’t see myself in any other country. Besides, the UK passport comes with various benefits –– one of them is the opportunity to travel the world visa-free.

ON HIS IMMIGRATION EXPERIENCE –– IN SHORT

I got lucky. I got lucky with my employer who was ready to support me throughout the process, with my apartment and with great new acquaintances.

AN ADVICE FOR POTENTIAL  MIGRANTS

The most predictable advice would be to gather patience, but I myself know how difficult it may be to do so. So I’ll rather give practical advice: firstly, it’s better to find a property to rent prior to moving (a long-term airbnb or an apartment for the long haul) and use the help of companies like Repit. Secondly, you have to save up money before the big move. London is an expensive city –– it’s better to come prepared.

WAS IT ALL WORTH IT?

It most definitely was. I initially had my heart set on moving and was ready to restart my life –– I viewed it as a challenge. The upsides of relocation prevail over the possible difficulties: the UK has better growth and life prospects as well as career opportunities. 

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