[Exception Talent] Rejected, review for appeal


I submitted the below application and received rejection. Please help me to review the next steps:

  • Company 1 (FAANG) (US)
  • Company 2 (FAANG) (UK)
  • Company 3 (big tech) (UK) (present)


  • Company 1: Senior Staff Engineer. Holds multiple patents and high citation score
  • Company 2/3: TPM at both Company 2 and 3. Currently a CEO of a startup
  • Company 3: Engineering Director


  1. High salary in Company 2 and 3. Added comparison with the UK market and award letters
  2. High salary at company 1 (in the US) along with multiple bonus letters
  3. Reference letter from an tech interview preparation institute outside the UK. Outlines my contribution in helping them design multiple course curriculum, guest lectures and mentored numerous students over the years. I have also conducted mock interviews for these students. This letter includes screenshots of one such guest lecture with > 100 students.
  4. Reference letter from Company 3 skip manager highlighting my leadership qualities in establishing and leading an entire team.


  1. Project reference from Company 2. I introduced a new metric system to measure a problem. Prior to my work, measuring this was not easy. This new metric system resulted in users’ well being, especially children.
  2. Project reference from Company 1. An innovative design to restructure the entire data processing pipeline. This helped the company to reduce delay for the existing multi-billion dollar revenue product.
  3. Project reference from Company 3. Innovative real-time design for a highly scalable and latency sensitive system.


  1. Project reference from Company 1. Designed, developed and launched a feature on a user facing product. Resulted in the media mentioning about this launch and unblocking a big infrastructure product internally. I provided the media links and awards I received within this letter.
  2. Project reference from Company 3. Integrated a new technology into an existing old system. This resulted in the launch of new models with lower latency and increased user penetration by millions.
  3. [re-use]. Impact on the multi-billion dollar revenue product.

I received a rejection on all 3 criteria.

“There is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the applicant is recognised as leading and exceptional talent within the digital technology sector. Whilst the reference letters are supportive they largely relate to character or in support of the role the applicant was recruited to do. Whilst the applicant is a a skilled engineer, valued colleague and team member this is insufficient to demonstrate extraordinary ability or expertise to be leading talent at the forefront of the sector. We are also unable to see sustained national or international recognition that would demonstrate the applicants presence as an expert within the technology sector. The applicant has not met the Mandatory Criteria.”

“OC1 - the applicant has not provided sufficient evidence and supporting documentation to demonstrate a proven and sustained track record of innovation as a founder or senior executive of a product led digital technology company or as an employee working on a new digital field or concept. Whilst there are notable examples the evidence does not provide sufficient detail to demonstrate how the applicant
has a track record of innovation and impact on the sector a direct result of the applicants work. In addition statements relating to Graphn at Company 3 cannot be evidenced within the application. The applicant has not met the criteria for OC1.”

“OC3 - the applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate significant contribution technically, commercially or entrepreneurial contribution to the field as a founder or employee of a product led digital technology company. The evidence provided does not provide clarity of impact, results and outcomes as a direct result of the applicants work. The applicant has not met the criteria for OC3.”

It feels like all the evidence was ignored. The impact letters had graphs and media links but still no consideration of them.

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Sorry about your rejection. When did you submit your application and how long did it take for them to get back to you?

You evidence are mostly reference letters. The guide states that reference letters alone are not sufficient to meet the criteria. You had tow evidence of high salary in the mandatory criteria, this could have passed for a single evidence. Reference letter from the institute could have sufficed if it is renowned but the assessor may not see it as a substantial evidence. Your evidence for OC1 sounds like you were showing proof of impact.

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Thanks @Francisca_Chiedu for the reply.

I was not able to outline the details for OC1 as it would require me to explain the internal projects.
5> It was around the line that I introduced a new metric that changed how things are measured in the entire org. This was ultimately used by the team involved with the well-being of children
6> The solution I designed helped how the company measured a multi-billion dollar revenue product. It was innovative because no one has considered using such an approach before and ultimately resulted in revolutionizing the space
7> A big system design with a hybrid approach to solve the problem.

In all the above examples, the innovation is due to the out of the box thinking.

I submitted on 1st March and received the decision on 21st March