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Tech Nation Visa Requirements For Nigerians

The Tech Nation Visa is open to foreign nationals in the digital technology sector. If you’re looking to apply for this visa program from Nigeria, it’s essential to understand the requirements.

For more information about the Tech Nation Visa, including determining if you meet the eligibility criteria and how to apply, speak with an IAS immigration lawyer today. To get started, call us at +23413438882 or our UK office at +44 (0) 3316300929.

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Overview of the Tech Nation Visa

The Tech Nation Visa is a program under the Global Talent Visa that specifically targets leaders or potential leaders in digital technology. It is open to individuals in the following sectors:

  • Financial technology
  • Gaming
  • Cybersecurity
  • Artificial intelligence

With the Tech Nation Visa, tech talents from foreign nations can reside and work in the UK, contributing to the growth and development of the country’s tech industry. Successful applicants can work for a UK-based tech company, start their own tech business, or join an accelerator program.

Key Eligibility Requirement For Endorsement by Tech Nation

Overview

One essential requirement of the Tech Nation Visa is that applicants must be endorsed by the UK Tech Nation. Tech Nation is the official endorsing body authorised by the UK Home Office to assess and endorse applications for the Global Talent Visa.

To be eligible, you must have a background in either a technical or a business field.

Technical Specialists

These include individuals with specialist skills, such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning experts (AI, NLP, ML)
  • CTO or VP engineering experience managing teams of in-house employees at a growing digital business
  • Cybersecurity experts
  • DevOps / SysOps engineers
  • Experienced back-end developers leading the development of or contributing heavily to significant new technologies or open-source projects (for example, blockchain, Scala, Golang, Elasticsearch and so on)
  • Experienced data scientists/data engineers
  • Experienced front-end developers
  • Experienced mobile app developers
  • Skilled UX/UI designers
  • Experienced video game developers
  • Hardware engineers
  • Operating systems engineers
  • Principal software engineers/developers
  • Virtual and augmented reality developers

Business Specialists

These include individuals with commercial, investment, or digital product management expertise in a technology company that creates software or hardware or processes data.

Some examples of eligible skills in the business category include:

  • Experience as a commercial/business lead (P&L, growth, sales and distribution strategy) in a digital business
  • Experience as C Suite in a SMEs + (CEO, CMO, CIO) or head of operations for a digital business
  • Experienced and senior VC or PE analysts with track records of leading investments in digital businesses
  • Experience in expanding or growing a significant product-led digital technology business
  • Experience in leading substantial VC investments of over £25m
  • Experienced Product Manager
  • Performance marketing experts performed in-house for digital businesses
  • SaaS or enterprise sales leadership for digital services
  • Sector-specific experience, for example, payment infrastructure in FinTech / international expansion in EdTech, etc.
  • Solution sales experts
  • Solution sales skills performed for a growing B2B digital business (i.e. not big-company experience).

Additionally, to apply for an endorsement from Tech Nation, you must also be classified under one of the following categories:

  • A leader (called exceptional talent) or
  • A potential leader (called exceptional promise).

Eligibility Criteria for Endorsement as a Leader (Exceptional Talent)

To be eligible for the Tech Nation visa, you must demonstrate that others have recognised you as a leading talent in the digital technology field within the past five years.

Additionally, you need to satisfy at least two of the following criteria:

  • A proven track record of innovation as a founder or senior executive in a product-led digital technology company.
  • Evidence of innovation where you worked in a new digital technology field or concept as an employee.
  • Evidence of contributions to the digital technology sector outside of regular employment, such as through mentoring or collaborative projects.
  • Experience setting up or working in a product-led digital technology company and making technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions within the sector.
  • Research work that has been published or endorsed by an expert.

Criteria For Endorsement as a Potential Leader (Exceptional Promise)

You are required to demonstrate that you have been acknowledged by others as a potential talent in the digital technology field within the past five years.

Although exceptional promise applicants typically have less than five years of experience in digital technology, they can show that they have had a longer career in a different profession.

The evidence of your skills and accomplishments that demonstrate your potential to become a leader must support at least two of the following:

  • You demonstrated innovation as a founder of a product-led digital technology company.
  • You demonstrated innovation in a new digital technology field or concept while working as an employee.
  • You contributed to the digital technology sector beyond your work, such as through mentoring or collaborative projects.
  • You have significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions within the digital technology sector due to your involvement with a product-led digital technology company.
  • You have research publications or endorsements by experts in your field.

Tech Nation’s Requirement for Assessing Your Application

During the assessment of your application, Tech Nation will evaluate whether you have fulfilled the necessary criteria for the visa. Several factors will be taken into consideration, including:

  • Your career history, including the international recognition and influence of your work.
  • The strength of the statements provided in your recommendation letter and the supporting evidence for your application.
  • The anticipated contribution you will make to the UK’s digital technology sector by being located in the country.
  • Personal factors such as your academic background, salary level, the company you are employed by, or the amount of funding raised if you are an entrepreneur.
  • The commercial impact of your past work, achievements, and experiences

Eligibility Requirement for Fast-tracking Your Application

You can expect to receive a decision on your endorsement within 5 to 8 weeks. However, if you have been accepted into a recognised UK accelerator program and can provide evidence of this in your endorsement application, you may be eligible for a faster decision within 3 weeks.

The following accelerator programs are accepted:

  • Antler
  • Bethnal Green Ventures
  • Carbon13
  • Collider
  • Creative Destruction Lab
  • Cylon
  • Entrepreneur First
  • Founders Academy
  • Founders Factory
  • Ignite
  • SETsquared
  • Startupbootcamp
  • Techstars
  • Wayra
  • Zinc

Our team of expert advisors specializes in Tech Nation Visa requirements for Nigerians, ensuring you have the guidance you need for a seamless application process

Documents Required for the Tech Nation Visa Process

Overview

After submitting your endorsement application on the UK Government website, you will be required to fill out the application form on the Tech Nation website. This form should include a personal statement detailing the impact you intend to make in the UK’s digital technology sector.

In addition to the application form, you will need to upload the following documents on the Tech Nation website:

  • Your CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Evidence of your affiliation with a technology business if you have held a position as a founder or senior executive in the past five years
  • Proof of meeting the eligibility criteria (up to a maximum of ten documents)

Your CV

Your CV should outline your career history and relevant publication records. The CV must be typed and should not exceed three sides of A4 paper.

Letters of Recommendation

You must provide three letters of recommendation. Each person who recommends you must be an established expert in digital technology who has known your work for at least 12 months.

The letters should:

  • Specifically, address your Global Talent application
  • Include details about how the writer knows you
  • Highlight your achievements in the digital technology sector as a leader or potential leader
  • Explain the benefits of you residing in the UK
  • Discuss your contributions to the digital technology field in the UK
  • Outline your future work plans.

Additionally, the letters must be typed, dated, and limited to three single sides of A4 paper, excluding the author’s credentials and contact details. They should be signed by the author or a representative of the recommending organisation and include the organisation’s contact details, the author’s CV, or other acceptable proof of credentials.

Proof of Connection to a Technology Business

If you have been a founder or senior executive of a technology business in the past five years, you must provide evidence to support this. Acceptable evidence may include the following:

  • Your last audited accounts, projections for the current financial year, articles of association,
  • Documentation showing domestic or international sales and customer numbers.

Proof of Meeting the Eligibility Criteria

You need to provide a maximum of 10 documents as evidence of meeting the eligibility criteria. Note that your CV, letters of recommendation, and proof of connection to a technology business do not count towards the ten pieces of evidence.

Your evidence should include the following:

  • At least two documents demonstrating your recognition as a leading talent or potential talent
  • At least four documents showcasing your proficiency in two other required skills (use two documents as proof for each skill).

Each piece of evidence should be at most three sides of A4 paper. Be aware that you cannot use the same evidence to meet multiple criteria.

Evidence that demonstrates your eligibility should include the following:

  • Active participation or contributions to open-source projects, showcasing how your peers have acknowledged your contributions to advancing the field.
  • Relevant qualifications or documentation of speaking engagements at prestigious conferences
  • Awards from organisations of similar distinction to the Royal Society in the UK.

Requirement for Applying for the Global Talent Visa Without the Tech Nation Endorsement

If you have won an eligible award, you may qualify for the Global Talent Visa without going through the Tech Nation assessment process. Winning such an award showcases your exceptional talent or promise in your field.

Examples of eligible awards in the digital technology field include:

  • ACM Prize in Computing,
  • Turing Award

What are the Benefits of a Tech Nation Visa?

The Tech Nation Visa provides numerous benefits for talented individuals in the tech sector who wish to work and live in the UK. Some of these benefits include:

  1. No job offer required: The Tech Nation Visa allows individuals to bypass the traditional sponsorship requirements and apply without having a job offer. You can work for any employer, become self-employed, or establish a startup in the UK.
  2. Change jobs without notification: Another advantage is its flexibility in terms of changing jobs or stopping work without needing to inform the Home Office.
  3. No age limits: Individuals working in tech space or related fields are eligible to apply for the Tech Nation Visa, regardless of age.
  4. No language requirements: Applicants are not required to demonstrate a certain level of English proficiency or undergo language tests. Regardless of your native or current language skills, you can still qualify for the Tech Nation Visa.
  5. No salary requirements: The Tech Nation Visa does not have a specific salary threshold that applicants must earn to be eligible for the visa program.
  6. Choose visa duration: You can choose the duration of your visa, with options available for up to 5 years. If you’d like to stay longer, you can renew your visa as often as you like, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for an extended stay.
  7. Bring your family: The Tech Nation visa allows holders to migrate to the UK with their spouse/partner and dependent children.
  8. Opportunity for permanent settlement: After three years as a leader or five years as a potential leader in the UK, you can apply for permanent settlement, known as indefinite leave to remain.

How Can IAS Help You?

Our team at IAS is committed to assisting you in obtaining a Tech Nation Visa, enabling you to live in the UK and contribute to the country’s digital technology sector.

If you choose IAS, our experienced immigration lawyers will provide you with personalised guidance, assess your options, determine your eligibility, and conduct a comprehensive document review.

With our in-depth knowledge of immigration laws and regulations, we will ensure that your application is accurate, complete, and compelling.

Your dedicated lawyer will answer any questions you have and work tirelessly to maximise your chances of success.

Contact us at +23413438882 or our UK office at +44 (0) 3316300929 to receive professional assistance with your visa application. You can also reach us online via the contact form.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Tech Nation Visa is issued under the Global Talent Visa through the UK Tech Nation. Specifically, it targets individuals with exceptional talents in the digital technology sector, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, software engineering, and data science.

In contrast, the Global Talent Visa has a broader scope and extends beyond digital technology. It is available to individuals across different industries, including science, engineering, the humanities, the arts, and the creative sectors.

Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you can begin the application process for a UK Tech Visa from Nigeria. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Apply for endorsement: Start by applying for endorsement on the UK government’s website. Fill out the required information and submit your application. You will then be redirected to the Tech Nation website.
  2. Complete the Tech Nation application form: Complete the application form provided on the Tech Nation website. Make sure to fill in all the necessary details accurately.
  3. Assessment of your endorsement application: Tech Nation will review your application and assess whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the Global Talent visa. If your endorsement application is successful, you will receive an email from the Home Office containing a copy of your endorsement letter. Keep this letter for your visa application.
  4. Apply for the Global Talent Visa: Within three months of receiving your endorsement letter, you must apply for the Global Talent Visa. You can choose to apply for both the endorsement and the visa simultaneously or apply for the visa after obtaining the endorsement.

Note that if you apply for both together and Tech Nation refuses your endorsement, the Home Office will reject your visa application as well, but you will receive a refund of the visa application fee.

  1. Await a decision: The processing time for the visa application is typically up to 8 weeks. During this period, the Home Office will review your application and make a decision.

It costs £623 to apply. The payment is divided into two parts if you are applying based on an endorsement:

  • £456 when you apply for the endorsement.
  • £167 when you apply for the visa itself.

However, if you are applying based on an eligible award, you will need to pay the full £623 when you apply for the visa. If you are including your partner or children in your application, each of them will also need to pay £623.

Furthermore, you will also pay the immigration health surcharge, which is £624 for each year of your visa validity.

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