Owing to the flexibility in employment roles and undertaking collaborations in the UK, low-cost application, choice of visa length and no cap on visa numbers, Global Talent remains the top immigration category for attracting talent in the UK tech space.
Despite repeated lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, the Global Talent visa (GTV) has gained popularity in the last 18 months. According to Tech Nation, applications for the same grew by 28% between April 2020 and March 2021 compared to the same time the previous year. Adding to the United Kingdom’s appeal as a destination for the world's finest tech talent.
Global Talent visa: overview
Global Talent visa is a specific talent-based immigration category that enables globally recognised leaders or potential leaders in the fields of Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Digital Technologies and Arts to live and enjoy exciting career opportunities in the UK. The applicants may be recognised internationally as exceptional talents or have previously exhibited extraordinary promise and are expected to become top performers in their respective fields. This route replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route on 20th February 2020 and came into effect from 1st January 2021.
The visa has several advantages over its counterpart, Tier 2 ‘the Skilled Worker Visa’:
Applying for a Global Talent visa consists of two broad stages:
The First Stage - The first stage includes applying to be endorsed by one of the Endorsing Bodies designated by the Home Office to determine if the applicant fits eligibility requirements or not. The six Endorsing bodies are:
Applications for seeking endorsement in science, medicine, engineering, the social sciences or the humanities fields, or for other research and academic roles, will be referred to the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) by the Home Office to assess the evidence provided by a candidate and make an endorsement decision.
Similarly, applications for endorsement in non-academic fields, for example, arts and culture and digital technology, will be referred to Arts Council England or Tech Nation, which follow independent endorsement criteria.
Once an endorsement is issued, it is upon the Home Office to make a final decision for immigration.
The Second Stage - The second stage involves the visa application process. The Home Office necessitates it applying for the Global Talent Visa within three months of receiving the endorsement from one of the endorsing bodies. In addition, the application must contain a copy of the endorsement letter (email copy received at the time of approval), a valid passport and other travel documents. If the applicant is from one of the countries on the Home Office's TB testing list, a tuberculosis (TB) test result letter is required. This stage usually takes up to 3 weeks outside the UK and up to 8 weeks inside the UK.
Now that we all know what the Global Talent visa is and how it works,let’s take a look at ‘how this visa category is contributing to the advancement of the digital technology sector in the UK’?
1. Global Talent Visa Allows Access to Exciting Career Opportunities in the UK Digital Tech Sector.
The UK digital technology sector is booming with technological advancements, digital transformation and innovation. Even amidst the global pandemic, lockdowns, and travel bans, the UK tech sector continues to outperform its competitors and champion emerging verticals like Cybersecurity, AI, Data Science, FinTech, HealthTech and e-commerce.
As the digital technology domain shows promising signs of strengthening the UK economy, it also creates an environment of sustainable development enticing international individuals to position themselves in the UK.
According to Gerard Grech, founding CEO of Tech Nation, “The UK is a global powerhouse for tech, not only due to our world-class ideas and innovation but our world-class talent too,”
As a result, every year, many skilled migrants are making the UK their home. And the Tech Nation Global Talent visa is making their transition in the UK labour market easy.
“Tech Nation’s Global Talent Visa is just one of the many reasons the UK is such an attractive hub for ambitious and inspiring tech entrepreneurs and will help ensure the UK remains one of the best destinations to start and scale a tech business in the months and years to come,” Grech added.
The Tech Nation Global Talent Visa allows the world's brightest and finest tech talent to come and work in the UK's digital technology sector, contributing cutting-edge expertise, creativity, and innovation to keeping the UK at the forefront of the global digital economy. Its criteria are intended for applicants with technical and business expertise in the digital technology sector.
2. Global Talent Visa aids many sectors in the UK with world’s finest tech talent.
The United Kingdom is indisputably a world leader in digital technology. The availability of cutting-edge technologies, government policies and resources enables individuals and UK businesses to keep ahead of their European and worldwide competitors.
While the UK proudly stands tall with numerous technological innovations, AI enterprises, 5G communications, and large data centres, a highly skilled or exceptional talent workforce has always been a critical aspect in driving necessary digital transformations in the UK.
According to Tech Nation’s recent analysis, over 4,000 GTV applications were made during the last 12 months resulting in a whopping 73% raise annually in the number of endorsed applications since 2018. With a 75% hike in FinTech and HealthTech sector applications, Cybersecurity remains at the top, showing a 172% increase in the applications collectively in three years.
3. Global Talent Visa helps many cities to emerge as a tech-hub in the UK
The UK's tech hotspots have a good mix of established technology enterprises and a rising number of tech start-ups. As a result, the value of the IT startup and scale-up ecosystem in the UK is currently $585 billion, which is 120 per cent higher than in 2017 and more than double the value of the next-largest market, Germany.
The global Talent visa category is playing its part by fuelling significant cities of the UK with top talents. In doing so, it also allows various towns, apart from London, to grow into a tech hub. For example, Manchester has emerged as Europe's fastest-growing tech cluster. Its pool of tech specialists is expanding, with Doingonsistent growth in the proportion of IT professionals available in the area. Followed by Bristol with a combined turnover of £7.9 billion in tech business and Leeds with almost 63 per cent of all health-tech ecosystem businesses.
In short, the UK tech sector offers limitless opportunities to grow. Even in the pandemic, it showed resilience and continued overcoming challenges. Moreover, supported by generous visa routes, such as the Global Talent visa, the UK tech sector is rapidly becoming a world leader, backed by a more robust pool of highly talented industry experts and a new era of innovation.