Digital Technology and the Global Talent Visa

Digital technology is now a central role in our lives. It’s used in everything from healthcare to finance and education.

It’s not surprising then that leaders in the field are in high demand when it comes to the international job market.

In the UK alone, the digital technology sector now employs 2.9 million people. That represents nine per cent of the entire workforce and is worth £149 billion to the national economy.

To keep up with growing demand and to attract top talent from around the world, the British government has launched a new immigration route. It’s called the Global Talent Visa and it has a specific digital technology category.

Let’s find out more about who is eligible and how to apply.

Who is eligible for a Global Talent Visa?

The Global Talent Visa was launched in early 2020 and replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. It’s a fast-track path to encourage highly skilled workers to move to the UK.

The visa is aimed at people working in the following fields:

As part of the immigration process, applicants must be endorsed by a government-endorsing body. This can be as a leader (exceptional talent) or an emerging leader (exceptional promise) in their field of work.

Then there are four ways to be endorsed for a Global Talent Visa:

  • A senior appointment at a UK higher education or research institution
  • An individual fellowship at an approved organisation
  • As an endorsed funder approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society

Each field also has its own endorsing body. For digital technology, Tech Nation is the organisation responsible for endorsing Global Talent Visa applicants.

Tech Nation

For those not familiar with Tech Nation, here is a quick introduction.

Tech Nation is the UK’s leading organisation for digital technology. It’s a growth platform with the aim to positively transform societies and economies through technology.

Collaboration and innovation are key Tech Nation values. As a result, the organisation runs a series of growth programmes for businesses and entrepreneurs each year.

Tech Nation is also focused on placing the UK at the forefront of the emerging digital economy. So, it makes sense that it’s the endorsing body for the Global Talent Visa.

However, Tech Nation can only endorse an applicant. The final immigration decision comes from the Home Office.

How to apply for a Global Talent Visa

After being endorsed by Tech Nation, the next step is to apply for approval of the endorsement from the Home Office. The fee for this is £456.

It can take up to eight weeks for a decision on the endorsement application, but the process may be quicker for the following people:

  • Digital technology specialists on a UK accelerator programme
  • Approved peer-reviewed fellowship
  • Senior academic or academic researcher
  • Hosted or employed in an approved UK research organisation

Once the endorsement has been approved, you can then move on to the immigration stage and apply for the visa. This has to be done within three months of receiving the official endorsement.

The visa application costs £152, or £97 if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia. Applicants usually get a decision within three weeks.

Living and working in the UK

If the Global Talent Visa application is approved, you will be able to live and work in the UK for up to five years.

You can also:

  • Bring family members with you
  • Leave the UK for travel
  • Change jobs without permission from the Home Office

And for people that really like living and working in the UK, the Global Talent Visa can also be a route to long-term settlement.

You can apply for settlement:

  • After three years with an exceptional talent visa
  • After three years with an endorsement by the UKRI endorsed funder scheme

As you can see, being classed as a global talent in digital technology is not just good for your career. It can also open up immigration opportunities and a new life in a new country.



Article Created By Hayley Maguire

Add Your Law Firm

If your law firm is based in the UK and you specialise in immigration law, then a listing on could really help your firm to reach people searching for these services.

Add Your Law Firm