The new Tech Nation Visa Scheme – Attracting the best talent to the North

19 Nov, 2015

Following the announcement of plans to revise the criteria on 16th October 2015, the Tech Nation Visa Scheme (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent) is now officially open for applications.

As Tech City UK and Tech North endeavour to help digital businesses thrive at every stage in their lifecycle, we have recognised that attracting talent from outside of the EU is key to ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the global digital economy.

The new eligibility criteria include specific provisions to enable companies to get the right talent in a quicker and more efficient way.

Whether you are an individual with very specific technical knowledge or scale-up experience, or a team of exceptional individuals who need to move together, your application for endorsement will now be fast-tracked with Tech City UK reviewing your application in 18 days.

The fast track service is also available to those wishing to grow their companies and careers in the North. Whilst Tech North recognise the need to keep growing our own tech talent, by welcoming the world’s brightest and best to the North’s economy we will directly benefit business growth, and enrich the wider talent pool as experience and knowledge is shared.

In addition to established experts of their fields, we also want to welcome those people who are at an earlier stage of their career, but have potential to become world leaders. These candidates, although assessed against the same criteria, will be considered to have ‘Exceptional Promise.’ This aims to open the route to a broader base of aspiring talent from outside the EU.

“As a long-term advocate of continuing to build the talent pool in the UK, Ubisoft is proud to support the Tech Nation Visa Scheme. This is a key step in supporting the growth of the digital economy in the North and wider UK. By creating a new route for experienced and specialized programmers to join the UK industry, the visa scheme will directly benefit our Reflections studio in Newcastle and the Future Games of London team, as well as other UK studios with whom we collaborate.”
Giselle Stewart, Director, UK Corporate Affairs, Ubisoft

To provide additional support to Northern based businesses and international digital talent, Tech North will host some special “Migration & Visa Office Hours” sessions in December and January, where expert legal advice will be on hand. More details coming soon.

For more information please visit our dedicated Tech Nation Visa Scheme page.

Tech City UK is one of five Designated Competent Bodies appointed by the Home Office to review applications from individuals wishing to enter the country under Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa route. The organisation evaluates applications in the area of Digital Technology.

A full summary of the Visa routes for the tech sector are below:

Still unclear on where to start? Need some guidance? Email us at and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.