Overcoming Relocation Barriers: Strategies for IT Specialists on the Global Talent Visa

Table of Content

Overview of UK Global Talent Visa for Leaders in Digital Technology

  • Examples of Relevant IT Specialist Capabilities
  • How to Apply for the UK Global Talent Visa as an IT Specialist
  • How to Obtain Endorsement of UK Global Talent Visa an IT Specialist

Challenges faced by IT Specialists on the UK Global Talent Visa

  • Accomodation Tips in UK
  • Education in UK
  • Transportation System
  • Healthcare System

Understanding the British Culture 

  • British Work Environment and Job Research in Technology Industry 
  • Networking Suggestions
  • Language Support

Overview of Global Talent Visa for Leaders in Digital Technology

The UK Global Talent Visa offers a fantastic opportunity for talented IT specialists from around the world to make their mark in the UK's thriving tech and IT sectors, such as: FinTech, Gaming, AI, etc. With this visa, individuals can pursue their career ambitions without the need for a job offer or sponsorship, giving them the flexibility to explore various opportunities and contribute their expertise to the UK's innovation landscape.

To qualify for the UK Global Talent Visa, IT specialists must showcase their significant achievements in the digital technology field. This could include notable projects they've worked on, innovative solutions they've developed, or their contributions to advancing IT capabilities. Proficiency in cutting-edge IT technologies, such as advanced programming languages, system architecture design, or the implementation of new technologies, is essential for demonstrating eligibility for this visa.

Examples of Relevant IT Specialist Capabilities:

  • Expertise in programming languages and software development
  • Specialization in data analysis
  • Experience in cybersecurity within software applications
  • Advance knowledge in web development technologies and mobile applications
  • Competence in leading IT projects and contribution to new technological advancements 

How to Apply for the UK Global Talent Visa as an IT Specialist

Application Pathways

IT specialists can pursue their application through two pathways: the Exceptional Talent and the Exceptional Promise.

  1. Exceptional Talent: 

This route caters to IT specialists with more than 5 years of experience, showcasing leadership in the digital technology domain.

Criteria include:

  • A proven track of innovation in IT specialties.
  • Contributions to the IT field that exceed common job responsibilities.
  • Holding significant roles in technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial capacities within the IT sector.
  • Engagement in mentoring or collaborative projects relevant to IT technology.
  • Recognition for academic research or publications in IT specialties.

Achieving Exceptional Talent status enables IT specialists to settle permanently in the UK after 3 years.

  1. Exceptional Promise:

The Exceptional Promise route is ideal for candidates with less than 5 years of experience but displaying potential in the IT field. 

Requirements include:

  • Demonstrating innovation as an IT developer or specialist.
  • Making substantial contributions to the IT field beyond routine job duties.
  • Demonstrating measurable impacts on growth and success in IT roles.
  • Academic achievements or endorsements in IT technology.
  • Providing evidence of potential for significant career advancement and impact in the IT sector.

The process of applying for a UK Global Talent visa as an IT specialist involves two stages:

  • Endorsement Application 
  • Visa Application.

How to Obtain Endorsement of UK Global Talent Visa an IT Specialist

  1. Begin by submitting an endorsement application via the official Global Talent visa platform.
  2. Complete the Tech Nation Visa application form for assessment.

To obtain endorsement from Tech Nation, you must demonstrate your proficiency in at least 2 of the following 4 areas:

  • Impact: Highlight significant impacts made in the field of IT, whether through technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial endeavors. This may involve roles as a founder, senior executive, or key employee in an IT company.
  • Innovation: Provide evidence of your involvement in establishing or leading innovative digital technology ventures, particularly in IT specialties.
  • Recognition: Present evidence of engagements that go beyond typical professional duties, contributing to advancements in IT.
  • Academic Achievement: Demonstrate exceptional academic accomplishments in IT specialties, supported by endorsements from reputable academic professionals.

Processing Time:

  • Standard processing typically takes up to 8 weeks.
  • Fast Track applications may receive decisions within approximately 3 weeks.


  • If endorsed, you’ll receive an endorsement letter from the Home Office via email, which is essential for the visa application process.
  • You must apply for the visa within three months of receiving this endorsement.

!Note: Endorsement does not guarantee visa approval.

Endorsement Exceptions:

  • If you have received a qualifying award, you may apply directly for the visa without requiring an endorsement.

Applying for the Visa 

Application Steps:

  • Apply through the official Global Talent website within three months of receiving your Tech Nation endorsement.
  • Ensure all necessary documents, as outlined on the government website, are submitted.


  • The Home Office will assess immigration-related factors and general grounds for refusal.
  • For individuals already residing in the UK, the possibility of transitioning to the Global Talent category is evaluated.

Processing Times:

  • If applying from outside the UK, anticipate a processing period of up to 4 weeks.
  • Applications submitted within the UK may take up to 8 weeks to process.

For IT specialists, this visa offers an avenue to engage with the dynamic tech landscape of the UK, providing opportunities to utilize their expertise and potentially pursue permanent residency. Crafting a comprehensive application that emphasizes your contributions and proficiency in IT is crucial for a successful outcome.

Challenges faced by IT Specialists on the UK Global Talent Visa

Embarking on a journey with a freshly obtained Global Talent Visa is just the beginning of a thrilling adventure, but it also brings forth a set of unique challenges. Settling into your new life in the UK requires meticulous planning and adaptability:

  • One of the initial hurdles is securing suitable accommodation that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. 
  • Additionally, for those with families, ensuring quality education for children becomes a priority, navigating the education system to find the best fit. 
  • As you step into the British job market, whether seeking employment opportunities or venturing into entrepreneurship, understanding the professional landscape and carving your niche is paramount. 
  • Language barriers may present themselves initially, but with dedication and immersion, you can overcome them, opening doors to deeper integration within the local community. 
  • Building new connections and networks is crucial for both personal and professional growth, whether it's through social gatherings, industry events, or community activities. 

In the upcoming sections of this guide, we'll explore each of these areas in depth, providing you with practical tips and real-life examples to help you overcome these challenges with resilience and enthusiasm. By embracing these hurdles head-on, you'll pave the way for a fulfilling and enriching experience in your new home, turning each obstacle into an opportunity for growth and adventure. 

Accomodation Tips in UK

  • Start Early: Begin your accommodation search well in advance to secure the best options. The rental market in London can be competitive, so having a head start is essential.
  • Utilize Online Platforms: Explore property websites, such as Rightmove, Zoopla, or SpareRoom, to browse listings and filter search criteria based on your preferences for location, budget, and amenities.
  • Attend Viewings: Arrange viewings for shortlisted properties to assess their suitability in terms of size, condition, and proximity to transport links and amenities.
  • Understand Tenancy Agreements: Familiarize yourself with the terms of tenancy agreements, including rent payment schedules, deposit requirements, and responsibilities as a tenant, to ensure a smooth renting experience.
  • Budget Wisely: Factor in additional costs such as utility bills, council tax, and transportation expenses when budgeting for accommodation to avoid financial strain.
  • Consider Flatsharing: Sharing accommodation with flatmates can be a cost-effective option, providing not only financial savings but also opportunities for social interaction and networking.

Education in UK

  • Schooling Diversity: Explore the educational institutions available in the UK, ranging from prestigious private schools to outstanding state-funded options. Consider factors such as teaching methodologies, extracurricular offerings, and academic performance when selecting the right fit for your child.
  • Curriculum Choices: Familiarize yourself with the various curricula available, including the UK's national curriculum, international baccalaureate (IB), and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), to align with your child's educational goals and aspirations.
  • Specialized Programs: Investigate schools that offer specialized programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects or IT-related fields, providing tailored learning experiences that complement your child's interests and career aspirations.
  • Support Services: Look for schools that provide comprehensive support services, such as English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, learning support for students with diverse needs, and pastoral care to ensure your child's holistic development and well-being.
  • Extracurricular Opportunities: Consider the availability of extracurricular activities and enrichment programs, including coding clubs, robotics competitions, and entrepreneurial initiatives, to foster your child's interests outside the classroom and promote a well-rounded education.

Explore our comprehensive guide on Navigating UK schools for Expatriate Kids to access detailed information and insights tailored to your needs.

Transportation System

Discover the rich tapestry of public transportation options available in London, from iconic red buses to the renowned Underground (Tube), Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, and upcoming Elizabeth Line. Cycling and walking are also popular, with numerous routes and pedestrian-friendly areas.

Transportation Highlights:

  • Buses: With over 8,600 buses and 700 routes, London's bus network operates 24/7, ensuring connectivity day and night.
  • Tube: Covering 402 km and 272 stations, the Tube offers fast travel across the city, with weekday services from 05:00 to 00:30 and 24-hour service on select lines during weekends.
  • DLR: Serving East and Southeast London, the DLR connects seamlessly with other transit options.
  • London Overground and Elizabeth Line: Extend transportation options to outer boroughs and Heathrow Airport.
  • Cycling: London offers over 1,000 km of cycle routes and a bike hire scheme with 13,600 bikes across 800 docking stations.

Oyster cards 

To simplify travel with pay-as-you-go Oyster cards or contactless payment cards for convenience and fare caps.

Cycling and Walking

London promotes cycling and walking, providing a wide range of cycle paths and areas designated for pedestrians. Transport for London (TfL) offers walking guides and cycling maps, helping people navigate through picturesque and practical routes throughout the city.

Healthcare System

Understanding the healthcare system is vital when settling into a new city like London. Here, healthcare revolves around the National Health Service (NHS), complemented by a robust private sector. Familiarizing yourself with these systems ensures you and your loved ones receive the necessary care during your time in the city.

NHS Registration Process:

To access NHS services, you must register with a General Practitioner (GP). Locate your nearest GP surgery on the NHS website and complete registration by providing proof of address and identification.

Once registered, you gain access to a wide array of NHS services, including GP consultations, hospital treatments, and emergency care.

Services Offered:

The NHS offers a broad spectrum of services, encompassing general healthcare, emergency assistance, hospital treatments, maternity care, and specific dental services.

Most NHS services are free for residents, with prescriptions being free in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and subject to charges in England under various exemption criteria.

It's worth noting that certain services, such as some dental treatments and eye care, may incur charges, even for residents.

Private Healthcare Alternatives:

Private healthcare may be chosen for its shorter waiting times, direct access to specialists without referrals, and greater flexibility in treatment options.

Additionally, private healthcare may provide services not readily available on the NHS, such as specific dental procedures or cosmetic treatments.

Finding a Provider:

  • Locate private healthcare providers through online directories, recommendations from GPs or acquaintances, and private health insurance companies.
  • When selecting a provider, assess factors like service variety, qualifications of medical staff, facility quality, and patient feedback.
  • Ensure compatibility with your health insurance coverage and verify the provider's recognition by your insurance company.

Understanding the British Culture 

Navigating British culture and workplace etiquette requires an understanding of some key differences, particularly in communication styles and attitudes towards holidays and social norms. In the UK, politeness reigns supreme, with individuals often going to great lengths to express opinions and views in a well-measured and polite manner. Don't be surprised if your British colleagues seem reserved or distant—it's likely a cultural trait rather than a personal slight. Additionally, Brits have a strong respect for holidays and annual leave, considering it a right for all working individuals rather than a luxury. You may also notice a heavy emphasis on apologizing, even for minor matters, reflecting the British value of politeness. Moreover, British society maintains a subtle class system, with individuals often identifying strongly with their social class. Despite these differences, Brits take pride in their rich cultural heritage, evident in their appreciation for literature, art, and history, which are woven into everyday life. Embrace the dry and deadpan humor prevalent in British culture, understanding that banter is often a sign of affection rather than offense.

  • If culture shock becomes overwhelming, don't hesitate to reach out for support. Seeking counseling or therapy can offer a supportive environment to address your emotions and develop effective coping mechanisms. Organizations such as The International Psychology Clinic specialize in assisting individuals with culture shock and homesickness, providing tailored services to enhance cultural understanding and facilitate smoother adaptation​​.
  • Approach the journey of cultural adaptation as a chance for personal development. Embrace an open-minded attitude, venture beyond your comfort zone, and actively participate in the community. 

British Work Environment and Job Research in Technology Industry 

What to consider: 

  • While the tech field may lean towards relaxed dress codes, it's still crucial to maintain professionalism in how you communicate and behave.
  • Collaboration and the capacity to excel within varied teams are greatly prized, mirroring the diversity seen within London's workforce.
  • Even though London's tech industry moves quickly, it's also important to prioritize a balanced lifestyle, ensuring work and personal life are in harmony.
  • Being able to adjust to change, whether it's changing project focuses or welcoming new technologies, is essential.

Job Research 

  • Job Boards: Utilize popular job boards like Indeed, Reed, and Totaljobs to search for IT roles in the UK. These platforms allow you to filter your search based on location, salary, and job type.
  • Specialized Tech Job Websites: Explore niche job websites specifically tailored for the tech industry, such as CWJobs, Dice, and GitHub Jobs. These platforms cater specifically to IT roles and often feature positions from leading tech companies.
  • LinkedIn: Leverage LinkedIn's job search feature to find IT jobs in the UK. Follow companies you're interested in and connect with recruiters or hiring managers to stay updated on job openings.
  • Industry Associations: Join industry associations and forums related to IT and technology in the UK. These platforms often share job postings, industry insights, and career development resources.
  • Online Forums and Communities: Participate in online forums and communities for IT professionals, such as Stack Overflow, Reddit's r/cscareerquestionsEU, and TechExams.net. These platforms offer valuable advice, job leads, and networking opportunities.

Networking Suggestions

Networking is crucial, especially when relocating to a new country like the UK, as it offers a multitude of benefits for IT specialists. By attending networking events, tech conferences, and industry meetups, professionals can establish meaningful connections within the UK's tech community, which can be instrumental in securing job opportunities, gaining insights into the local job market, and navigating the nuances of the industry in a new environment. 

Networking also provides a platform to learn about job openings that may not be advertised through traditional channels, as well as to gain valuable advice and guidance from seasoned professionals who have experience working in the UK tech sector.

IT specialists can network in the UK throuh various channels, including:

  • Tech Events and Conferences: Attend renowned tech conferences and events held in major cities like London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. Events like London Tech Week, TechCrunch Disrupt, and Web Summit attract industry professionals from around the world and provide ample networking opportunities.
  • Industry Meetups and Workshops: Join local tech meetups, workshops, and hackathons focused on specific technologies or areas of interest. Platforms like Meetup.com and Eventbrite list a wide range of tech-related events happening across the UK.
  • Professional Associations and Groups: Join professional associations and industry groups relevant to your field, such as the British Computer Society (BCS), Women in Tech UK, or the UK Oracle User Group. These associations often host networking events, seminars, and webinars tailored to IT professionals.
  • University Alumni Networks: Tap into alumni networks of UK universities, especially if you have studied or worked in the UK before. Alumni events and networking mixers provide opportunities to reconnect with former classmates and leverage shared academic or professional backgrounds.

Language Support

1. English Language Courses: For non-native speakers, mastering English is key to integrating into British society. Numerous institutions across the UK offer English language courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Look for courses provided by local colleges, universities, or language schools.

2. Online Resources for Learning English: There are plenty of online platforms and apps designed to help you learn English at your own pace. Websites like Duolingo, Babbel, and the British Council offer interactive lessons and resources to improve your language skills.

3.Practicing English Everyday: Engaging in everyday activities provides valuable opportunities to practice English naturally. Whether conversing with neighbors, shopping, or attending community gatherings, make the most of these interactions to improve your language skills. Additionally, consider joining language exchange meetups organized by libraries and community centers. These events offer a chance to converse with native English speakers interested in learning your language, fostering mutual language development.

How Tech Nomads Can Help

Do you find it hard to showcase and structure your achievements for the UK Global Talent Visa application? Or are you uncertain about relocation processes? Tech Nomads has your back. 

With our legal and technical expertise, we're dedicated to guiding your journey towards securing the UK Global Talent visa. Let us help clarify the process and enhance your application, ensuring your talents are properly recognized. 

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