Join the Global Talent working in UK tech

About 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 Global Talent Visa in digital technology. If you are a talented or promising individual and want to work in the UK’s digital technology sector, the Tech Nation Visa can help you do this.

If you are applying for a Visa, don’t miss any important updates by checking our Important Updates page.

Key benefits of the Tech Nation Visa

  • Based on your unique background, skills and achievements
  • 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
  • Extend as many times as you need
  • Highly flexible, not tied to a specific job, company or location
  • Family may join you subject to requirements
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • Tech Nation Visa can lead to permanent residence in UK
  • No limit on the number of visas available

Summary

This is a short summary of our official Tech Nation Visa Guide and the application process. We recommend you read the full guide and all official guidance from the Home Office before applying.

Availability

The Global Talent visa does not have a limit or any other restriction on the number of visas available.

Eligibility

Applications are assessed by an independent panel of experts against the Eligibility Criteria in our Guide. 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.

* Please note: Tech Nation cannot advise on eligibility or likelihood of endorsement. Please refer to the guidance.

Timescales

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.

Conditions of the Tech Nation Visa

The Global Talent visa can be granted for up to 5 years. Applicants can choose during application how many whole years of leave they wish to be granted.

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 Global 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.

Cost

Stage 1: Application for Endorsement = £456
Stage 2: Application for Visa = £152*

All dependants = £608* (Stage 2 only)

*Please note this does not include additional Stage 2 costs such as your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) enrolment fee and healthcare surcharge.

More information regarding applications costs, including a useful calculator for the healthcare surcharge, can be found on the official Global Talent site.

Test your eligibility

Finding out if you are eligible for a Tech Nation Global Talent Visa is often the first step for starting your application.

We’ve created this eligibility checker to help you evaluate if you could get a visa through Tech Nation.

The people behind the Visa

Our Tech Nation Visa Alumni are applicants who have successfully been granted the Tech Nation Visa. They have incredible stories and are perfect examples of how the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa caters to a wide variety of roles within the tech industry.

Their page features case studies, tips for future applicants and even a forum where you can ask questions about the application process and life in the UK.

Fragomen is the leading single-focus provider of immigration services in the UK and around the world. The firm has more than 4,200 immigration professionals in more than 50 offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

Tech Nation Visa’s Legal Partner

We are supported in the UK by more than 300 immigration professionals. We have a wealth of experience assisting entrepreneurs and tech specialists relocate and establish in the UK.

Fragomen has the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the Tech Nation Visa requirements – ensuring your application for endorsement and a Tech Nation Visa stands the best chance of success.

Please email technation@fragomen.com to schedule your complimentary initial consultation with a Fragomen solicitor.

Download the Tech Nation Visa brochure

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Tech Nation Visa for?

The Tech Nation Visa (officially known as the Global Talent visa) welcomes talented or promising individuals to join the UK’s digital technology sector.

Is this visa right for me?

Each potential applicant is best placed to assess whether the Global Talent visa is right for them, dependent on their circumstances. Tech Nation cannot advise on the suitability of the Tech Nation Visa to individual applicants’ circumstances beyond that contained in the Guidance.

We invite potential candidates to refer to the Guide for the Tech Nation Visa, in particular the section on Typical Applicants, where a range of example skills are listed. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and provides an indication of the typical applicant assessed by Tech Nation

Am I eligible to apply for the Tech Nation Visa?

Each application for endorsement is assessed by an independent panel of experts based on your skills, expertise and how you intend to benefit the UK’s digital tech sector. Tech Nation cannot advise on the eligibility of individual applicants, or the likelihood of their endorsement, prior to assessment by the independent panel.

There are two routes available to cater for different levels of experience: 

Exceptional Talent – If you’re proven to be a recognised leader
Exceptional Promise – If you’re proven to be an emerging leader

We invite potential candidates to refer to the Guide for the Tech Nation Visa, in particular the section on Endorsement Criteria, and consider whether and how they meet these criteria. Tech Nation cannot provide advice beyond that contained in this document.

I am currently in the UK on a different visa, can I switch to the Global Talent visa?

You can switch to the Global Talent visa whilst in the UK on another visa, however you cannot apply to switch if you’re currently in the UK in one of the following circumstances:

You must leave the UK and apply for a Global Talent visa from abroad if you’re in one of these categories.

All information on switching to the Global Talent visa can be found on the Home Office website.

How many Visas are available?

The Global Talent visa does not have a limit or any other restriction on the number of visas available. 

When do Visas applications open and close?

Whilst the formal allocation of visas to Tech Nation runs between April to April each year, there is no formal open or close date regarding visa applications for the Global Talent visa, and furthermore there is no limit or any other restriction on the number of visas available per year for this route.

Are there are any documents that can help with my application?

Yes, all applicants should carefully review the Guide for Tech Nation Visa on our website, as well as the official Guidance from Home Office for the Global Talent visa.

What is the application process?

A full overview of the application process can be found in the Guide for Tech Nation Visa. Further information, including information on cost, can be found on the Home Office website.

What are the costs?

Stage 1 – Endorsement Application: £456

Stage 2 – Visa application: £152*

All dependents (Stage 2 only): £608*

*Please note this does not include additional Stage 2 costs such as your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) enrolment fee and healthcare surcharge.

More information regarding applications costs, including a useful calculator for the healthcare surcharge, can be found on the official Global Talent site.

Do I need a job offer to be eligible?

No, you don’t. However, you will need to include a definite plan of what you’ll be doing once you are in the UK and how you intend to contribute to the growth of the UK’s digital economy.

As part of your application form, you will be asked to submit a personal statement of up to 1000 words in length which can include details on how you intend to contribute to the growth of the UK’s digital economy, and this will play an important role in the assessment of your application.

What is Exceptional Promise?

The Exceptional Promise route is intended for applicants who are able to demonstrate the potential to become a leader in the field of digital technology.

Applicants who choose to apply via this route are often individuals who are at the start of their careers in digital technology, and so may not have the same levels of experience as someone who applies under the Exceptional Talent option.

Exceptional Promise applicants will need to demonstrate the potential to be a leader in digital technology through their skills and/or achievements thus far.

Please note that Tech Nation cannot advise potential applicants on whether they should apply for the Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise route.

Can I be endorsed for Exceptional Promise if I apply to the Tech Nation Visa via the Exceptional Talent route?

Applying for endorsement via Exceptional Talent does not preclude you from endorsement under Exceptional Promise should you meet the necessary criteria; likewise, applying under the Exceptional Promise route does not preclude you from endorsement for Exceptional Talent.

In all cases, Tech Nation will establish whether you meet the necessary criteria to be endorsed for Exceptional Talent or for Exceptional Promise.

Please note that the qualifying period for Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) depends on whether your visa is granted under either the criteria for Exceptional Talent (three years required) or Exceptional Promise (five years required). Therefore, if your application is endorsed under a different route than you applied (Talent or Promise), it will affect your qualifying period for Settlement. Further information can be found in the official Guidance for the Global Talent visa on the Home Office website.

Can I apply for endorsement a second time to switch my existing Global Talent visa from Exceptional Promise to Exceptional Talent?

No, you are not permitted to apply for endorsement again under a different category (Talent or Promise) if you have already been endorsed and granted leave to remain for the Global Talent visa route. Tech Nation is unable to advise further regarding matters of immigration, as such we recommend reading the official guidance or seeking professional advice.

Can Tech Nation advise me on my application or my supporting documents prior to submission?

We are unable to review your documents prior to submission. Please ensure that you read the Guide for Tech Nation Visa document carefully. Sending your application to Tech Nation before submission will not increase your chances of endorsement and may delay your application being processed.

What types of roles are eligible for Tech Nation Visa?

Both Technical and Business type roles are eligible for the Tech Nation Visa. There are no formal restrictions regarding role types or specialisms, partly due to the fast-changing nature of the technology sector. However, within our guide, you will find a list of example roles that are considered suitable for this visa route.

What does “digital product-led business” mean?

Please refer to the Guide for Tech Nation Visa for more information regarding definitions and suitable applicants.

What type of evidence should I submit to meet the Eligibility Criteria?

Potential applicants should to refer to the Guide for the Tech Nation Visa, in particular the sections on Eligibility Criteria and Examples of Evidence, and consider whether and how they meet these criteria. Tech Nation cannot provide advice beyond the information contained in the Guide or Official Guidance.

What types of recommendation letters should I provide?

Please refer to the Guide for Tech Nation Visa for more information on what to include in the Letters of Recommendation. These letters should be as detailed as possible with regard to your skills/work/achievements, how you are known to your referee, and why your referees believe you meet the criteria for Exceptional Talent / Promise. Please ensure that your Letters of Recommendation are in line with format and required contents stated the guidance.

How long does it take to be endorsed?

The Home Office advises that Stage 1 of the application process (i.e. the application to be endorsed) for the Global Talent visa can take up to eight weeks from the time the Home Office receives your application to when they inform you of the result.

Please note that even if your application is endorsed, you must still complete Stage 2 of the application process for the Global Talent visa (i.e. the application for the visa itself). The Home Office advises that Stage 2 of the application process can take up to three weeks if applying from outside of the UK, and up to eight weeks if applying from within the UK.

Where do I send my application?

The application process for Stage 1 is completely online, you do not need to physically post any documents. To submit your application, you must first apply to the Home Office for endorsement by Tech Nation. Once you have completed this Home Office application, you must then complete a 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.

At this stage, you will have to wait to hear directly from the Home Office on whether you have been endorsed by Tech Nation. Tech Nation cannot advise on your application status.

How long can I work on my application?

In order for your Stage 1 application to be valid you must submit your Tech Nation application form no more than 15 working days after you submitted your Home Office application. Failure to submit your Tech Nation application form will result in your application being rejected as invalid.

How do I track the progress of my application?

You will receive an update from the Home Office on when your payment has been processed and again when Tech Nation has been notified of your application. Tech Nation will not provide you with an update directly as all correspondence must go via the Home Office.

What happens to my data?

Application data received by Tech Nation will remain strictly private and confidential, and is stored and processed on Tech Nation’s secure application system. Data will only be accessible to the Home Office, Tech Nation and the independent assessment panel. In accordance with Home Office instructions, Tech Nation will store your data for up to 6 years, after which it will be permanently deleted. You should only share data if you have permission to do so, Tech Nation cannot advise regarding NDA’s or whether you should share any particular data.

How long can I stay in the UK?

The Global Talent visa can be initially granted for up to 5 years. Applicants can choose during application how many whole years of leave they wish to be granted. The visa can be extended as many times as you need!

Can I apply for Settlement in the UK (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain)?

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

Can I bring my family with me to the UK?

Dependants are allowed to join you in the UK subject to requirements.

Does the Tech Nation Visa have any restrictions based on nationality?

There are currently no nationality-based restrictions for the Tech Nation Visa. More information is available on the Home Office website.

Where can I get more information?

You should read the official guidance prior to making an application.

Other Visa Routes

If you do not work in the technology sector, or perhaps if your expertise lies in other areas, the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa route perhaps isn’t for you. The good news is, there are several other Visa routes that you could go down, and here’s an overview of them.

To read more about all your Visa options and what could be the best fit for you, please visit the Home Office overview.