Appeal Rejected, Extremely Disappointed With The Review Panel

I don’t know who are in this review panel, but I’m really disappointed with their ignorance and unprofessionalism. I can accept my application was rejected, but I can’t accept the rational used to reject it.


  1. Application submitted in early April. Rejection received in mid June.
  2. Submitted appeal 1 week later. Received rejection this week.

Panel feedback for the original application

My first reaction to this feedback was that the panel did not read my application. Some of this feedback might make sense. But it generally sounds overly passive and biased to me.

My appeal

I explained a few points below:

  1. Since November 2022, the guide has explicitly removed the requirement for reference letters from different organizations (as stated in its changelog).
  2. The guide only sets a limit. It doesn’t promote a high amount of evidence.
  3. In my personal statement I elaborated on how my research experience affected my current work and my future plan.
  4. At Meta, the launch of a new product is always the result of collective efforts involving a substantial group of individuals. It is highly uncommon, if not impossible, to mention specific individuals in public announcements or news reports. However, the letters explicitly acknowledge my leading role and significant contributions to these projects.
  5. Speaking engagements etc are not mandatory evidence for the mandatory criteria.
  6. My payslip clearly states my quarterly RSU vesting and my Year To Date gross income (>£200k), which is the top 5% salary for software engineers in the UK (median £78k) according to (Software Engineer Salary in United Kingdom). None of the Meta applicants I know was questioned for that.
  7. Thoroughly explained how I met MC by leading the growth of teams and products inside a digital technology company, earning high salary, etc.
  8. Thoroughly explained how I met OC1 by continuously working on innovative digital concepts as an employee. Explained why products I led and launched were highly innovative.

Panel feedback for appeal

For MC1, the applicant is required to demonstrate how they have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology sector in the last 5 years through extraordinary ability by sustained national or international recognition which places them at the forefront of their respective field in the digital technology sector. We agree that none of the evidence presented including media articles, academic research from over 5 years ago, compensation and recommendations demonstrates how the applicant individually meets this threshold. We agree that MC1 has not been met.

For OC1, the applicant is required to demonstrate a proven track record or examples of innovation in the digital technology sector as a founder or senior executive of a product-led digital technology company or an employee working in a new digital field or concept. We agree that evidence submitted including examples of the Meta’s XXXXXX are not sufficiently novel or innovative to meet this criteria. We agree that OC1 has not been met.

For OC3, the applicant is required to demonstrate significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder, senior executive, board member or employee of a product-led digital technology company. We agree that the applicant’s technical work on their 2 main projects at Meta enable them to meet this threshold. Overall we agree that OC3 has been met.

My thoughts

  1. The panel’s requirement for reference letters to be from different companies doesn’t make any sense to me. A lot of recent successful endorsements for Meta employees used letters exclusively from Meta. Why was my application treated differently? Besides, my referees are well-respected leaders in the tech industry. They hold/held positions (some of them have left Meta) like Meta Director in the US, Twitter Director in the US, Head of XX at Nextdoor in the US, CTO of multiple UK companies, VP of renowned companies in South America, and more. Why did the panel think it’s “disappointing”? Is it better, or does it make sense, to honor letters from different small companies (no offense to other applicants) instead?
  2. The launch of the products I worked on was phenomenal and caused heated discussion for their bold innovation. It has been reported over 20k times in the past few years by top-tier media like CNN, BBC, New York Times, etc. The news reports were attached as evidence. It’s quite shocking that panel couldn’t see it and simply denied it by “We do not believe XX to be innovative or novel enough to qualify”.
  3. I don’t know what is considered as an exceptional salary and how many applicants earn more than £200k.

My plan

Going to leave UK and go back to the US. Hope Tech Nation can find the talents they consider as real talents (no offense to those who have got the endorsements).


Sorry this is not the outcome you expected. Having read the feedback, it appears you did not provide sufficient evidence. If you check most successful applicants they provide a diverse pool of references to show they are known and respected in the sector. You application was most people from meta, the guide states that references from immediate colleagues are not sufficient. You also need to know that Tech Nation receives hundreds of applications so it is possible that at the time of your application there are more people with more outstanding evidence.

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Thank you for your reply Francisca. The evidence was there, they just didn’t read them, or assessed them for points I was not trying to prove. I can easily break down the evidence into more pieces to make it 10, but what’s the point of that if the current way of organizing it provides the same amount of value?

3/4 reference letters are from directors or skip managers. They are not my immediate colleagues. Besides, they are from different orgs of Meta, it’s equivalent to different medium companies. This was clearly stated in the appeal. It’s a shame that the panel think reference letters from top-tier tech companies carry less weight than letters from smaller companies.

Yes I agree that there might be more outstanding applications at the time of my submission, but like I said in the post, I’m OK with my application rejected, but I can’t accept the panel’s reasons for rejecting it.

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Did you hire a lawyer? I HIGHLY recommend doing so if not. Fragomen is good for this sort of thing.

Sounds like your presentation was the issue. The brits are big on it. You can’t just throw 10 pages up, it needs to be idiot proof.

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