As international technology recruiters, with a strong footprint (and two...
In the wake of Britain’s official departure from the European Union, much has changed, seemingly overnight. In the months ahead we will all grapple with what these changes mean for us and our businesses. One significant change to come from Brexit is of course the end of free movement. Citizens of member states of the European Union are able to live and work in any European Union country as though they were citizens, without need for Visas. A privilege that the UK will no longer extend to EU nationals. While EU citizens living and working in the UK before 31st December 2020 are entitled to continue doing so, future EU professionals will require a visa.
Anyone who is not a citizen of the UK or Ireland will need a visa to work in the UK. The government have set out the points based visa system criteria which provides a route for anyone to live and work in the UK with employer sponsorship. Naturally, the question remains, is there a way for people to move to the UK without a job offer? In short, the answer is yes, but the UK government has put the focus for immigration squarely on professional contribution. For those hoping to work in the UK without sponsorship, there are a few options available, but in all cases the bar is set high.
One such route is the Global Talent visa, open to people working in academia or research, arts and culture or digital technology. Each industry has one or more appointed body able to endorse applicants before they apply to the visa. route for those who consider themselves to be “a leader or a potential leader”, according to gov.uk. This visa route takes the place of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.
Tech Nation describes the Visa as enabling “the brightest and best tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector”. The visa is open to founders and employees with technical or business backgrounds (this includes all sub-sectors of tech) and is valid for up to 5 years, with unlimited renewals and the possibility of visas for family members. While the bar of being an “exceptional talent” may feel high, applicants should be reassured by the fact there are no limits on the number of Global Talent visas available.
If you know a move to the UK is something you want for your technology career, now or in the future, it’s a great idea to get to know the criteria and begin pursuing the kinds of accolades they will be looking for. Broadly, you need evidence of your innovation and contribution to digital technology so published articles, research and awards will all help your application.
Below we’ve answered some of the key questions you may have about the Global Talent Tech Nation Visa. You can also read the full guide to the visa here, or get in touch to discuss your options for a tech career in the UK.
How many The Nation Global Talent Visas are available?
The visas are unlimited and are at the discretion of the endorsing body and the department of Visas.
Are there different kinds of Tech Nation Visa?
You can apply under two routes, either as a Leader (the exceptional talent path) or as an Emerging leader (exceptional promise) for those with less than 5 years’ experience.
What is the criteria for the Tech Nation Visa?
Applications are judged by an independent panel of experts against the eligibility criteria which includes:
Demonstrate that you’ve been recognised as a leading talent in digital tech.
Provide evidence of 2 of the following:
track record for innovation as a founder or senior exec of a product-led digital tech company or employee in a new digital field.
Recognition for work beyond occupation which contributes to the field.
Significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field through your role in a product-led digital tech company.
Academic contributions through published research or research endorsed by an expert.
Demonstrate you’ve been recognised as having potential to be a leading talent
Provide at least 2 of the following:
2 examples of innovation.
2 examples of academic contributions or research.
proof of recognition of work beyond your occupation.
evidence you’ve made significant contributions to the field.
How do I apply for the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa?
Apply for your Tech Nation endorsement via gov.uk and then complete a Tech Nation Visa application form. These should be submitted within 15 days of each other.
If your application is successful and you get endorsement you apply for your visa directly on the Gov.uk website within 3 months.
What documents do I need to apply?
Completed Tech Nation Visa application
100 word Personal Statement (included in the application)
CV with career and publication history (max 3 pages)
Three letters of recommendation from expert organisations in digital technology
Up to 10 pieces of evidence to support your eligibility criteria \9each 3 pages max)
How long will it take for my application to be processed?
Stage 1: Application for Endorsement – up to 8 weeks to be processed.
Stage 2: Application for Visa – up to 3 weeks out of country and 8 weeks in country.
There is also a fast track which sees applications processed in 3 weeks. This is open only to current or future participants of one of the recognised UK accelerator programmes:
Zinc, Wayra Techstars London accelerator, start-up bootcamp, SETsquares scale-up programme, NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator, Microsoft for Startups, Ignite, Founders Factory, Founders academy, Entrepreneur First, Cylon, Creative Destruction Lab, Collider, Bethnal Green Ventures, Barclays Accelerator, and Antler.
Sentinel are recruitment people for IT with offices in the UK, Czech Republic and Switzerland. If you are considering your options to pursue your technology career internationally we are well placed to support you. Register with us to be kept up to date on international and remote vacancies across all areas of technology. Or get in touch to discuss your options today.
It has finally happened. The UK’s long-awaited departure from the...
Whatever your views on ‘Brexit’ the loss of the right to free movement is a blow to business. Many had hoped against hope that some variation would be negotiated into the Brexit deal to permit easier access to jobs and talent in Europe. As international recruiters, with a strong footprint in Europe, we are proud to work across borders to find the candidates that are best qualified for each role, not just those who are nearest. Freedom of movement gave our candidates the opportunity to work in Italy one month and Spain the next, with no more hassle than if they were working down the road. That freedom created not just a wealth of opportunity, but it also contributed to some richly experienced specialists.
Under new rules in the UK all hires from abroad will be subject to a points-based visa scheme. It will narrow the scope of who is allowed to live and work in the UK, yes, but more worrying is the possible deterrent to employers and candidates. The points-based immigration system is not prohibitive. Any candidate that speaks a good level of English and is offered a job paying more than £25,600, for which they must be educated to A-level standard or above, will be eligible for the skilled migrant route.
Given that the average salary in the IT industry is around £47,000, with entry level positions and most roles requiring some form of further education, these thresholds are no barrier. The greater hurdle is for businesses already tackling data and trading implications of Brexit to add another item to their list. However, becoming a Visa sponsor is a straightforward application that in time will more than pay for itself.
Employers wanting to retain their ability to hire international talent, will need to become licensed Visa sponsors by applying to the Home Office department of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). This worker license will allow your business to sponsor skilled workers and intra-company transfers. The cost of the license is £536 for small companies, and £1476 for large companies. Additionally, for each sponsored worker you hire you will need to issue a certificate of sponsorship (£199 per certificate). Workers from some European countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, or Turkey) can be issued certificates without charge.
The UK ‘s departure from the EU and the end of free movement has implications for remote working/hiring too. Businesses established in England, Scotland, and Wales without any legal entities in European countries will be unable to make permanent remote hires with the same ease. This limits access to niche skillsets, favourable rates of pay, and diversity. You can still hire contract resource in Europe.
If you are looking for a cost-effective near shore solution our office in the Czech Republic means we are licensed for labour leasing and can support clients to continue to find talent this way by employing contractors through Sentinel.
There are other routes for migrants to work in the UK such as the Global Talent visa via Tech Nation visa, the youth mobility scheme and the start-up and innovator pathway. These niche visas provide a route for professionals to live and work in the UK without sponsorship from an employer. These are all highly selective.
Youth mobility Scheme: Non-UK citizens aged 18-30 and “will enable around 20,000 young people to come to the UK to work and travel each year.”
Start-up and Innovator: Innovator is open to those setting up an innovative business with industry experience and at least £50k funding. For this route applications can be for individuals or teams.
Tech Nation, Global Talent visa: The visa is open to founders and employees with technical or business backgrounds (this includes all sub-sectors of tech) and is valid for up to 5 years.