Exceptional Promise more than 5 years of career but not as a developer

I want to apply under Exceptional Promise because in my opinion my work and experience is not good enough to be considered as Exceptional Talent.

Here is a brief history.

  • Completed Bachelors in Computer Science outside the UK in 2017.
  • Got a 40 hour contract working in customer support for a WordPress theme/plugin development company based in the US. I was mainly answering emails sometimes would provide CSS to fix some minor issues. There were higher levels of support and any emails that took longer than 10-15 minutes would be escalated.
  • 4 years into the job I started a blog answering questions that were frequently asked by customers.
  • Around the same time started developing WordPress plugins.
  • Kept working at the company full time and worked on blog and plugins in my spare time for some more time.
  • Felt the job was not fulfilling and not something I wanted to do long term so decided to a Masters degree from the UK.
  • Came to the UK to study on the Masters degree in 2021.
  • Finished with distinction in September 2022.
  • Got a permanent role working as a PHP developer since September 2022.

Now according to the Tech Nation Visa Guidance. They can consider people with more than 5 years of experience if experience is not in a related field. Below are the words from the Tech Nation website.

Exceptional promise applicants are likely to have less than 5 years of experience in technology, but can have had a longer career in another type of work. You must be able to prove your potential to be a leader through your skills and achievements.

Furthermore under the example of Technical Skills list


It does not mention customer support roles such as the one I did for 4 year I finished my Bachelors degree.

My question is do you think they will consider me for Exceptional Promise given my history?

Obviously I know you don’t work for Tech Nation so if you have seen/read anything relevant then I would appreciate it if you can share the link or what you remember about it here.

Also with my history and Tech Nation guidelines if you were hypothetically the one assessing my application would you consider me for the Exceptional Promise route?

I would strongly assert in my statement that I was working in a customer support role full time since bachelors and even when I started developing WordPress plugins I was doing it in my spare time outside my 40 hour work week. So if I developed my first plugin in 2019 then even then by 2020 it would not count as 1 year of career in tech as I only did it when I could and still did full time job in the customer support role.

I plan to make a separate post to ask for a review of my profile for exceptional promise but a summary is below.

  • Developer 5 WordPress plugins available on the WordPress plugin repository. Open source and free to use. They have more than 15,000 active installs.
  • Started a blog which gets over 4000 visitors per month.
  • Got a distinction in the Masters Course that I completed from a UK university.
  • Have 3 premium plugins which I am selling on a marketplace which are earning $400 dollars on average. Yes, dollars not pounds.

I think you qualify as a promise given the explanation in the guide. You have a strong application. I wish you good luck.

What is th list of evidence you want to use fir the mandatory and optional criteria?


For Mandatory Criteria I am thinking

  1. A high salary as a PHP developer and use Payscale for reference. I am at 40,000 pounds and payscale says the average is 30,000.


Also use the below to indicate that I am at a high percentile.

https://www.gov .uk/government/statistics/percentile-points-from-1-to-99-for-total-income-before-and-after-tax

  1. Working on open source projects. The WordPress plugins I have developed are available on WordPress.org It is a public repository of WordPress plugins. They have commit histories and have been updated regularly including support questions being answered. They have over 15,000 installs combined meaning being used on at least 15,000 websites by people.

Outside of your normal day-to-day job role, you led or were a significant contributor to a substantial open source project, as evidenced from compilation of code commit summaries, repo stars or similar metrics such as download statistics, where possible.

For Optional Criteria

I am going to choose OC2 and OC3.


I will have to go back to the WordPress plugins and mention the points again that I did previously. This is also a point of confusion for me. Is it ok to reuse things in the optional criteria that I mentioned in mandatory criteria?

Evidence of contributions to an Open Source project
Your GitHub profile demonstrating active participation in a collaborative project


I want to go for commercial or entrepreneurial contributions

As mentioned in my post I also have premium plugins that I sell on a plugin marketplace. It is making around $400 per month on average since March 2023. It seems be increasing a little each month. I am only doing this part time and still have a full time job working as a PHP developer. Maybe that will be considered as I never really worked fulltime on my own business.

Also the blog I have gets around 4000 visitors a month and answers questions related to WordPress and has a lot of guides. I don’t know where I would include this blog in the optional criteria.

Also since January worked as a Freelance developer on Upwork and earned around $1000-1500

Obviously this is not final or finished. I am still working on it and learning more about Tech Nation criteria and formatting every day.

Please feel free to criticize anything you think is wrong or incorrect.