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How to Determine If I am a Business or Technical Candidate for the UK Global Talent Visa in Digital Technology

The UK Global Talent Visa opens doors for highly skilled individuals to work in the UK, targeting leaders and potential leaders in various fields, including the dynamic world of digital technology. This program is more than just a visa; it's an invitation for global talents to contribute their expertise and innovation to the UK's leading sectors.

To apply for the UK Global Talent visa, talents should ask themselves: are they business or technical candidates? For those in digital technology, business candidates are the visionaries who bring tech products to life in the market. They have a knack for turning innovative ideas into successful businesses. On the other hand, technical candidates are the creators and innovators themselves, developing new technologies and pushing the boundaries of what's technically possible.

Identifying whether you're a business or technical talent guides how you present your skills and achievements in your application. This distinction helps ensure the UK attracts a balanced mix of talents, ready to drive forward both the commercial and technical advancement of its digital economy.

Tech Nomads prepared this article to help you figure out your type of candidacy for the UK Global Talent visa: business or technical.

Overview of the Types of Applicants for the UK Global Talent Visa

For the UK Global Talent Visa in the digital technology sector, there are two main types of applicants: Technical and Business.

Technical Applicants are ideal for individuals involved in the hands-on development and implementation of technology. This category is not limited to those from tech-specific companies; it welcomes programmers from any sector. To qualify, you need to show extensive knowledge and experience in creating, applying, and managing technology solutions and infrastructures within companies focused on product development. Essentially, if your work revolves around coding, developing technology stacks, or building technical infrastructure, this path is tailored for you.

Business Applicants, on the other hand, are reserved for professionals who may not be directly involved in programming but play pivotal roles in the tech industry. This includes senior sales experts, product managers, and C-level executives (such as CEOs, CMOs, and CROs) from companies with a tech focus. If you're steering the ship in terms of product development, commercial strategy, or investment within technology-driven companies, you're a match for this category. Demonstrating your impact and expertise in leading digital product initiatives is key to qualifying under this option.

Both tracks aim to attract individuals with a strong background in technology, whether from a hands-on technical perspective or from a strategic business angel, emphasizing the importance of contributing significantly to the UK's digital technology landscape.

Technical vs. Business Skills

Tech Nation, the official UK Endorsing body for Global Talent visa, assesses the digital technology sector applicants.

Here are the examples of skills and experience for technical and business applicants according to Tech Nation:

For the technical category, the typical applicants are:

  • DevOps/SysOps, principal software engineers, data scientists/engineers.
  • AI, NLP, ML experts; cybersecurity, hardware engineers.
  • Front-end, back-end, video game developers; UX/UI designers, mobile app developers.
  • Specialists in new technologies like blockchain; CTOs, VP engineering.
  • Virtual/augmented reality developers.

The typical business applicant:

  • Leads in commercial/business areas, substantial VC investment leaders.
  • Experience in growing digital businesses, specific sector experience like FinTech.
  • Product managers, SaaS/enterprise sales leaders, and performance marketing experts.
  • C-suite roles in SMEs, senior VC/PE analysts.

Who is not suitable:

  • Service/process delivery, outsourcing, consultancy, systems admin.
  • Corporate roles, junior investors without senior-level investment track records.
  • Applies to work within product-led digital technology companies, excluding tech-enabled or service companies.

Steps to Determine Your Application Type

1. Self-Assessment

Ask yourself these questions to pinpoint your category:

  • For Technical Applicants: Do I have deep technical expertise in creating, using, or managing technology? Have I led or significantly contributed to technical projects or innovations?
  • For Business Applicants: Have I played a key role in the commercial success of a tech product or business? Do I have experience in leading teams, managing products, or securing investments in the tech sector?

2. Gathering Evidence

Collect documentation and evidence of your achievements and contributions to the tech industry. This could include:

  • For Technical Applicants: Portfolios of work, patents, publications, or contributions to open-source projects.
  • For Business Applicants: Records of successful product launches, growth metrics, leadership roles, or investment rounds you've led or contributed to significantly.

3. Evaluate Job Positions and Skills

Review the lists of job positions and skills relevant to each category. Ensure your experience aligns with the types of roles and skills listed for either technical or business applicants. Be mindful that certain roles, especially those in non-product-led companies or more traditional corporate functions, may not qualify​​​​.

4. Book a Free Pre-Qualified Test with Tech Nomads

Consider taking a scoring test offered by Tech Nomads, which can help evaluate your chances of qualifying for a Global Talent Visa and provide detailed feedback​​.

5. Match Your Background to the Correct Category

Ensure your application highlights how your background and achievements align with the criteria for your identified category. This strategic alignment increases the chances of a successful application.

UK Global Talent Visa Application Routes

The UK Global Talent Visa offers two distinct pathways for tech professionals aiming to establish their careers in the UK: the Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise routes.

Exceptional Talent Route

This pathway suits software engineers with over 5 years of experience, who have demonstrated leadership in the digital technology sector.

Criteria include:

  • A proven track record of innovation.
  • Contributions to your field that go beyond typical job roles.
  • Significant roles in technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial capacities.
  • Engagement in mentoring or collaborative projects related to digital technology.
  • Recognition for academic research or publications.

Achieving Exceptional Talent status allows software engineers to settle permanently in the UK after 3 years.

Exceptional Promise Route

The Exceptional Promise route is perfect for those candidates with less than 5 years of experience but showing potential in the digital technology field.

Requirements include:

  • Making impactful contributions to the tech field beyond regular job responsibilities.
  • Quantifiable impacts on growth and success in tech roles.
  • Academic achievements or endorsements in digital technology.
  • Evidence of potential for significant career growth and impact in the software engineering sector.

UK Global Talent Visa Application Stages

For digital technology applicants seeking the UK Global Talent Visa, the application process involves two stages: Endorsement and Visa Application.

Stage 1 – Applying for Endorsement:

Initial Steps:

  • Start by applying for endorsement on the official Global Talent visa website.
  • Fill out the Tech Nation Visa application form for evaluation.

To secure endorsement from Tech Nation, you need to demonstrate your expertise in at least 2 out of the following 4 areas:

  1. Contribution: Showcase significant contributions in software engineering, whether through technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial efforts. This can include roles as a founder, senior executive, or top employee in a tech company.
  2. Innovation: Provide evidence of your role in establishing or leading product-led digital technology companies, especially those that are innovative in the field of software engineering.
  3. Recognition: Present evidence of activities that extend beyond your usual professional responsibilities, contributing to advancements in software engineering.
  4. Academic Excellence: Display exceptional academic achievements in software engineering, backed by endorsements from recognized academic experts.

Processing Time:

  • Standard processing can take up to 8 weeks.
  • Fast Track applications may receive decisions in about 3 weeks.


  • If endorsed, you’ll receive an email with an endorsement letter from the Home Office, necessary for the visa application.
  • You must apply for the visa within three months of receiving this endorsement.
  • Note: Endorsement does not guarantee visa approval.

Stage 2 – Applying for the Visa:

Application Steps:

  • Apply on the official Global Talent website within three months after receiving your Tech Nation endorsement.
  • Submit all required documents as listed on the government website.


  • The Home Office will review immigration-related aspects and general grounds for refusal.
  • For applicants already in the UK, the ability to switch to the Global Talent category is assessed.

Processing Times:

  • Expect up to 4 weeks for processing if you’re applying from outside the UK.
  • It can take up to 8 weeks for applications submitted within the UK.

For digital technology applicants, this visa provides a pathway to engage with the UK’s vibrant tech sector, offering the opportunity to leverage their skills and potentially lead to permanent residency.

Do you need guidance and instructions to secure the UK Global Talent Visa?

For talents wanting to showcase their tech skills in the UK market, Tech Nomads offers tailored strategies and robust support in UK Tech Global Mobility.

Tech Nomads is a global mobility platform that provides services for international relocation. Established in 2018, Tech Nomads has a track record of successfully relocating talents and teams. Our expertise in adapting to regulatory changes ensures our clients’ satisfaction and success.

To explore your UK relocation options, you may:

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