tech visa nation uk process exceptional talent

techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

UK Tech Visa: Work In Tech Industry In UKUK Tech Nation visa is one of the best visa schemes in the world that isoffered to tech talent. During my sudden big transition from San Francisco in2016 due to the US E2 visa refusal, UK Tech Nation visa allowed me to find anew home, London, which is one of the best tech ecosystems in the world whereI settled in to build Highre. It is by far the most streamlined, fastest andthe smartest visa scheme that is designed by any government to bring techtalent to the country. As London is a great city to start a company with its strong ecosystem,proximity to the US and the rest of the EMEA market, and the phenomenalinfrastructure, you should check out the UK Tech Nation visa option especiallywhen you are having a hard time getting the US visa sorted out. 2 years afterreceiving the visa, I still find it fascinating that the UK government ispaying so much attention to making things easy for the companies and people inthe tech industry. What Is the Tech Nation Visa? UK Tech Nation visa is designed to attract tech talent to the UK from aroundthe world. It is granted to individuals who meet the criteria and gives theright to stay in the UK for 3~5 years (can be extended after the term orconverted to a permanent residency after 5 years of stay) so that they cancome and boost the UK tech industry by either building companies or workingfor tech companies. You can change jobs or switch between building your owncompany and working for other companies without further authorization ornotice. Basically, it lets you do whatever you want to do in tech for up to 5years! It was launched in April 2014 along with Tech City UK, the government bodysupporting the UK tech industry, piggy-backing the existing Tier 1 ExceptionalTalent Visa scheme which the UK Home Office (the government department wherethey handle immigration and visas) has been offering to qualified individualsin the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts or digitaltechnology in collaboration with endorsement bodies such as The Royal Society,The Royal Academy of Engineering, The British Academy, The Arts Council, andTech City UK. The UK government had been issuing 1,000 of Tier 1 ExceptionalTalent visas each year (200 visas a year per field) and UK Prime MinisterTheresa May even doubled the annual quota to 2,000, starting from 2018. Itmeans now 400 Tech Nation visas are available a year. In the first year, 2014, the visa was undersubscribed because people didn’tget to hear about it much yet and the bar was set too high. (Elon-Must-could-get-it kind of bar) Tech City UK quickly reassessed the requirements andoffered two routes: Tier 1 Exceptional Talent and Tier 1 Exceptional Promise.Also, Tech Nation and Tech City UK merged as Tech Nation in 2018 as it was tooconfusing for everyone. In a nutshell, Tech Nation Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent & ExceptionalPromise) is the route for people who are building great things in tech. If youhave already built the businesses that are scaling fast or well established,your option is most likely Tier 1 Exceptional Talent. If you are not a founderor a business owner, your achievements and recognition in your field need tobe something equivalent to “building a successful tech company”. Tier 1Exceptional Promise visa is for the folks who have the track record andhistory of work that shows the potential of recognizable success. At the endof the day, there’s a huge subjectivity going in the decision-making processjust like any other visa process. Although, they have a panel of seniormembers in the industry who get involved in the process which brings moreindustry perspectives into the process. What Is The Visa Process Like? Overall, I would say it’s a fairly streamlined and easy process with lots ofdetailed instruction readily available on the Home Office website and the TechNation website, compared to most visas in other countries that are usuallycomplicated. UK Government websites are super organized and their systems arewell-digitalized so you can work on most parts of the process online. Image for post The visa process illustrated. You can find more details on the Tech Nationwebsite. Whether you go for the Exceptional Talent route or the Exceptional Promiseroute, it is a two-stage process — 1) obtaining the endorsement from TechNation, and 2) applying for the actual visa to Home Office. Once stage 1) isdone, you can expect that stage 2) will be completed easily unless you havesomething very serious in your history. Therefore, getting the endorsementfrom Tech Nation means 95% of the process is pretty much done. Before you go on, you must know if you are qualified. Let’s take a look at thecriteria first. More details are available HERE on the guide by Tech Nation. Image for post The Tech Nation Visa Criteria. What do you think? As you can see, it’s not a sports game scoring like any other visa. Once youfigured that you seem to tick a few boxes, now it’s really your job toposition yourself as an “exceptional talent” and paint the picture with yourwork history, documents, what you have built before, what you are building,etc. Stage 1) Obtaining the endorsement from Tech Nation: takes up to 8 weeks,costs £456. This stage has two steps. a) Apply to the Home Office for endorsement by Tech Nation b) Complete the Tech Nation Visa application form and provide a number ofdocuments as evidence of your eligibility. And these are the required documents at this stage. Completed Home Office application for endorsement Completed Tech Nation application form which includes a personal statement(max 7,000 characters) Short CV Two letters of recommendation from two different recognized experts who arefamiliar with you and your work. Up to ten pieces of evidence to show that you meet the criteria (see above) Writing these applications is pretty much like pitching for sales orinvestment — painting a beautiful picture for the values that you will bringto the table. It’s also a great opportunity for you to review/gather yourhistory of work, structure it beautifully, and plan for your future work inthe UK. Once you have submitted all the document, within the next 8 weeks, you willhear from the Tech Nation. If you are endorsed, you will get a letter fromTech Nation which is requesting Home Office that this individual has beenverified and approved therefore the visa must be granted. This concept of theendorsement letter is still really fascinating. It almost reminds me of thosemedieval movies where knights carry around the letter from queens or kingswhich open the gates to any castle in medieval movies. If you reach this point, you can be a bit relaxed because it’s almost done! Stage 2) Applying for the visa to Home Office: takes 2~3 weeks, costs £152. This is the super simple list of documents you need at this stage: a current passport or other valid travel identification a printed copy of your endorsement letter your tuberculosis test results And there are additional fees: the national health insurance of £200/year (so up to £1,000) Tuberculosis test fee to the hospital of your choice Premium processing fee (Optional): this seems to have changed recently but youprocess your visa faster by paying a premium processing fee. What you actually have to do at this stage is to a) make an appointment at acertified hospital, b) take the tuberculosis test, and c) make an appoint atthe British embassy while you are waiting for the test result. When you bring all the documents to the meeting at the British Embassy, theofficers will help you submit the documents, take your photo that they willuse for the BRP (biometric residence permit card), and ask you a few simplequestions. Since you are applying for the visa with the endorsement from agovernment body, you don’t have to worry about anything. Depends on the country/if you opted in premium processing/time of the year, itwill take between 1–3 weeks to hear back from them. They will tell you to comeand pick up your passport with the entry clearance visa attached which showsthat your visa category is the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent! (the wording stillcringes me quite a bit) Now you can book the flight to the UK What happens when I arrive in the UK? Pick up your BRP When you are granted the visa, you will also receive instruction on where topick up your BRP card. Basically, the entry clearance visa attached in yourpassport is a temporary entry visa which helps you enter the country byshowing that you have already obtained the visa. Yet it’s not a real visa andit’s only valid for a month or so. When you arrived in the UK, you can go to the assigned post office to pick upyour visa. The people in the post office who handle the process are veryfamiliar with the process and people like us to are the recent residents sothey’ll be able to help you. The envelope with BRP card enclosed must havebeen there already so you can just open the card and feel the excitement fromholding your BRP card in your hand! With this card, you can freely travel in and out of the UK and use it whenit’s necessary. Congratulations! 2. Join Tech Nation Visa Alumni Group People with the Tech Nation visa are mostly new residents in the UK and peoplein tech. They are up for networking, making new friends, and build a bond withlike-minded people. There’s a Tech Nation alumni network that is initiated bymembers, voluntarily. They run monthly meet-ups and events to get peopletogether. It’s an excellent new way to meet the people on the same wavelength! 3. Beyond Tech Nation There are so many groups, coworking spaces, communities in tech in London. Youwill get to connect with many before you know it! So now, you can relax andstart enjoying your life in London while building your next crazy idea intoreality or working with a super cool team on a great mission. Also, there wasa recent announcement that Tech Nation is launching new visa categories —Startup Visa and Innovator Visa — so if you are a talent in tech interested inworking in the UK, there are even more opportunities from later this year. I hope this guide was helpful whether you are in the process already or justbrowsing around some of the options available around the world! This has beenmy long-overdue task since I have received my visa 2 years ago and I am sohappy that I finally get to share this with the world. I would be thrilled ifthis could make someone’s life much easier even if it’s just one person as Icompletely understand how difficult visa problems can be. If you are reading this before/during your application, I wish you the best ofluck and hope to see you soon! Source: Medium1 Like

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