There are at least 30 work visas for those who want to move to the UK. The most flexible of them is the Global Talent Visa. To summarise, it allows you to study, work and/or open your own business in the United Kingdom.
Global Talent Visa for specialists in the digital technology field is divided into two categories: Exceptional Talent for IT Leaders and Exceptional Promise for potential IT leaders. Potential leaders are specialists with work experience of up to 5 years, while leaders usually have greater experience.
The application for both categories is required to meet three criteria: one mandatory proof that you are recognized as the (future) leader of your field, and two of the four optional criteria:
Now let’s analyse each criterion in more detail.
The main criterion necessary for any application is the recognition of you as the leader or the potential leader of the IT sector. You must show extraordinary ability by sustained (or emerging) national or international recognition. Your candidacy must be confirmed by colleagues and acquaintances, customers, sponsors, etc.
To pass this criterion, you can attach news clippings representing your work, lines of code from public repositories, or similar evidence.
Moreover, you will need at least three letters of recommendation to the application (four or five would be better — Tech Nation can dismiss some of them due to non-compliance with the criteria). Do note that reference letters, provided by an immediate colleague, manager, or friend are not sufficient.
Evidence of media recognition should include details about the publication and target audience. LinkedIn or Medium, Internal company awards, training or certificates are not considered as sufficient evidence.
It is important to include supporting data where possible (number of page views, downloads or other quantifiable metrics).
The Tech Nation Visa is for founders and employees with technical or business backgrounds. Technical applicants must demonstrate proven technical expertise with the latest technologies. Business applicants must demonstrate a proven commercial, investment, or product expertise in building digital products.
A significant contribution to the industry is one of the most popular optional criteria among applicants as it is usually easier to prove. Confirmation of this criterion will be a detailed story about the project, in which you took a leading position and eventually led it to success. The project does not have to be innovative: Tech Nation emphasises that this is a separate criterion. If you choose both contribution and innovation to support your case, then your evidence should clearly demonstrate this differentiation between the two criteria. Submitting the same evidence for both criteria may not be sufficient if it does not meet these different requirements.
To satisfy this criterion, your work must have some influence, solve a specific problem, and be considered successful.
Technical examples of a "significant contribution" include:
Having worked as a key engineer in the core product of a start-up, showing evidence as to how you have contributed to its success.
Business examples of a "significant contribution" include:
It’s a little more complicated to meet the innovation criterion. As you can guess from the name, you need to show that your work was innovative. You can demonstrate this by providing evidence of any genuine and significant product-led digital technology businesses you have established as a founder or senior executive which is currently active or has been dissolved in the last five years. The project has to be something that no one has ever done before you.
For documentary proof of innovation, you need to attach papers with financial reports: the latest set of audits, forecasts for the current financial year, etc. Evidence for each business should include your last set of audited accounts, projections for current financial year and articles of association.
If you are working in a new digital field or concept — demonstrate it by providing a patent application. Note that
the patent’s ID should be verifiable on Google Patents.
Another optional criterion is the recognition of work performed outside the main occupation. This implies that you have gone beyond your day-to-day profession to engage in an activity that contributes to the advancement of the sector.
Examples of such work are mentoring, counselling, organising groups of interest, teaching a subject at the university, and participating in clubs or societies to promote the IT field. You can find more information about the documentary proof for this and other criteria in our article.
The last criterion of choice is academic contribution. To meet this criterion you have to confirm your influence on the development of the IT sector with the help of scientific research if you have any. Studies should be approved either by a recognized academy expert through peer review of your publication or by the assessment of a lead senior academic who was your academic supervisor. Scientific work carried out as part of undergraduate or master’s studies, including a dissertation, is not suitable. This criterion is rarely addressed, as IT specialists are usually more focused on practical work rather than scientific research.
You can learn more about specific examples of evidence for different criteria here.