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The Global Talent Visa (GTV) has replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route in February 2020 and aims to attract the world’s brightest minds. Applicants might be “a leader or potential leader” in three distinct areas – tech, academia and research, and culture and the arts.
According to figures released by the endorsing body Tech Nation, around 1,400 applications for the GTV were received in the previous 12 months.
The organisation has endorsed more than 600 applications since 2018, including those for the previous visa route.
Since the UK tech industry reportedly faces vacancies of up to 100,000 per month, “some argue the Global Talent Visa’s focus on exceptional individuals is too narrow”, whilst others say additional steps could be taken to improve the process.
The Global Talent Visa & the UK tech skills crisis
Applicants must be over 18 with promising or exceptional talent in fields like fintech, gaming, cyber security and artificial intelligence (AI).
There is no language or minimum salary requirement and applicants do not need a job offer, instead they must be endorsed by Tech Nation.
According to Jonathan Beech the scheme “has never really reached its potential”. This is because “the main challenges are that those relying on technical or business experience within service/process delivery, outsourcing, consultancy, ERP consultancy, systems admin and larger organisations primarily serving larger corporate customers are generally excluded. The process is also still document heavy.”
Most applicants fail to obtain endorsement for the GTV, due to not providing the right documented evidence to demonstrate their work experience.
Some changes have been made to the visa scheme in March 2021 by allowing holders of international prizes and winners of scholarships and programmes for early promise to automatically qualify for the GTV without needing endorsement.
Individuals who don’t qualify for the Global Talent route can apply instead for the Skilled Worker category. An elite- points based visa is due to be introduced next year with the hope of attrackting more overseas talent.
Supporting UK tech in key areas of growth
According to Tech Nation the Global Talent Visa has boosted expertise in app and software development, AI, machine learning and enterprise software.
However, Edgardo Savoy, CTO at fintech start-up TransferGo is of the opinion that the UK should “look beyond a current skill set or occupation and accommodate those with a passion or willingness to work hard and drive real positive change in the industry.”
Global Talent Visa Advice from UK Immigration Law Experts
If you think you may qualify for the Global Talent route but your unsure what supporting documents you should provide to obtain endorsement or the visa get in touch with us.