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Global Talent Visa: the pathway to the UK’s digital technology sector

The Tech Nation Global Talent visa has opened the door for the brightest and best tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector. Find out if the visa could benefit you.

The Global Talent Visa in the UK

The UK’s digital technology sector knows no bounds, even managing to flourish during the twists and turns of Brexit and the sudden outbreak of Covid-19. Before the pandemic struck, it was reported that digital tech grew six times faster than other industries, contributing £149 billion to the UK economy, employing 2.9 million people – a 40% increase from 2017 – and accounting for 9% of the national workforce.

Since then, business resilience has been severely tested across all industries by Covid enforced lockdowns – and digital tech has passed with flying colours. While other sectors have been brought to their knees by economic hardship, digital tech has demonstrated continued job creation: by the end of 2020, job vacancies had already climbed 50% since the year’s lowest point in July.

London’s tech firms are fuelling the growth of the UK’s digital economy, accounting for over 80% of all venture capital money invested into the UK since Brexit – leading its Mayor Sadiq Khan to hail it as the “undisputed tech capital of Europe”.

So, if you’re a go-getting digital tech professional with an adventurous spirit, a life-enhancing move to London could be just the ticket – and it’s probably easier to arrange than you think. A special visa has been created to help tech-savvy people like you realise their dream: the Tech Nation visa – officially known as the Global Talent visa.

What is the Global Talent visa?

According to Tech Nation – a national network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs – the visa “enables the brightest and best tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector, contributing their cutting-edge expertise, creativity and innovation to maintaining the UK’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy.”

Who is the Global Talent visa for?

The visa – which can be extended to your immediate family – has been created for talented or promising individuals with technical or business backgrounds, including all tech sub-sectors like fintech, AI, cyber, and games.

Do I need a job offer to be eligible?

You don’t need a job offer to be eligible for the visa. However, as part of your application, you are required to provide a plan of what you will be doing once you arrive in the UK and how you intend to contribute to the growth of the UK’s digital economy.

How do I apply for the Global Talent visa?

Visa applications can be made via the Home Office website.

How much does it cost?

The visa application fee is typically £152. However, if you are from one of the following countries it costs just £97: 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.

If you are extending your application to your immediate family (partner and children), you must pay £608 for each additional person.

The healthcare surcharge is typically £624 per year for each person applying. Calculate your immigration health surcharge here.

When you apply for your endorsement, you will need to pay a fee of £456.

Who endorses the visa?

Tech Nation is the official Home Office designated endorsing body authorised to assess applications for the visa.

How long is the visa valid for?

The visa is valid for up to 5 years, after which you may be able to apply for an extension or permanent settlement in the UK. During this time, you can work, change employers, or be self-employed, without further authorisation.

Get help from the experts (optional)

The technical – and often confusing – immigration process requires expert support. Simply London works with a network of reputable immigration solicitors, allowing us to use our skills and experience to coordinate the entire immigration process on your behalf.

Once this vital aspect of the relocation is completed, you can benefit from Simply London’s specialist relocation services.

Note – This article does not constitute legal or immigration advice and you should always consult a qualified professional before undertaking any applications. The information in this article is based solely on our understanding as at the date of the article. Government legislation can change at any time.

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