Mr E, a digital banking innovator, came to AY & J Solicitors for advice on applying for the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. Mr E had previously set up the digital consulting department of one of the Big Four accountancy firms, was then headhunted by an investment bank to create and execute its digitisation strategy and was now looking to come to the UK as a partner at a technology-focused venture capital firm.
The most important criterion of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is innovation. Applicants must be able to show that their innovations caused a measurable impact on the business in which they work/worked. For those applicants relying on their commercial track record in the technology sector, this creates several problems.
Firstly, it is not enough for an applicant to have simply been involved with increasing the revenues of a technology company: the applicant’s innovation must be at the heart of that growth. For example, a very successful salesperson at technology company might not meet this measure unless he could prove that his sales success was due to some sort of innovation. Indeed, the guidance makes clear that applicants in corporate roles are not deemed suitable for this visa. It is clear, therefore, that such applicants must ‘think outside the box’ when making an application in this route.
Second, applicants should be able to quantify the impact of their innovation on the relevant technology business, and the easiest way to do this is by disclosing financial information. However, many applicants find that they are unable to obtain suitable evidence due to the unwillingness of the relevant company to make public financial results or deal sizes.
Although Mr. E had a track record of innovation, he was really struggling with putting the correct documents together to demonstrate this to Tech Nation. Fortunately, Mr. E’s advisor at A Y & J Solicitors had significant experience in advising clients with similar problems and therefore was able to offer Mr. E pragmatic and obtainable solutions to his evidentiary problems.
A Y & J Solicitors’ previous experience of advising on Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applications is essential for applicants who need clarity on what evidence to submit to successfully show that the criteria is met.
With our help, Mr K received the endorsement letter from Tech Nation, and we are now looking to proceed to stage 2. Looking forward to assisting him in applying for settlement in the next 3 years.