2022 has been an exciting year of growth for so many Global Talent Visa alumni, and of course a deeply challenging year for many, and we are proud of how the alumni network provides a strong and welcoming community for Visa recipients in the UK. As the year comes to a close we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect and celebrate how the alumni network has continued to thrive, expand and welcome more talented individuals than ever before.
The Alumni Network was founded in 2017, and in the past year alone the network has doubled in size from 800 members to an engaged community of 1,600 alumni. The network includes a plethora of impressive alumni who are experts in key technology systems, all of whom contribute to world-class innovation in digital technology in both technical and non-technical roles.
The alumni network spans 94 countries across the world; we’re proud to have individuals from Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand in the East, to Canada, the US and Ecuador in the West. Countries like India, Nigeria and Russia have contributed large numbers of alumni, but we also welcome and would love to see more applicants from Singapore, Australia, South Korea and our European neighbours.
Many incredible initiatives have been created by visa alumni, whether that be through offering guidance and knowledge about the Global Talent Visa or through engagement and promotion of the visa. One of the most impactful initiatives to date was started by one of our longest standing visa ambassadors: Herman Komashko. Herman created the alumni-led forum, which he runs with other visa alumni. The forum has seen an astonishing amount of traffic come through this past year; without the alumni dedicating their time voluntarily to assisting applicants this forum wouldn’t be what it is today. In 2022 the alumni answered over 4,000 questions posted by candidates and the forum has had a total of over 50,000 visitors with the impact being felt globally.
Year on year our alumni make a hugely positive contribution to raising awareness about Global Talent Visa, thanks to the alumni’s personal and professional connections to key tech hubs around the world. Overall, a massive 22% of Tech Nation’s total applications have referenced the Alumni Network as the source of their inspiration to apply.
Earlier this year our alumni supported us with the Tech Nation Visa Report in which we featured 50 amazing alumni profiles through our ‘Faces of Visa’ campaign.
In previous years, Tech Nation’s Visa reports have focused on a data-led analysis of the Global Talent route, which is always well received by anyone with an interest in the impact and success of the visa route. Whereas for 2022, the team at Tech Nation had a desire to place greater focus on showcasing our alumni and their personal stories and contributions, which we know is extremely valuable for anyone wanting to see how others have moved their lives and careers to the UK.
Looking into 2023 we are excited to continue supporting and engaging with our ever-growing alumni network through our monthly in-person meetups and tailored alumni newsletter. We are also developing new initiatives to ensure each alumnus feels supported and has opportunities to easily connect with each other. If you are a Global Talent Visa alumni and not yet part of the network, then please sign up here. Likewise, if you are already part of the network then please engage in our slack workspace and say hello!
New alumnus spotlight:
Matthew Ferry recently got endorsed for the Global Talent Visa and wants to share his experience relocating the UK and what the Global Talent Visa has meant for him.
Matthew is originally from the US and decided to move to Europe when he re-evaluated the smaller things that had a positive impact on his life.. One of those was the opportunity to get outside and cycle to work every day; the connectivity of London was a no-brainer.
Given the opportunity to relocate to the UK with his current employer to the newly opened London office, Matthew was able to continue his work as a Senior Data Analyst working on data integration for businesses like Zoopla and USwitch. After two years, he decided to change roles and pursue software engineering within the climate tech sector. However, since Matthew was in the UK using an Intercompany Visa, the decision to leave his employer to pursue a new career path would put his visa status at risk. This meant he needed to organise an alternative visa….and fast; after being recommended the Global Talent Visa as the most flexible and quickest option by his new employer he only had 60 days to apply and receive his endorsement.
Remembering the day he received his official endorsement email from the Home Office as he battled with Covid-19 infection, Matthew describes the overwhelming excitement and immense gratitude for the decision that enabled him to stay in London and embark on a new job opportunity in a sector he was so passionate about and one he could have a huge impact in.
Matthew’s career change highlights that the Global Talent Visa enables flexibility as plans and ambitions change.
Currently, Matthew is working for Greenpixie a sustainability company who help public cloud customers visualise, measure and significantly reduce their emissions. Within the alumni network he has already formed new professional connections, and is looking forward to engagement opportunities to educate more on climate tech. He notes how valuable being part of an alumni community of like-minded individuals is, something he wishes he had access to when he first relocated to the UK.