Tech Nation to cease operations from 31 March 2023

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Posted on 01 Feb 2023

Tech Nation to cease operations from 31 March 2023

Tech Nation to cease operations

Tech Nation, one of the main endorsing bodies for the Global Talent visa route, has announced that it will cease operations from 31 March 2023 after losing funds from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

The Global Talent visa route is open to leaders and potential leaders in the fields of (1) digital technology, (2) academia or research and (3) arts and culture. Successful applicants are granted permission to stay in the UK for between one and five years and can work for any employer in the UK.

Currently, to apply for a Global Talent visa, the individual must, first, obtain an endorsement from a Home Office-approved endorsing body. Tech Nation is the endorsing body for leaders and potential leaders in the digital technology sector. It has (according to its announcement) endorsed more than 3,000 visas. The announcement from Tech Nation says that:

“As a direct result of the DCMS grant withdrawal, Tech Nation will be ceasing all existing operations through a carefully planned wind-down and has commenced a redundancy consultation process. Tech Nation is also actively seeking interested parties to acquire its portfolio of assets to take forward in a new guise.”

It goes on to say that:

“We have exhaustively explored whether Tech Nation could continue without core government grant funding, but have concluded after extensive consultation that this is not an option… The work we do with our accelerator programs, insights and research reports, the Growth Platform, visa processing for the Home Office, and so much more, has all been built on the foundation of our core grant funding from DCMS. With this foundation removed, Tech Nation’s remaining activities are not viable on a standalone basis and the unique Tech Nation model that we have built upon this foundation can no longer be supported”.

In relation to Global Talent visas, the statement confirms that:

“The Home Office has been notified of Tech Nation’s plans to cease operations and our visa programme will continue in the immediate term.”

For now, it seems that Tech Nation will continue to accept new endorsement applications from Global Talent candidates, however the future of the Tech Nation endorsement process is uncertain. News reports have indicated that the Home Office is working closely with Tech Nation to ensure continued offering for the digitech component of the Global Talent visa but only in the short term, whilst it explores long-term options. Significantly, the Home Office has yet to formally respond to Tech Nation’s announcement and so we await details of how the UK government will continue to attract and retain the best tech talent from around the world to work in the UK’s digital technology sector.

Hopefully the Home Office will clarify this soon. This announcement comes at a particularly difficult time, with a number of tech firms announcing redundancies and many sponsored workers in the tech sector considering the Global Talent route as a way to remain living and working in the UK.

If you have any questions or concerns about this announcement or want to discuss alternative immigration routes that may be available to you, please contact a member of our Immigration Team.

Anita de Atouguia

Anita has specialised in immigration law for over 20 years and is one of the UK's leading immigration experts. She joined Doyle Clayton in 2012 to set up its Immigration service having worked in the immigration practices of some of the UK’s best known full service law firms including CMS and Lewis Silkin.

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Malini Skandachanmugarasan

Malini has specialised in immigration law for well over a decade and is one of the UK's leading immigration experts.

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