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The Future of the Global Talent Visa at Risk by Tech Nation’s Closure

According to recent Government statistics released at the end of 2022, the UK’s tech sector retains its number 1 position in Europe and number 3 position worldwide for technology innovation. The sector reached a combined market value of $1 trillion and it is therefore no surprise to anyone that technology is the future of UK digital innovation.

The Global Talent visa was originally introduced as the ‘Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa’ in 2011. It opened to allow highly skilled migrant workers in the fields of humanities, science, engineering, arts and digital technology to work, and ultimately invest their expertise in, the UK.

On 20 February 2020, this route was replaced by the ‘Global Talent visa’ we know today. As part of the eligibility requirements for this route, applicants need to receive an endorsement from one of the named bodies in the Immigration Rules to reinforce that they are a leader or potential leader in their field. One such body is Tech Nation, which deals with those highly qualified workers in the digital technology sector. However, with government funding being pulled, and Barclays Eagle Labs refusing to take up endorsement responsibilities, Tech Nation ceased its operations on 31 March 2023.

This has thrown the Global Talent visa into obscurity, especially for those currently in the UK with an endorsement from Tech Nation. Not only this, but prospective applicants will have no way of applying for the Global Talent visa at this time until the government find a solution. According to guidance published on 31 March 2023,

“Tech Nation will continue to assess digital technology applications for the Global Talent visa after it ceases operations on 31 March 2023...From 31 March 2023, you’ll still be able to: (a) use the Tech Nation website to continue an application you started; or (b) start a new application.”

While this is somewhat illuminating for those applicants most affected, the government has yet to publish details of the next endorsing body and whether the criteria developed by Tech Nation will remain.

At Irwin Mitchell, we understand that these changes can be daunting for any individual or business this has affected. Our dedicated immigration team can assist you with any of these changes and can provide you with comprehensive legal advice. If you would like to learn more about Irwin Mitchell’s immigration services, please contact Mandeep Khroud via email: