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December 1, 2020

Global Talent Visa Guide: Tech Nation Visa

Officially known as a “Global Talent Visa”, the Tech Nation Visa permits the smartest and finest tech talents worldwide to come to the UK and work in the digital technology industry. Tech Nation is an officially designated body endorsed by the Home Office to assess applications from those persons who have expertise in digital tech and want to come to the UK.

What is the eligibility criteria for Global Talent Visa applicant?

Tech Nation is designed for people with technical skills and business skills within the digital technology industry.

Technical Applicants

Must be able to demonstrate proven technical prowess and knowledge of the latest technologies in “building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building infrastructure.”

Business Applicants

Need to show demonstrable “commercial, investment, or product expertise in building digital products or leading investments in significant digital product businesses”.

Applicants under each criteria will need to show either “exceptional talent” or “exceptional promise”. They must meet one of the key criteria and two of the qualifying exceptional talent criteria as shown below.

Alternatively, applicants can determine their eligibility by meeting one of the key criteria of exceptional talent and two criteria from the exceptional promise table as shown below.

Exceptional Talent

If you are considering an application within this criteria then you must provide evidence you have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital tech industry, and prove two of the following:

  • A proven record in innovation as founder or senior executive of a product-led digital tech company or as an employee in new digital area or field or concept; or
  • Evidence of recognition for work you have done beyond your occupation that contributes to advancement of the field; or
  • You have made significant commercial, technical or entrepreneurial contributions as a founder, an employee, or senior exec of a product-led digital tech company; or
  • You have demonstrated exceptional competency in the field by your academic contribution, through published research or endorsements by experts.

 Exceptional Promise



Provide evidence of more than one example of innovation in the digital tech industry as a founder of a product-led digital tech company or an employee working in a new digital concept or field.



You have made a significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contribution to the digital tech industry as either a founder or employee of a product-led digital tech company.


Provide evidence of recognition for work undertaken outside your immediate occupation that has contributed to the progression of the industry (e.g. proof that you have gone above and beyond your profession to engage in an enterprise that advances the industry)



You have been recognised as having potential to become a leading talent in the digital tech industry.




You have continued with your learning and mastery of any new digital skills (continuing professional development) either commercial or technical throughout your career.



You can give more than one example of exceptional capability in the field by making an academic contribution through research endorsed by a research supervisor or other suitably qualified expert.



If you can show evidence of acceptance onto an existing or future programme at any accepted UK accelerator at: Antler, Barclays Accelerator, BGV/Bethal Green Ventures, Collider, Creative Destruction Lab, Cylon, Entrepreneur First, Founders Academy, Founders Factory, Ignite, Microsoft for Startups, NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator, SETsquared Scale-Up Programme, Startupbootcamp, techstars London Accelerator, Wayra or Zinc then your application will be fast-tracked by Tech Nation.

The Application Process

If you have not previously been an applicant for Global Talent in this process or its predecessor, Tier 1 Exceptional Talent, there is a two-stage application process:

  1. Stage One – Endorsement Application: You must apply for endorsement on the website and complete a Tech Nation Visa application which will then be passed for assessment. This stage takes around eight weeks to be processed, and if successful you can proceed to the next stage.
  2. Stage Two – Visa Application: Tech Nation is not involved in this stage. The Home Office will deal with your visa application and consider things such as whether any grounds for refusal apply to your case. And in cases where you are already living in the UK, eligibility to switch categories. It takes around three weeks for this process to complete but can take a lot longer.

If your endorsement application is unsuccessful and you believe a mistake has been made, then you can ask the Home Office to request that Tech Nation review their decision. This is called an “Endorsement Review”. Alternatively, you can always make a fresh Stage 1 application under a different immigration route providing you meet the relevant criteria.


Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration advisers regulated by OISC and IMC.

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration advisers in London Office, please contact us at or call +44 207 993 63 46.