Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa for Digital Technology

Visa for exceptional international tech talent

What is the Tech Nation Visa?

The Tech Nation Visa enables the brightest and best tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector, contributing their cutting-edge expertise, creativity and innovation to maintaining the UK’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy.

Tech Nation has been designated by the Home Office to endorse applications for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in digital technology. If you're exceptionally talented or show exceptional promise and want to work in the UK’s digital technology sector, the Tech Nation Visa can help you do this.

Tech Nation Visa in numbers

1000+Total number of applicants
600+Total number of visas endorsed
50+Number of origin countries

Key benefits of the Tech Nation Visa

• For employees and founders
• Technical & business backgrounds
• Exceptional Talent & Promise routes depending on experience
• For all tech sub-sectors (i.e. fintech, AI, cyber, games, etc.)
• Visa granted for up to 5 years and 4 months
• Dependants allowed subject to requirements

Summary

1. Eligibility

Applications are assessed by an independent panel of experts against the Eligibility Criteria in our Guidance. There are two routes available to cater for different levels of experience:

Exceptional Talent: proven to be a recognised leader

Exceptional Promise: proven to be an emerging leader

Check your eligibility in the Tech Nation Visa Guide above.

Tech Nation cannot advise on eligibility or likelihood of endorsement. Please refer to the Guidance.

2. Timing

The application process is in 2 stages:
Stage 1: Application for Endorsement – up to 8 weeks to be processed.
Stage 2: Application for Visa – up to 3 weeks out of country and 8 weeks in country.

See The Application Process for more detail.

3. Conditions of the Tech Nation Visa

This visa can be granted for up to 5 years for applications made from inside the UK, or 5 years and 4 months for applications from outside the UK.

Applicants can be eligible for Settlement under this visa route. The qualifying period depends on whether your visa is granted under either the criteria for Exceptional Talent (3 years) or Exceptional Promise (5 years).

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa allows you to work and change employers, or be self-employed, without the need for further authorisation or to be sponsored for employment in a specific post.

Dependants are allowed subject to requirements.

4. Cost

Stage 1: £456*
Stage 2: £152*

*Please note that this does not include additional administrative costs such as your BRP enrolment fee and NHS surcharge.

The Application Process

Stage 1: Application for Endorsement

This is your application for endorsement by Tech Nation, who will assess whether you qualify for this visa route under Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise and will provide the Home Office with our recommendation.

Step 1: You must first apply to the Home Office for endorsement by Tech Nation.

Step 2: You then need to complete the Tech Nation Visa application form. You can save and return to your application at any time before submitting. After submitting you will not be able to amend or provide additional documents.

Step 3: You will then need to send a printed copy of your Tech Nation application form, together with your supporting documents, directly to the Home Office at the following address:

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent
Sheffield
PO Box 3468
S3 8WA
United Kingdom

At this stage, you will have to wait to hear directly from the Home Office on whether you have been endorsed by Tech Nation. The Stage 1 process can take approximately 8 weeks.

Tech Nation cannot advise on your application status.

If your application is not endorsed you have three options:

  1. Apply for a review – Tech Nation will reassess your application based on your review form provided by the Home Office. Further details can be found on the Home Office website.
  2. Start a new application with the Home Office and submit a new Tech Nation application form with new evidence.
  3. Apply for a different visa route.

Stage 2: Application for Immigration

If you are successful in receiving endorsement, you will receive an email from the Home Office with a copy of your endorsement letter. You will need these for your Stage 2 visa application.

  • You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your letter of endorsement from the Home Office.
  • You won’t automatically get a visa just by being endorsed, you must also be successful in your Stage 2 visa application.
  • You can apply for a visa duration up to a maximum of 5 years and 4 months if you apply from outside the UK or 5 years if you apply from within the UK.
  • Tech Nation is not involved with Stage 2 and cannot provide advice.

The Tech Nation Visa Scheme is supported by our legal partners