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UK Global Talent Visa: Applying for a visa as a UX/UI Designer


Many people think that only pure technical applicants like software engineers or front-end developers are eligible for a Tech Nation’s UK Global Talent Visa.

However, you will find that UX/UI Designer is also on the Tech Nation’s list of eligible occupations. They are technical applicants as well. In today’s article we will discuss the strategy and the process of applying for a Global Talent Visa if you are a UX/UI Designer and would like to relocate to the UK.

How to build a strong case for the visa if you are a UX/UI Designer

  1. Make a list of all the achievements you have

Before you even start completing the Tech Nation form fist you have to sit down and brainstorm a few ideas.

Ask yourself the following questions:

-Why would anyone see you as an exceptional talent or having a potential to become one?

-Which achievements can you use in your application?

-Are there any extraordinary achievements in your career that you may be forgot to mention in your CV?

The most common issue many global talent applicants face when preparing their applications for submission to Tech Nation is that they don’t understand how they are any different from any other specialists from their area. A lot of them just think that they are doing their jobs to their best ability but surely there’s nothing exceptionally talented about this. Basically, they don’t know how to sell themselves. So, the first thing you would need to do here is to get rid of this mentality of thinking that you’re nothing out of the ordinary, as the whole process of building a strong case for this type of visa is about exaggerating your skills, showing off your personality and presenting your accomplishments form the right angle which will make you stand out among other applicants.

  • Think of people who can recommend you

As part of your Tech Nation application, you are required to submit 3 recommendation letters from industry experts who know you and your work. These letters must come from recognized leaders and experts of your field and for them to add more value they also have to come from people holding senior positions. For example, if you’re a UX/UI designer you could potentially ask for a reference letter from Head of design, Head of product management or even CEO of the company.

-Make a list of at least 10 industry leaders

We would highly recommend making a list of at least 10 potential people who are going to write a reference letter for you even though only 3 letters are required. The reason for this being is that in practice many people who agree to write a reference for you in the first place can back down at the very last minute, so it’s best to make sure you always have a plan B or even C or D.

-Connect the people who recommend you with your achievements

Have you given a meaningful speech at a major design event? Think of a person who can provide a reference letter for you. In this letter they should mention how you met and highlight your performance at the event.

Have you led an important design project within your company? Ask your Head of product design to write a recommendation where they outline your contribution to this project and what the company has accomplished because you were part of this project.

  • Which criteria to choose?

As per Tech Nation’s guide applicants will have to satisfy one mandatory and two optional criteria.

Find out if you are eligible for the UK Global Talent Visa by taking our tailored Eligibility Test


Mandatory CriteriaUK Global Talent Visa

-You must demonstrate that you have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology (UX/UI design) sector in the last 5 years (if you are applying for Exceptional Talent).

-You must show they have been recognised as having potential to be a leading talent in the digital technology (UX/UI design)  field in the last 5 years (if you are applying for Exceptional Promise).

Optional CriteriaUK Global Talent Visa

Here you have to choose 2 out of 4 criteria the Tech Nation sets out and provide relevant evidence with your application.


You can demonstrate this by providing evidence of any genuine and significant product-led digital technology businesses you have established as a founder or senior executive which is currently active or has been dissolved in the last five years.  Examples may include evidence of innovation/product development, proof of product in market and associated traction through revenue.


You can demonstrate this by providing evidence that you have gone beyond your day-to-day profession to engage in an activity that contributes to the advancement of the sector.  Examples may include mentoring, advising, organising interest groups, leading on policy, teaching at a university or participating in clubs or societies for the furthering of the field.


Please note that the term ‘significant contribution’ in this criterion requires you to demonstrate impact, not necessarily innovation. An example of a significant contribution may include having led in the development of high-impact digital products or services. Include metrics and numbers here.


 This criterion is all about your academic achievements and it’s not the easiest to evidence. Research undertaken as part of an undergraduate or MSc thesis does not qualify for this criterion, so unless you have a PhD don’t use this criterion.

As you probably already realize the most popular criteria out of these 4 if you are applying as a UX/UI designer would be contribution and recognition as they are the easiest to prove.

You can provide up to 10 pieces of evidence in addition to your 3 recommendation letters and other mandatory documents (your CV, personal statement) in relation to your chosen criteria.

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Have a smart strategyUK Global Talent Visa

-Create a table with the mandatory and chosen criteria (e.g. contribution & recognition).

-Which document can prove each criterion?

Use the list of achievements you have drafted earlier and match each one with the documents you have or can obtain to prove them. These documents may include your employment contract, letters of support from your team members, links to public media articles, screenshots, etc.

-Make sure there is balance between the evidence you provide.

Don’t submit 8 documents in favour of recognition criteria and only 2 evidencing your contribution and vice versa. Make sure you keep your evidence balanced.