On Monday, September 9, the Home Office published updates to different immigration schemes. Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa was among them. That is why I want to clarify what part of the updates is related to our beloved visa. The following changes shall take effect on 1 October 2019.
If you want to read the full text of updates – follow the link to the official website but be aware – the updates are on 102 pages. Hence, you need to have an appropriate amount of time (and passion) to read it thoroughly.
However, if you are interested only in Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa – I have done your job, and you can find the eight extracts from pages 92 – 93 below. I highlighted the newest edition with bold text:
“L3. In paragraph 10, before the table, for “In meeting these criteria, applicants must demonstrate proven commercial or technical expertise in management or exploitation of a technology stack.” substitute: “In meeting these criteria, business applicants must demonstrate proven commercial, investment, or product expertise in building digital products or leading investments in significant digital product businesses. Technical applicants must demonstrate proven technical expertise in building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure. Examples of the types of applicants who are considered as technical or business applicants as defined by Tech Nation are available in the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Policy Guidance.”.
L4. In the table in paragraph 10, in each instance it occurs, for “digital technology company” substitute “product-led digital technology company”.
L5. In the table in paragraph 10, delete “(e.g. patent application)” in both instances it occurs.
L6. In the first column of the table in paragraph 10, for “as a director / founder”, substitute “as a founder or director”.
L7. In the second column of the table in paragraph 10, for “Provide two or more examples of innovation”, substitute “Provide more than one example of innovation”.
L8. In paragraph 11(c), for “Two dated letters of recommendation on headed paper written in support of the application signed by two different senior members of different established organisations in the digital technology sector, who are familiar with the applicant’s work and their contribution to the digital technology sector, and are qualified to assess the applicant’s claim to be a world leader or potential world leader in this field. Both letters must:”, Substitute: “Three dated letters of recommendation on headed paper written in support of the application signed by three different senior members of different established organisations in the digital technology sector, who are familiar with the applicant’s work and their contribution to the digital technology sector, and are qualified to assess the applicant’s claim to be a world leader or potential world leader in this field. Both letters must:”.
L9. In paragraph 11(c), in both instances it occurs for “world leader” substitute “leader”.
L10. At the end of paragraph 13(b)(iv), for “.” substitute “; and”.
L11. After paragraph 13(b)(iv) insert: “(v) The commercial impact of the applicant’s previous work, achievements and experiences.”.
I understand that all of these sentences are not completely clear for most of the future applicants. Hence, I decided to explain these changes in more straightforward language.
Product-led Digital Technology Company
One of the main ideological changes, which influence on so many applicants is about the nature of business they work on (and work with).
Now – only experts with precise product experience can apply for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. No outsourcing staff or people with a wide range of knowledge in the digital area. The United Kingdom is interested in talents and promises which can create a product and work with it during its life cycle. Only this approach can create stable businesses and working places.
Three Letters of Recommendation
You must provide three (instead of two!) pledges about your talents and positive influence on the UK tech industry which you can bring with you from your motherland. Yes, it is slightly bureaucratic but makes the level of applicants higher and the competition for the Endorsement will be harder.
Now any of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa applications will be assessed regarding the previous commercial implications of the applicant’s work. Hence, it is not enough to be successful or to have a startup, featured by well-known media. You must have money behind this reputation and success.