The Most Comprehensive Guide for Global Talent Visa (UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in Digital Technologies)

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Photo by Aron Van de Pol on Unsplash

First of all, briefly about me. My name is Andrii Seleznov, I am the recipient of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in Digital Technology and I live in London, UK. I have a trinity of interesting tech startups (PetioleX, Alfatrener, Metal Ear) and a bunch of inspiring advisory roles (WeLoveDetecting, LikeKim, Hemp Pride, Climanator, TLA Ukraine). But let’s focus on you and on our main topic.

So, you have finally decided to apply for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa (or it is called now Global Talent Visa), where to start? What to do? How to apply for Tech Nation Visa? I know millions of details about exactly this visa route since I applied for it. However, even for other routes, key advice will be relevant.

Today I decided to demonstrate to you my own collection of useful links for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) resources.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa General Guide

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa was announced on November 12, 2015, by the UK Government. This is a special immigration scheme designed for talented individuals in the 11 fields to work and live in the UK. Specifically, you may get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in:

  • Science and Medicine;
  • Engineering;
  • Humanities;
  • Digital Technology
  • Arts and Culture;
  • Fashion;
  • Architecture;
  • Film and Television.

Depending on your field of expertise, you need to check different resources to get as much information about this visa, as possible. In any case, your starting point must be Home Office as a governmental body of the United Kingdom provides the simplest and the easiest brief about this visa route.

However, from my own experience, I can say that reading a brief is not enough. Hence, I recommend you to read this Global Talent Visa Guidance from the Home Office to get all the legal details.

Advantages of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

  1. You don’t need to have the UK sponsor to get Global Talent Visa
  2. Your English could be like mine (joke :)). In other words, no language tests requirements.
  3. The salary threshold is absent.
  4. Permission to work in the UK is granted automatically to you.
  5. If you want to be self-employed, then just do it!
  6. You are welcome to bring dependants and they can work in the UK as well.
  7. After three years on Exceptional Talent (or five years on Exceptional Promise), you can apply for further life in the UK without a visa (called Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR). And then just in a year — become a British citizen🇬🇧

As you can see, these options are completely different from the other UK immigration categories. Hence, if you want to try to get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, I completely understand why.

Disadvantages of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

  1. You have no access to public funds. However, you come to the UK to earn money. Hence, this condition is logical and fair.
  2. You cannot work as a sportsperson or a dentist. I even don’t know what to add. It is definitely reasonable!
  3. You must work only within the area of your expertise. However, this aspect can be an advantage as well :). In fact, you can work in a different area, but you definitely must have income from your expertise.

Academic Fields

Then, when you will feel strong to continue, chose your field. For academic fields you need to recognise one of the following bodies:

  1. The Royal Society. If your expertise is in science and medicine, please, read the basics in Q&A format or if you cannot find an answer to your question, write it to
  2. The Royal Academy of Engineering. Engineers with academical background must apply for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in Engineering and firstly read the most frequent questions and Guidance for Applicants.
  3. The British Academy is a designated body for applicants in humanities. If you are the prospective applicant and have your questions, read Frequently Asked Questions and then contact

What is similar for these fields — they have a very clear structure of fast-track option and standard application. For example, choosing between Senior appointments, Individual fellowships and Endorsed funders you will have a fast-track endorsement. In Peer review option you will have a standard endorsement process. For more details, you need to follow an Applicant Decision Tree.

Non-Academic Fields

There is a higher number of non-academic fields:

  1. Tech Nation is an endorsement body for talents in digital technology. This article is mainly focused on Tech Nation Visa. Hence, stay tuned and scroll down :).
  2. Arts Council England endorses leading artists who want Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in Arts and Culture. Particularly, they must work in the area of Combined Arts, Dance, Literature, Music, Theatre or Visual Arts. You can download FAQ and the main guide for this route.
  3. British Fashion Council, for fashion
  4. Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), for architecture
  5. Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT), for film and television

There is also a special category of these visas for research applicants.UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), for research applicants.

Articles by past applicants who got Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

I think it is always great to have at least two opinions on something. Hence, after the official information, it is the best time to read real stories of people, who applied for Global Talent Visa.

I have read all of these stories and can say that all of the successful applicants have done a great job. There is no person who got visa just doing something ordinary and routine.

  1. Natsumi Kuroda: How did I get the Tier1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa, endorsed by Arts Council
  2. Andrii Seleznov: How do I get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa and move to London?, endorsed by Tech Nation
  3. Elizabeth May: How I got the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) the UK, endorsed by Arts Council
  4. Ryzal Yusoff: How I got my UK TechNation Exceptional Talent Visa, endorsed by Tech Nation

Endorsement Stage

Endorsement Stage or Stage 1 is the first step to Global Talent Visa. On this stage, your visa application will be assessed. As a result, you will either get an Endorsement or not.

Assessment is conducted by the panel of experts in the designed body. For Tech Nation Visa, we have Tech Nation and digital experts there estimate your potential value for the UK economy and digital ecosystem.

Below I collected the most relevant articles on key topics for Endorsement stage. Almost all of them are free. I think you will get answers to the most frequently asked questions but if you still have any question, please, let me know.

This is my collection of samples, which can provide an overall understanding of what level and quality of documents you must provide to get Endorsement:

This is one of the sad but regular topics for questions as well. Each applicant has 50 / 50 in chances to get Endorsement or get an invitation for Endorsement review. These materials will be helpful for people who want to avoid mistakes. And for those, who already made them:

Also, I wrote a little bit about people who want to switch from Tier 2 (Tier 1 or Tier 5) to Global Talent Visa. Separately, I wrote about Tier 4 Student Visa recipients who want to have a Global Talent Visa. However, legally, they must leave the country in order to apply for this unique visa route:

Additional must-do reading


I wrote this article in September and published in October 2020. Time after time I will do my best to update the article with more relevant materials. If you have any questions about Global Talent Visa or comments about this article or my blog, please, let me know your thoughts.

And good luck with your Global Talent Visa application. I sincerely wish you to join our army of talented folks in the UK :)

This is me at one of the monthly meetings in our Tech Nation Visa community (pre-coronavirus photo). Truly great time!
This is me at one of the monthly meetings in our Tech Nation Visa community (pre-coronavirus photo). Truly great time!
This is me at one of the monthly meetings in our Tech Nation Visa community (pre-coronavirus photo). Truly great time!

Written by

Digital Entrepreneur. Founder at PetioleX. UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Recipient

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