If you are a digital technology leader who is looking to relocate to the UK, you should definitely consider a Global Talent Visa (IT).
What is a Global Talent Visa.
The Global Talent Visa also knows as 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. The visa is valid for up to 5 years, enabling you to work, change employers, or be self-employed in the UK. This visa category does not have a cap on the number of applicants and can lead to settlement in the UK.
Why Global Talent Visa (IT) is perfect for both IT specialists and tech founders.
The Global Talent Visa is for founders and employees with technical or business backgrounds, including all tech sub-sectors like FinTech, EduTech, ProTech AI, cyber, and other Digital Sectors. If you are successfully granted the visa you can come and work in the digital sector in the UK. Another important benefit of the Global Talent visa that is worth mentioning is the freedom you get. You can either be employed, set up your own business or participate in IT freelance projects.
How long is the UK Global Talent Visa granted for? (Promise & Talent).
There are 2 sub-categories of the Global Talent Visa (IT): Exceptional Talent & Exceptional Promise. You can either be qualified as an Exceptional Talent or an Exceptional Promise when you apply for the visa. Exceptional Talent is for those applicants who can demonstrate that they are already established as a recognised leader in their field. Normally Exceptional Talent applicants have more than 5 years of relevant professional experience while Exceptional Promise applicants are usually at the start of their career with less than 5 years of experience in the field. If you are qualified as an Exceptional Talent your visa will be granted for 3 years. If you are an Exceptional Promise your visa will be granted for 5 years.
The English Language Requirement (no IELTS required)
The Global Talent visa route applicants do not need to satisfy the English language requirement which is another great advantage of this visa as it saves both your time and money. In contrast, if you are considering applying for a Start-up or Innovator visa routes you will have to prove your English knowledge by passing one of the Secure English Language Tests (SELT) from an approved provider (e.g. IELTS).
Skilled Worker Visa VS UK Global Talent Visa
Unlike Skilled Worker visa route Global Talent visa offers greater flexibility. You do not need to get a job offer from an approved sponsor in order to apply and there is no minimum salary requirement. You can also choose to take on freelance projects, work full-time or part-time or work for your own company. The only condition you have to meet if you are hoping to extend your Global Talent Visa or apply for settlement is provide evidence of having earned money in the chosen field (e.g. digital sector). Here’s the example: Mika was successfully endorsed under the Exceptional Promise category as a UX designer. Once he arrived to the UK however he found his true passion was baking, so later on he opened his own little bakery and spent all his time working on his new business. Now, if Mika wants to extend his stay under the Global Talent Visa or apply for UK Settlement he would not be able to do it as he actually did not do any work in the digital industry as he originally claimed he would.
Flexibility & Affordability
The two most attractive benefits of the Global Talent Visa is how flexible and affordable it is compared to other visas. You will face quite low visa costs as the standard fee for a Global Talent visa is £623, compared to £1,235-£1,423 for the Skilled Worker visa. You will also be free from the common requirement to demonstrate your ‘maintenance funds’ (a certain amount of money you must have in your bank account to prove you are able to support yourself once in the UK). There is no need to draw up a business plan or to prepare money for investment even if you are considering setting up a company in the UK. You will be expected to provide a business if you choose to apply for a Start-Up or Innovator visa.
Quick Processing Time
The Global Talent Visa is considered to be one of the fastest business visa routes in terms of processing, so if you are short on time do check if you are eligible for this visa as the whole process will take no more than 3 months. Sometimes if you are lucky and you are able to convince the Tech Nation panel how big of a talent you are and that you can be a real asset to the Tech Nation community in the UK you may be granted an endorsement in as little as 2 days. To give you a comparison, Innovator visa applications normally take at least 4 months.
The Global Talent Visa (IT) application consists of 2 stages:
- Application for Endorsement from Tech Nation (decision is usually made within 3-8 weeks);
During this stage Tech Nation will assess your skills and achievements and decide whether you should be endorsed under the Global Talent Visa.
- Application for Visa – Home Office (decision is usually made within 3 weeks);
The Home Office will consider immigration aspects, such as general grounds for refusal, and if you are already in the UK whether you are able to switch into Global Talent.
Easy Route to UK Settlement
The Global Talent visa comes with considerable advantages if you wish to make the UK a home for you and your family. This includes a fast-track to settlement after 3 years for the main visa applicant (if you are endorsed under an Exceptional Talent category), while other family members will be able to apply for settlement after 5 years in the UK. If you are qualified as an Exceptional Promise you will be able to apply for settlement in the UK after 5 years.
To be eligible for UK settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) you will have to confirm the following:
- you must still be endorsed (your endorsement must not have been withdrawn);
- you must prove continuous residence in the UK: To be eligible for ILR applicants must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 month period of the three or five year qualifying period. All absences from the UK are counted, whether for work, family or holidays.
- you must provide evidence that you have earned money in the UK working in your area of expertise since being granted the Global Talent Visa. Examples of evidence: If the applicant is an employee or director of a limited company, in general, they can provide payslips, bank statements showing salary entering their account, official tax documents or dividend vouchers. If they are self-employed, a letter from their accountant or the company accounts may be provided as evidence.
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