Global Talent Visa – Tech Nation Digital Technology Approval – Top 10 FAQs


The Global Talent visa path is for talented and promising applicants in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technologies, and arts and culture (including film and film television, fashion design and architecture). This article will answer 10 of the most frequently asked questions on the digital technology path of the Global Talent Visa.

1. What is a Global Talent Visa Tech Nation approval?

If you want to apply for a Global Talent Visa, under the digital technology path, you must first obtain approval from Tech Nation, the appropriate approval body for digital technology applicants.

Without this approval, the Home Office will deny your visa application under the Global Talent Path, unless, as noted below, you hold a leading distinction in digital technology, to which case approval is not required.

It is important to note that there is no longer a limit to the number of endorsements Tech Nation can provide. Tech Nation will apply strict criteria to determine whether you are or have the potential to become a global leader in digital technology.

2. Should I apply under Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise?

Candidates who choose to apply under the Outstanding Promise criteria are likely to be earlier in their careers, typically with five years or less of experience.

If you have more than five years of experience in the tech industry, you will likely be considered under the criteria of outstanding talent. However, Tech Nation experts will determine if your skills and accomplishments meet the necessary criteria and if you need to be approved for Outstanding Talent or Outstanding Promise, although you will need to select the criteria by which you want to be decided in the application form.

Tech Nation will take into account factors such as how long you have worked in the industry, internal and external reputation, and any significant contributions you have made in the field.

3. Am I a technical or commercial candidate?

When you apply for the Global Talent path, there are two types of applicants: technical and commercial.

Technical candidates

Technical candidates should be able to demonstrate proven technical expertise in building, using, deploying or operating a technology stack and building a technical infrastructure.

Examples include, but are not limited to: DevOps / SysOps engineers, senior software engineers / developers, data scientists, cybersecurity professionals, and those with CTO / VP engineering experience. University applicants with a focus on artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, and cybersecurity.

Commercial candidates

Business candidates should demonstrate proven business, investment or product expertise in creating digital products or leading investments in large digital product companies. This includes senior business experts, product managers and senior executives (CEOs, CMOs, CROs).

4. What are the evidentiary requirements?

It will depend on whether you are applying for the Outstanding Promise or Outstanding Talent routes.

In both cases, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the mandatory criteria and two of the optional criteria. Our UK Global Talent: Digital Technology page contains an overview of specific eligibility criteria for Tech Nation approval.

With your request, you can provide up to 10 supporting documents, to meet the eligibility criteria. This proof will vary depending on your area of ​​specialization and whether you are applying under Outstanding Promise or Outstanding Talent.

There are documents that must be included in addition to the 10 supporting documents, including: the completed Tech Nation application form, a personal statement, a CV, proof of any commercially established company, shareholding or dissolved company in the last 5 years that you were a founder or senior executive (if applicable), and 3 letters of recommendation.

5. Can I bring my dependents?

Global Talent partners and children (including Level 1 (Exceptional Talent)) Migrants can apply for an entry permit, a residence permit and settle in the UK.

You must apply validly on the correct dependent partner visa or dependent child visa forms, and obtain entry clearance prior to your arrival in the UK.

Please read our recent article on Global Talent and Dependents of Outstanding Talent for more information.

6. When can I make a claim (indefinite residence permit)?

You will be on your way to settlement under this visa. The qualification period depends on whether the visa is granted under Exceptional Talent (3 years) or Exceptional Promise (5 years). You can apply for a visa for up to 5 years.

Global Talent visa holders can also combine time spent in the following visa categories: Global Talent, Innovator, Skilled Worker (including Level 2 (General)), Minister of Religion Level 2, 2 sportsman or level 1 migrant other than level 1 (qualified entrepreneur).

7. Is the number of Global Talent visas available limited?

The Global Talent category is not subject to a cap on the number of candidates.

8. How long does the Global Talent application process take?

Your Global Talent application will be a two-step process.

Step 1: Request for approval

Stage 1 can take up to 8 weeks to process and costs £ 456 at the time of writing.

Step 2: Visa application

It costs £ 152. The Home Office will review your immigration history and the grounds for refusal. You must not fall for denial under general grounds.

Your approval must not have been withdrawn and Tech Nation must continue to be approved by the Home Office as an approval body. There are no English or maintenance requirements. You can request an authorization or a period of up to 5 years.

This step usually takes 3 weeks if you are applying from outside the UK and 8 weeks if you are applying from the UK. You will need to check at the time of request to see if priority processing is available as it has not been continuously available due to COVID-19.

It is possible to apply for steps 1 and 2 at the same time which may speed up the process, but you should be wary that if step 1 is denied, step 2 will also be denied.

9. Can I upgrade to the Global Talent category from UK?

If you are applying for permission to stay on the Global Talent base, you must be in the UK and not have, or have last received, permission from:

  • A visitor; Where
  • A short-term student; Where
  • A parent of a student child; Where
  • A seasonal worker; Where
  • A domestic worker in a private household; Where
  • Outside of immigration rules.

If you are on leave in any of the above categories then you will need to leave the UK and submit a Stage 2 Global Talent visa application from your home country. You can, however, apply for Stage 1 approval from within the UK.

10. Can I apply for the Fast-Track Global Talent Route?

If you hold a distinction in digital technology, it will be easier for you to live and work in the UK. The Home Office has released a list of winners who are eligible to use the Fast-Track Global Talent path. The two eligible prizes are the ACM Prize in Computing and the Turing Prize, both awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).


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