On 31 January 2023, Tech Nation, the Home Office’s partner and endorsing body for digital technology Global Talent Visa applications, made a surprising announcement that as of 31 March 2023, it will be closing its doors.
Citing the loss of funding from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) as the reason for the closure, Tech Nation has advised it will continue to process Global Talent Visa Endorsement applications until 31 March. Late last year the DCMS awarded the latest Digital Growth Grant to Barclays Eagle Lab.
We have already connected with the Home Office to ascertain what lies ahead for the Global Talent Visa route for digital technology applicants. Tech Nation has endorsed more than 3,000 tech talents, and we await confirmation from the Home Office on the future of the route both for those already endorsed and for individuals who have applications pending with Tech Nation.
The Home Office has not made a formal announcement yet but has stated that they are working closely with Tech Nation to ensure that there is continuity of the digital technology strand of the Global Talent visa in the short term, whilst they explore the long-term changes necessary in light of Tech Nation’s planned closure.
We will maintain engagement with the Home Office so that the UK can continue to benefit from welcoming the best tech brains in the world.
Update: 6 February 2023
In addition to our communications with the Home Office, we have also been liaising with Tech Nation who have confirmed to us that they will continue the processing of Global Talent Visa Endorsement applications up to and beyond 31 March 2023. We will continue to press the Home Office for further details on the future structure of the digital Technology strand of the Global Talent Visa route.
Update: 7 February 2023
Further to our own and collective liaison with the Home Office, we have received confirmation that the closure of Tech Nation will not adversely impact those currently holding endorsements when an application for an extension or settlement is to be made.
The UK Immigration Rules state that where a person has a visa/permission to be in the UK under the Global Talent route, their visa/permission may be cancelled ‘if the endorsing body ceases to hold that status’. The Home Office has advised that:
The Home Office will take all available steps to ensure that applicants already part of the Global Talent route are not disadvantaged by the closure of Tech Nation. Applicants are not required to obtain a further endorsement for either an extension or settlement.