Those familiar with the Global Talent Visa will know that Tech Nation provides endorsement for those applying as a leader or potential leader under the digital technology category. At the end of January, Tech Nation announced that they will be ceasing operations on 31st March 2023. In this article, we look at the announcement to close Tech Nation and what this means for digital technology Global Talent visa applicants.
Tech Nation Announces Closure
On 31st January 2023, Tech Nation issued a statement announcing that it will close at the end of March 2023; “After a decade as a government-backed organisation serving the UK scaleup tech ecosystem, we are today announcing that Tech Nation will be closing its doors from 31st March 2023. Tech Nation’s core grant funding from DCMS is being awarded to Barclays Bank. With this foundation removed, Tech Nation’s remaining activities are not viable on a standalone basis”.
The news that Tech Nation is to close will come as a real shock to many who saw it as a key contributor to the success of the UK’s technology sector. Indeed, as Tech Nation explain, while 80% of start-ups fail within 2-5 years, 95% of start-ups, with their support, went on to successfully scale to the next level. Tech Nation is behind some of the largest UK technology firms, including Monzo, Revolut, Depop, Bloom & Wild, Zilch, Just Eat, Darktrace, Marshmallow, Ocado, Skyscanner, Peak AI and Deliveroo,
Will Barclays Take Over Global Talent Visa Endorsement?
Reading the announcement by Tech Nation, you might assume that Barclays will be taking over the endorsement of Global Talent visa applicants, however, this is not the case. On 20th January 2023, Barclays Eagle Labs was awarded a £12.09m government grant to support UK start-ups and scaleups, but not visa endorsement. Paul Scully, MP representing the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, stated, “Combined investment from Eagle Labs and the government will increase support for the tech sector so more than 22,000 businesses can benefit, with at least 80 per cent based outside London”.
What Does The Closure Of Tech Nation Mean For Global Talent Visa Applicants?
As of the time of writing (13th February 2023), there is no replacement to take over the endorsement of applicants necessary before applying for a Global Talent visa. This will no doubt create considerable uncertainty for those who are planning to use this immigration route to bring their skills to the UK in the coming months. For this reason, we recommend submitting your endorsement application to Tech Nation as soon as possible before it ceases operations.
It is sometimes difficult to understand what motivates certain high-level decisions by the government, especially when they have not provided a clear route forward for those who intend to bring their highly valuable digital technology leadership and potential leadership skills to the UK. To discuss your visa options in light of the imminent closure of Tech Nation, speak to an immigration Solicitor who will be able to advise you based on your circumstances and the latest information available.
Garth Coates is a leading niche immigration firm based in the heart of London, specialising in all forms of personal and business immigration, including visas, global mobility, sponsorship and compliance, settlement, and citizenship. To discuss how best to challenge a visa refusal based on your circumstances, please contact one of our friendly and approachable immigration Solicitors on Tel: +44 (0)20 7799 1600 or by completing our online contact form.