Shall I have a startup to be Tier 1 Exceptional Talent?

Can I apply for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa without a startup?

I suggest after browsing profiles of actual holders of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa or Tier 1 Exceptional Promise Visa, there is a danger to think that startups are a natural attribute of these people.

However, there is true and false in these thoughts. Simultaneously.
Yes, I agree that over 80% of all people within mentioned community have already founded (or co-founded) their own startups. BUT!

Sure, entrepreneurship is a main idea behind Tech Nation Visa Scheme (with this so-called UK startup visa). This is a way to attract and bring technical talents into the United Kingdom. Hence, to be extraordinary tech expert at the international company or technology-related community is better than to have an empty startup. I mean having just an idea of something like “new-Facebook” or “next-Uber”.

If you do not have a startup now – no worries. Check the Guidelines, write about your own clear UK-based roadmap in your statement, prepare documents and ask for recommendation letters.

An applicant will be successful if he or she can prove that has already made or will make a strong impact on UK economy via his or her activity in digital technology.
Hence, again: it does not matter too much will you do this via your employee status or as a startup founder. You need to explain what benefit UK will gain if the Home Office will give you this Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.

Maybe, your today’s role is an exceptional employee but tomorrow you will find some extraordinary to work on. Even if you will not find anything – there are no problems too. You will bring your tech experience as a priceless person at the employer’s company and contribute taxes and National Insurance payments into the budget.

Tier 2 to Tier 1 Switch

However, there is also one question without answer. It is related with people who want to switch to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa from Tier 2 Visa. I mean when employer is mainly responsible for this visa and a person is linked only with him. The problem is in the purposes. I suggest this switch is possible when you want to become free from your employer to start your own business. But if you want just to come out from your employer to be free in choice of your next employer(s)… The outcome is unclear.

Anyway, please, do not try to make a startup quickly – just to fit the general image taken out of the Tier 1 Exceptional Visa holders’ crowd.

Be yourself, an expert in your field, a real talent with proven records of achievements. Our community will be glad to meet you. Either an employee of Some Cool Company or an inspired entrepreneur with a startup in the pocket 🙂

Author: Andrii Seleznov

This blog is written by Andrii Seleznov. Andrii is a Tech Nation Visa Ambassador and 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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