Mr K, a young Russian businessman, came to A Y and J Solicitors for advice on applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. Mr. K was the founder of an innovative MedTech business for which he had recently completed a successful investment round of $2 million. Despite this impressive achievement, Mr. K did not meet the strict requirements for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. Our expert advisor understood that Mr. K would make a valuable contribution to the UK and considered that he might be eligible for the Tier 1 (Exceptional) talent visa.
A Y and J Solicitors quickly identified that Mr. K should be seeking an endorsement from Tech Nation based on his commercial achievements as the founder of a tech business. One of the difficulties with the case was confirming that Mr. K fell within the exceptional promise subcategory rather than exceptional talent. The significance of this being that Mr. K did not meet the criteria for the latter but met the requirements for the former.
The exceptional promise category is reserved for those in the early stages of their careers, which is defined as those having 5 or fewer years’ experience in their chosen field. Mr. K had started his business up in Russia more than 10 years prior to the time of application but had dedicated the early years to product development, so his business had not reached the necessary revenues to evidence exceptional talent.
In order to get an endorsement in Tier 1 (Exceptional) talent route, an applicant is required to submit a personal statement, their CV, two references and up to 10 supporting documents to show they meet the key and qualifying criteria. There is a further evidence restriction that limits each supporting document to 2 A4 sides.
These evidentiary restrictions mean that choosing evidence that shows an applicant meets the relevant criteria is a challenge. Matters are made worse by the confusing policy guidance for this route.
Additionally, where an applicant is applying as a founder/entrepreneur, Tech Nation will want to see evidence of any existing businesses with the result that applicants must be extremely discriminating in the documents that they choose to submit.
Mr. K’s personal statement needed significant input from our expert advisor so that it demonstrated that Mr. K had exceptional commercial promise.
Mr. K’s personal statement needed significant input from our expert advisor so that it demonstrated that Mr. K had exceptional commercial promise. As stated above, it was particularly important that Tech Nation considered Mr. K’s application under the Exceptional Promise subcategory if Mr. K was to be endorsed successfully. Our specialist was able to craft Mr. K’s personal statement to clarify that he was still in the early stages of his commercial career despite being a company director for more than ten years.
Mr. K also received invaluable advice from his specialist on picking the correct documents to demonstrate he met the key and qualifying criteria. The policy guidance for this category leaves a large margin of error for applicants, however impressive, to provide documents that will not meet Tech Nation’s stringent requirements.
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. We are positive that five years down the line, Mr K and his family will also receive their indefinite leave to remain.