Switch from Tier 4 General Student Visa

Switch from Tier 1 General Student visa to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is difficult

Today I got a question from a person who wants to apply for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa and is on Tier 4 General Visa now.

“I am a developer who worked in a UK company when I was there in tier 4 dependent. Still, work for the same company, and I am the only person who works for them. We are developing a new cloud epos system for them. At the moment its using five companies. will I be able to apply for this visa.”

I want to answer this question in three key points, that will be useful to remind for any applicant.

Strong digital background

To be eligible for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent (or Promise) Visa in Digital Technologies you definitely must have hand-on experience in tech or business-related with it. Otherwise, how you will improve the UK’s digital ecosystem with your talent?

Also, you need to have not only a strong background in Digital Technologies but also to plan something unique to do here. In other words, you must have some purpose what you will work on after you obtain this Visa. A simple answer to seeking a job is not the right answer. Think hard and find a more individual and exclusive task to accomplish. It has to be kind of extraordinary idea or project. Do you have anything like this in your mind?

Proofs of your achievements

Don’t forget that you must provide evidence of your experience. Firstly – in the CV and this is an obligatory requirement. But also – in any other relevant documents about your past achievements and present status.

By the way, your Letters of Recommendation will also support your statement and the whole Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa application. However, to make these letters working for advantage, your referee has to write not only about your existing practice and knowledge. He or she must mention about your potential to influence the UK and how it will happen (in his or her opinion).

Switch from other visas

The potential applicant who wrote to me mentioned Tier 4 General Student Visa in his question. However, I am not sure that it is possible to switch to Tech Nation Visa from that visa route directly living in the UK.

This switch to a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is allowed only if you’re already in the UK with any of these visa types:

  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Government Authorised Exchange) on an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers

That is why, if a holder of Tier 4 General Visa (or a dependant with this type of visa) would like to get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, the Home Office says: (s)he must leave the UK and make the visa application from abroad.

Supposing that the person is already outside the UK, the answer is clear – yes. You can apply for Tech Nation Visa, but you must pay great attention to the two aspects above. Your previous visa status (dependant of Tier 4 General Student Visa holder) does not matter too much for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa application.

Anyway, I would like to recommend you ask a qualified UK lawyer to get the full consultancy. If you need contacts of a legal company to advise you – let me know.

If you do not have time to read long guidelines, find the main answers
in 32 steps to get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa


Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa application - Examples of Documents and Help

Author: Andrii Seleznov

This blog is written by Andrii Seleznov. Andrii is a holder of Tier 1 Exceptional Promise visa. He is an experienced entrepreneur, professional engineer, founder and CTO at Petiole and Alumni Mentor at GIST Tech-I Competition

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