Choose between different referees

Readers ask many questions about Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

Sometimes you can be so lucky that you need to choose referees for Exceptional Talent Visa from a list. Probably, you have a good network. As a result, you need just to pick the names. And these people are ready to support you.

These people are called referees. They can give you a Letter of Recommendation. Or just a supporting letter as one of the 10 required documents.

For other people, this process is not so smooth. Let’s consider a real case when a person needs to choose three C-level managers to ask about the letter. I got this question a couple days ago.

How to choose the right person for Letter of Recommendation?

Hi Andreii,

I am a UI/UX designer involved in Video editing and working for big Indian companies like Company1 and Company2, I also hold a degree from the UK in management and work experience in the UK.

For the last few days, I have been reading your blogs and columns very thoroughly and thanks to you have made an idea about the process.

So if I would love to seek your help and guidance on what to write and submit for the below.

1. Evidence to support Key Criteria & Qualifying Criteria – What to write or mention 
2. CV – I can manage
3. SOP – I can manage
4. RECO Letters- I have CEO of Company2, CTO of Company2 and Ex Company3 (British National) and SVP of Company4 (US National), Managing Partner of Company5 (Canadian National) and Company6 director and Company7 (British National)

(Who do you think will make the best recommendation)

5. What to show in 10 pieces of evidence.

Please help

Applicant for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa (Global Talent Visa)
Choose referees for Exceptional Talent Visa. Pay attention to their background and main expertise. Also, you cannot have two referees from the same company. Photo credit: Kaleidico
Choose referees for Exceptional Talent Visa. Pay attention to their background and main expertise. Also, you cannot have two referees from the same company. Photo credit: Kaleidico

Criteria to choose referees in Global Talent Visa

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your email and questions.

First of all, I must say that it is completely difficult for me to say what key criteria and qualifying criteria you need to apply.

But trying to do this, I have a question – do you plan to apply as Talent or Promise? Your answer will significantly impact on the answer for your own question 1. Anyway, I always suggest Home Office Guideline as the starting point for any thoughts about Global Talent Visa.

4. Firstly, you need to choose referees for Exceptional Talent Visa between the CEO and CTO of Company2.

There is an alternative too. You can use one as a letter of recommendation but the other one – as a supporting document. As a rule of thumb, you can’t use two letters of recommendation from the managers of the same company. This will be harmful. And one of the reasons for refusal.

Then regarding your other candidates, I can say the following:

  • SVP of Company3 (US National) – a good candidate
  • Managing partner of Company4 (Canadian National) – not clear how he is related to digital technology. It is better to use the letter from him as a supporting document;
  • Company5 director and SVP Company6 (British National) – a good candidate

In relation to Question 5 – please, read this article. Surely, it will give you ideas what to show in supporting documents.


As you see, the main criteria to choose referees for Exceptional Talent Visa consists of the following parts:

  1. the person has to work in digital technologies. Or in your niche area. In other words, if you have a startup in health tech, don’t ask car dealer about a letter of recommendation;
  2. you need to know each other. You may meet just one time a life. Even by Zoom or Skype. But you must be introduced;
  3. ideally, he or she has to be a resident or citizen of the developed countries. For example, the UK, USA, Canada or the European Union, etc. It doesn’t mean that other countries are bad. No, it isn’t true. I just point your attention to statistics;
  4. C-level of management. In general, this is must-have. You cannot avoid this. Also, I wrote a whole article about the case, when HR can’t give you a strong Letter of Recommendation;
  5. the international reputation of the company. If the company has scandals or not very positive reputation – it is still fine. Just try to avoid truly evil companies related to huge fraud.

Think about all of the criteria. Consider your referee through these aspects. Also read this article.

If you have any uncertainty – then ask more experienced people.

Hope, this will help you. But if you still have questions – let me know, please. I will be more than happy to help.

Sincerely, Andrii Seleznov

Talent Visa Help has been created for informational purpose and is not an official guidance for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) application.

Talent Visa Help should not be used as a substitute for the official Tech Nation Guideline or Home Office Guideline. Talent Visa Help is NOT linked either with Tech Nation or Home Office. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the texts belong solely to the authors at Talent Visa Help. The contents of Talent Visa Help do not constitute legal advice and authors accept no liability for the accuracy of information provided. Applicants should always consult the official governmental guidance and seek professional immigration advice where appropriate.

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2 thoughts on “Choose between different referees

  1. Does the company need to be one big tech companies, for tech talent scenario, or a CEO from a promising start-up is also acceptable?

    1. Hi Ashraf,
      Thank you for your question.
      As usual, we don’t have only one answer to this question.
      Big tech companies are widely appreciated. But CEO of a promising start-up may be a relevant person as well. Depending on the scale of startup’s activity, the status, investment activities and other reputational and financial factors.
      Also, it is important to mention that the question is relevant for the Letter of Recommendation. For supporting letter, both of the categories are good.

      Andrii Seleznov

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