Global Talent Visa in COVID 19

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa (Global Talent Visa) is not adversely affected by coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19 ruined many plans (and even lives) worldwide. That’s why for Global Talent Visa applicants it is important to know what’s going on. Moreover, these brand-new visas (well-known as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in the past) were introduced only two months ago. My readers are also concerned about things. Hence, let’s speak about the talent visa process and other legal stuff, affected by a coronavirus.

Exceptional Talent Visa applications in COVID 19

Recently I got a question from one of my readers:

“Hi, Andrii,

Thank you so much for the clarification. Can I still continue with the visa application? Despite the situation globally. I am supposed to go and meet with one of my references but there is lockdown currently in N.

Kind advice.

Warm regards,
Your Exceptionally Talented Reader”

By the way, if you have your own question, please, feel free to write to me as well.

On March 24, Home Office issued separate clear guidance. It is called Coronavirus (COVID 19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents. It worths to read it since the document is not too long.

Regarding the visa application process – in general, it does not have any significant changes in the overall procedure.

Delays in Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

The only thing, which is slightly affected by the coronavirus outbreak is timing. Due to staff shortage, some of the tasks take longer time than before. For example, replying to queries or accepting new Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) applications. Forwarding documentation to Endorsement Panel is also on a list.

Hence, you must expect that you need to wait longer for your Endorsement and even vignette. But there is no alternative way or complaint scheme. You know better than me that the world is in an emergency state now. Hence, the Home Office cannot simply change the order of their bureaucratic things. However, following the old procedures is quite time-consuming in our new reality.

At the same time, mentioned problems does not mean anything for you. As a digital expert who wants to apply for a Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) keep calm. The scheme is open and accepting new applicants. Dot.

Continue drafting your Personal Statement and a search of people to give you Letter of Recommendation.

Free Template to Contact Home Office

The last aspect related to this matter – quite individual. What do you need to do if Home Office delays to reply regarding your Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) application?

Firstly, I think now you need to give more time for the Home Office for a reply. Add 7 – 10 days more to your expected date and it will be a good time to contact them.

Secondly, be as precise and short as possible. Think how many dozens and hundreds of emails the Home Office experts have every day. Please, follow this template letter to contact the Home Office regarding your Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) application:

“Dear Sir / Madam,

My name is Nice Name. I am a citizen of the Best Country (passport number AB 123456).

On February 20, I applied for Global Talent Visa in Digital Technologies (Exceptional Promise, business route).

As of April 20, I have not got any confirmation of the safe delivery for my visa application. (Or you can write: “I don’t have any news about the Endorsement”).

I will wait for any updates from you regarding my case.

Thank you.
Sincerely,
The Applicant”

After sending this type of request Home Office will reply you within a couple of days. What address to use? Look below, I discuss this question at the end.

Endorsed talents who cannot travel to the UK

In the mentioned Home Office guidelines, there is one interesting paragraph. It is relevant for applicants who were successful to get an endorsement:

If you are applying for a Global Talent, Start-up or Innovator visa

If your endorsement from an endorsing body has expired because you have not been able to travel to the UK you may still be eligible for a visa. You should make your application as planned and we will consider all applications on a case by case basis.


Home Office Guidance on Coronavirus (COVID 19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents (March 2020)

It may happen that you have already got your Endorsement. Moreover, you may even successfully applied to Visa stage. It will lead to a vignette of Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) in your passport. But this coronavirus outbreak turned everything upside down.

Now you have a legal excuse. You are allowed to arrive to the UK later. This means you will not be (a) fined, (b) punished with the loss of your visa. Is your visa till April 20? You will arrive on April 23? This is completely fine. Just arrive even with your expired visa.

At the same time, it is better to avoid future stress upon your flight to the UK. It is better to contact the special department of the Home Office regarding your case. There is a team within the Home Office, responsible for cases related to COVID-19. They can clarify your personal issue.

Free Sample Letter to Request Home Office About Help

Please, feel free to use this template to request the Home Office about help in your immigration case:

“Dear Sir / Madam,

My name is Nice Name. I am a citizen of the Best Country (passport number AB 123456).

On February 20, I was endorsed by Tech Nation as an Exceptional Promise (URN1234567890).

On April 20, I got my passport with vignette for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa). The expiration date of the vignette is May 20, 2020.

I tried to buy tickets to fly to the UK. However, due to lockdown in my Best Country, all airports are closed till May 31, 2020.

Can I have an individual excuse of late arrival to the UK caused by the coronavirus?

How can I secure my possibility to leave my Best Country smoothly? Am I allowed to enter the UK with an expired vignette of Global Talent Visa in my passport?

Thank you so much for your help.
Sincerely,
The Applicant”

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa – action required

Recipients of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa have slightly different problems. Majority of them is related to a talent visa extension. There is two possible situations:

  • You are already a talent with Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa for some period. But the duration of your visa is short. Hence, you are not allowed to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). But your need to extend the visa. For example, after the expiration of a 2-year visa, Exceptional Promise wants to pay for the next three years.
  • a person has already lived in the UK some time. For Exceptional talents, the period is three years. For Exceptional Promises, it is five years and then you need to apply for ILR now.

Talent visa extension in any of these cases will go via the online application process. But on the stage of taking you biometrical data, there is a delay with unknown duration. Royal Mail post offices do not provide the required services in the circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak. Hence, you will wait until further notice from the Home Office.

Action plan on Endorsement Stage

The world will be in a deep economic crisis caused by COVID-19. If you are on the initial stage of visa application do the following:

  1. If you want to apply for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) – go ahead. Apply your documents to the Home Office for Endorsement.
  2. For many people, who have already sent documents for Endorsement but still have not got any reply. Add 7 – 10 days of a possible delay. If you do not have any reply – it is reasonable to ask Home Office politely about your case.
  3. For unlucky talents, who got non-Endorsement, +please, don’t wait for a miracle and apply for the Endorsement Review asap.

Action plan on Visa Stage

After a partial opening of global borders in different countries you need to do one of the following:

  1. If you already got your Endorsement, wait a little bit before applying for the visa stage. According to the legislation you have three months to get your vignette. Your Endorsement letter must confirm this fact.
    Moreover, visa centres are closed so you cannot bring the documents for final approval. Hence, even after successful online application, you will be stuck on the final point of appointment at the visa centre.
  2. If you have your Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) as a vignette in your passport – be happy. If you cannot fly to the UK – don’t worry. Read the thoughts above. Then contact the Home Office if you feel completely unsecured.
  3. If you need to apply for talent visa extension – apply online. However, again you will be stuck on the final point of collecting your biometrical data. Anyway, apply, please. Home Office will not excuse you for wasting time. But you may lose your visa or ILR at all.
In a case of emergency in your Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) application, you have always a chance to contact a competent person
In a case of emergency in your Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) application, you have always a chance to contact a competent person

Emergency Contacts for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

I understand the depth of stress for you as an applicant for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa). Hence, I can share three main contacts to ask for help:

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.

For additional assistance, please, contact help@talentvisahelp.com

Author: Andrii Seleznov

TalentVisaHelp is an independent project to help more talents and promises to come to the United Kingdom. This project is created by Andrii Seleznov, Tier 1 Exceptional Promise visa recipient and Tech Nation Visa Ambassador in past. Andrii is an experienced entrepreneur, professional engineer and technical founder at Petiole. Additionally, Andrii is an Alumni Mentor at GIST Tech-I Competition and winner of local agritech Hackathons in Ukraine.

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