I got many questions from people who want to switch to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. They, actually, live in the United Kingdom. Mainly, they have a Tier 2 General visa and are employed by UK companies. But they feel the power to be entrepreneurs and they have unique expertise knowledge in digital technologies for this. Hence, they deserve the freedom and power of Tech Nation Visa.
How to switch to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?
The same situation is with people who are recipients of Tier 1 (other types) and Tier 5 Visas. Being honest, I did not get many questions from them :). I regularly get questions from current students on Tier 4 General about the similar switch but this is a completely separate story.
Hence, here I will publish my thoughts for potential applicants for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent / Promise Visa from the army of Tier 2 Visa holders who physically are already in the country. At the same time, according to practice and amount of questions – application to switch to Tier 1 ET Visa is not completely clear for them. There are a couple of main issues in such talent visa applications.
Why do you want to come to the UK?
One of the hottest questions from this type of applicants was related to Personal Statement. Particularly, the question was about the answer to a specific question that has to highlight why do you want to come to the UK as a skilled immigrant? It is a little bit silly question for a person who lives in the United Kingdom many (or even a couple of) years. However, this question is profound and well reasoned. That is why I recommend you not to avoid it and answer.
A new life in your… old life
I think that for any applicant – in the UK or outside the country – it is essential to understand the only thing. Switch to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is the beginning of a new journey. It is a milestone to launch new projects, get new skills and create new habits.
Hence, with Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, a person may start a new life. With new roles and responsibilities even in the “old” country. To be a sole entrepreneur or co-founder in a company is not a comparison with any previous work experience. It feels like to be a newcomer to the United Kingdom. Even after many (or not so many) years of life in this country.
So think about the new life after the finish of your current employment status, and it will be a helpful idea of how to write this part of the Personal Statement and switch to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa application.
What idea to avoid in your talent visa application?
You must never say that you want to get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in order to be free to apply for jobs by yourself and avoid further Tier 2 slavery. This is not a winning strategy at all.
Please, don’t forget that switch to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is not a substitution to your existing visa. And this unique talent visa route was not designed for that purpose. Hence, if you consider it only with an idea to get the freedom to choose the next employer – you are not completely right. Exactly now, think about thousands of applicants who already had the same idea and they failed because to make an appropriate application you must provide not only proof of your professional value as an expert in digital technologies but also supporting documents to show how you contribute to the whole technological ecosystem. Or at least a small area of it like mentorship sessions for local University or consultancy for a school next door.
Please, to save your money and not waste efforts read this post one more time and try to understand: if you do not have any extra-curriculum activities in your professional life as a recipient of Tier 2 General visa, the chances that you will switch to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa successfully are not so high…