Switching from Tier 2 to Global Talent
7 min read
This autumn marks the start of my ninth year of living in the UK, having arrived to start my sixth form studies back in 2014. During this time, I have managed to build up a network of highly talented individuals, attained two tech-centric degrees from two of the best universities in the world, and I have made substantial contributions to the UK tech community, with wide-reaching implications for the UK on the global technology stage.
As an international non-EU citizen residing in the UK, issues surrounding visas were never far from my mind. The outbreak of COVID-19 changed the modus operandi of all segments of society – the work environment was not an exception. At the start of the pandemic, I was in the process of searching for a job when I discovered that a number of top tech companies had frozen their hiring processes for the candidates who require a Tier 2 Skilled Worker visa due to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, further adding to my visa concerns.
I explained my frustration to a number of contemporaries working in the tech industry and eventually one of my former Microsoft colleagues connected me to her USA network, where, after a couple of further introductions, one individual suggested investigating the UK’s Tier 1 Global Talent visa scheme. This was the first time I had heard about the existence of such an initiative and the opportunity sounded surreal: having the creative freedom to pursue any career path within the UK!
Inspired by that conversation, I did some research, eventually stumbling upon Tech Nation’s Visa Guide which became my primary source of information, supplemented by first-hand visa application stories from several Tech Nation Ambassadors I had reached out to on Linkedin. I talked to my referees, prepared all the required documents and was able to submit my application within one week of learning about the opportunity. To my surprise, I received a positive response the following working day – it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! I am so grateful to my family, mentors, referees and Tech Nation’s Ambassadors for supporting me through this process.
For me, London’s inherently innovative and collaborative atmosphere, combined with its safety and stability, makes it the ideal place for me to fulfil my professional desire to be at the forefront of technological innovation at an international level in the fields of information management and data science. I have always found the British people I have met during my time in the UK to be welcoming, kind and supportive. Receiving a Global Talent Visa in the domain of Digital Technology was a tremendous milestone for me and an incredible honour, most importantly because it empowers me to innovate.
The most important cultural lesson I have learnt from living in the UK is as follows: if something is not right, you should speak up. Had I not expressed my frustration to my tech colleagues, I would not have found out about this visa! I believe you should never be scared to reach out to individuals to seek their advice, especially online – there will always be someone who will reply.
If you have any questions about this visa, you can always enquire on Tech Nation’s forum.
2 min read