In continuation of my previous series on the UK Global Talent VISA route in Digital Technologies( go here to read them first if you are not familiar ); I will be focusing in this post on satisfying the tech nation leadership criteria. As mentioned earlier, Tech Nation evaluates applications for endorsement in two categories

  • Leader (called ‘exceptional talent’) – Someone with more than 5 years experience
  • Emerging leader (called ‘exceptional promise’) – Someone with less than 5 years experience

The main differentiator between the two is that leaders can apply for settlement in the UK after 3 years only while emerging leaders can apply after 5. Two years can make a lot of difference so if you can meet the criteria of being endorsed as an exceptional talent then it will make your life ( and settlement ) a lot easier.

How to prove “Leadership” criteria to Tech Nation

Tech Nation has a long list of how to prove your leadership here but the main theme is that you have to prove it through your skills and achievements within the past 5 years. A few examples of these are below and I have tried to link it with what i provided in my application :

  • National or International recognition : Show that you are at the forefront of your sector by participating in conferences and seminars. I demonstrated my CIO masterclass in IDC as one of the examples which is present here. Its great if you have news clipping or articles about the event showing how many people were present and how many speakers were there. If its a virtual event as is most of them nowadays you can contact the event organizers for size / attendance estimates.
IDC CIO Masterclass
IDC CIO Masterclass
  • News clippings / articles about your work in the sector and how you contributed in a digital technology company. Take care that It should be about you not the company ! Be specific about what you did to be mentioned and what your achievements are .
  • Awards and achievements : If you received awards and plaques which are nationally or internationally recognized then its a great evidence to provide. Again this should be to you and NOT the company. For my application I presented my CISO of the year award which I won in 2019 which is present here
  • High Salary : If you have a salary which is considered high as per your market then you can mention that as one of the evidences in leadership. You can show your employment contract and compare with this salary benchmark reports proving that you fall on the higher end of the salary scale. Be sure to mention details of any bonuses or stock options also. .
  • Panels : If you have been part of any panels or been a judge in assessing the technology work of others in the digital technology sector. I did not provide this but this is a great way to show your participation as a leader.
  • Open Source contributions : If you have contributed to an open source project outside of your job then that is another evidence but make sure to attach evidence of the same showing commits / downloads etc.
  • Publications : If you have published material in a recognized professional publication which pertains to the digital technology sector then you can provide the same ad leadership evidence. Make sure that you are the author of such publications before sending . I actually had work published in professionals journals but chose to use that in the optional criteria of proof of recognition outside my occupation instead.

Things to keep in mind

I hope this helps you in your application for the UK Global Talent VISA and my own experiences helped you out. Remember that evidence is not the only thing but HOW you present it to tech nation is very important. You need to make sure that the relevant application is present within the application itself and you are not pointing to any links. Dont expect the assessor to do your work for you and make sure to capture all the details and prove your worth as a leader. Good luck in your application !