How To Apply To Tech Nation For A Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa
Gaining entry to the UK on a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is provides a unique advantage to successful applicants. Not only can Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa holders work in any capacity they choose, be that employed, self-employed or freelance, they can also work towards being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain and ultimately, becoming a British Citizen.
One of the most popular routes for achieving a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is through gaining endorsement via Tech Nation. There has been a 45% rise in applications for the Tech Nation Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in 2018-19, which marks the sixth year in a row that demand has increased
This article will help you understand Tech Nations’ endorsement policies and procedures, so you can make a strong application, increasing your chance of success.
What is Tech Nation?
Tech Nation was launched in 2011 by then Prime Minister, David Cameron as Tech City UK. Its original mandate was to the East London tech cluster known as London Tech City — or Silicon Roundabout. Subsequent expansion saw the creation of Tech North, designed to help tech start-ups in the North of the country expand. In 2017, Tech City UK and Tech North were combined to form Tech Nation.
What are the eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?
There are two stages to obtaining a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa:
- Endorsement, and
- Applying for the visa
The first step is to seek endorsement from one of the following approved bodies: The Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Arts Council England or Tech City UK.
You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge upfront, along with the visa fee.
How does Tech Nation evaluate applicants?
To qualify for endorsement for Exceptional Talent from Tech Nation, applicants must meet one of the key criteria and two of the qualifying criteria:
- Have a proven track record of innovation in the digital technology sector as a director or founder of a tech company or an employee working in a new digital field or concept.
- Evidence that you have contributed to the advancement of your sector beyond your immediate occupation.
- Show you have made significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector as either a founder, entrepreneur or employee of a digital technology company.
- Have been recognised as a leader in your field.
- Have continuously developed your knowledge and skills throughout your career.
- Made contributions in the technology field through having research published or endorsed by an expert or research supervisor.
In meeting these criteria, technical applicants must demonstrate proven technical expertise in building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure. Business applicants need to show proven commercial, investment or product expertise in building digital products or leading investments in significant digital product businesses.
How long does it take to receive an endorsement from Tech Nation?
The application for endorsement can take up to eight weeks. However, digital technology specialists can get a quicker decision if:
- You have been accepted onto a recognised UK accelerator programme
- You are part of a senior management team that has experience in building and expanding a digital technology business
- You plan to work and live in the regions outside the capital
What are my options if my Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is refused?
Having your visa refused is a devastating blow to most applicants. But you should not give up hope. If you are subject to refusal you can either:
- Apply to the Home Office for an Administrative Review
- Submit a new application for endorsement (this must contain fresh supporting evidence)
- Apply to enter the UK via another visa route such as the Start-Up Visa, Innovator Visa or Tier 2 (General) Visa
An experienced immigration lawyer will help you assess your options if your application is refused.
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa opens many doors for those in the technology sector who are highly recognised and skilled in their field. Applicants who invest in getting professional advice in preparing their endorsement application have a stronger chance of success. In addition, working with an immigration lawyer over the lifetime of your visa will make the process of applying for Settlement far smoother.
A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like more information regarding applying for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.
Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.