Rejected - App/Software Development (Software Engineer)

Hi everyone, so I decided to share my rejection and I would like everyone to review it if I am currently not qualified and I would like to work on the weak areas. I applied for this GT Visa because I thought I am qualified for it and based on the feedback I received from those who got ENDORSED. I applied inside the UK and I do not want to be on the Skilled worker visa route as the GT Visa gives some kind of flexibility, although the end goal for both is still the ILR. I will apply again next year based on the feedback I receive here and work on those weak things. As @Francisca_Chiedu said, I might feel I have similar evidence with those who got endorsed, but our approach might be different, which is totally right. What I just discovered is that the reviewer ignored key things and used what he/she felt is weak against me. I am going to explain after you read the Assessment panel feedback

Below is the feedback I received from TN.
Assessment panel feedback:
The applicant should not be endorsed for the Exceptional Promise visa. He has not provided compelling
or sufficient evidence to demonstrate that he has been recognized as having the potential to be a
leading talent in the digital technology sector. He has applied under Optional Criteria 2 and 3 (OC2 and
The evidence provided from AAA, which is a school, isn’t relevant or suitable for this visa as the
organization isn’t a product-led technology company, even if he is working for them in a technical
capacity. For this reason, the reference from the CTO of AAA is also not relevant or compelling
towards meeting the threshold criteria for this visa. The salary evidence provided is as a freelancer on
Upwork/Fiverr and not suitable evidence of a salary at a full-time job at a product-led technology
company. The speaking engagement at BBB in 2020, where he was one of four speakers with
100 attendees, is also not at an event of international prestige or sufficient attendance that confirms the
applicant’s leading talent.
The academic reference is not suitable for the purposes of this visa even if it speaks of the applicant as
being a diligent and smart student. It does not relate to his work at a product-led digital technology
company. It also appears that a lot of his work experience is as a freelancer and has overlapped with
his career as an MSc student, which while creditable, isn’t suitable evidence of exceptional potential or
a sign of being at the forefront of his field. We also note that while there are numerous reference letters
that the applicant has provided, they are mostly generic and light on detail. They repeat elements of his
CV and also use similar format or words/phrases used by the applicant, which leads to more questions
than confirmatory evidence of having potential to be a leading talent. The paper the applicant wrote on
Machine Learning hasn’t been peer reviewed or published in any prestigious journal of national or
international repute.
We are unable to award the Mandatory Criteria to the applicant.
Regarding OC2, we are unable to see any recognition the applicant has received for work outside of his
main occupation that has advanced the field. Mentoring in the tech ecosystem is considered to be an
activity most tech professionals engage in and isn’t outside of their occupation, and we do not see how
the applicant advanced the field through mentoring. Further, it appears to be a one-off mentoring
engagement platform that the application has built which is yet to see heavy engagement. It is also not
a part of a structured programme with strict criteria for who can be a mentor and measuring what impact
this platform is having on mentees. The applicant’s work in the Open Source community is also
provided without any evidence of where and how he was recognized for it. We are unable to award
Regarding OC3, the applicant has provided his work at CCC, DDD and EEE in support of
this criteria. However, we are not able to identify why his work was significant and how the significance
was measured or quantified, and what impact it had. Developing an application for “vendors and
customers” as written in the JTalk reference letter isn’t compelling evidence to satisfy this criteria which
has a higher threshold. We are unable to award OC3.
As the applicant has not met the criteria, we are unable to endorse him

a. AAA (is an educational technology start-up preparatory school that gets students ready for local and international universities). invested over ÂŁ200,000 in Nigeria.
b. BBB (its a financial service that provides banking solutions that enable businesses to collect payments, access loans, manage operations and ultimately grow their business).
c. CCC (a reading platform, eduTech)
d. DDD (health care, healthTech)
e. EEE (a platform to pay for utility bills, buy airtime, subscription etc)

I provided 3 LOR (2 senior members in a MAANG companies who are also a CTO in a growth startup company & a Professor in Computer, a 3-page CV, PS(submitted on TN) 10 Evidence and MC: 7, OC2: 3, OC3: 2. it means 2 of the MC is also provided for OC2. I worked directly with them as a technical partner and have shares in the company.

MC: 1,2,3,4,5, 6,7 OC2: 6,7,8, OC3: 9,10

Mandatory Criteria:

  1. *You led the growth of a product-led digital technology company, product or team inside a digital technology company, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, or as evidenced by news clippings, lines of code from public repos or similar evidence.

(i) I partnered with this start-up company from the beginning to provide solutions by building a web application using the latest technologies, which led to the company’s first successful product being deployed to the market. AAA is leveraging on my technical skills, especially in machine learning to perform predictive analytics of student performance and other modules. I developed an intelligent system where it learns and adapts through experience. My technical ability led to the first successful release application for the company. The platform I led has recorded over 250 registered students so far (I added a screenshot to proof the metrics, a screenshot showing my commit history (over 400 commits) on GitHub since it’s a private repo, an email in 2020 from the CTO giving me the accolades during our yearly Executive summary of collective achievement and a news clipping from google showing the platform).

ii) I work for Unite US in United state for 6 months and its also a digital product led company. even though as a technical applicant as stated on the TN website

  1. Offer Letter for the Role of Technical Partner in AAA showing share and all + another Reference letter from a Lead solution architect who knows about the work.

  2. I added high salary of CCC and also my history of earnings (weekly payslip which is over ÂŁ1k pw) on upwork/ fiverr. I stopped working as a freelance (on those platform) in 2020 and the TN still picked on it and ignored the CCC own which is even current.

  3. 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.

In 2020, I received a badge from GitHub called GitHub Arctic Code Vault Contributor for contributing to an open-source project, as shown in the screenshot below. I created an open-source project on an Electronic Voting System made for the public, which is being used. I added this evidence in my OC2 but TN said I didn’t provide any evidence and I even added a link to my repo showing the badge.

  1. You have received nationally or internationally recognised prizes or awards for excellence specifically in the digital technology sector

In 2022, I received an honorary award for academic excellence after completing MSc in Advanced Computing

In 2020, I received a Top-Rated Badge under Software Engineer for the companies I worked directly with. Top Rated highlights professionals of top talents who have built a strong reputation with companies by getting positive feedback from them, time after time. We represent the top 10% of talent on Upwork worldwide.

in 2016, I received the Big Data Developer Mastery Award from IBM, which was certified in 2019. Through a faculty-led student education, I demonstrated the ability to use a Big Data platform and data governance concepts to efficiently store and manage extremely large amounts of data,
using IBM BigInsights. It stated how I demonstrated an understanding of topics such as
Hadoop, Map Reduce, HBase, Big SQL, and BigSheets, in order to capture, store, and analyze
structured and unstructured data

In 2018, I received an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of my performance in 2018 academic session as Software Director. I added the plague.

In July 2022, I was nominated for an Honorary Doctoral Degree Award. This award is reserved for accomplished leaders of high-level status and professionals in their respective fields. I added a popular link to the conferment.

TN did not see all these listed.

  1. I was invited to speak at the digital technology sector event at BBB (Moniepoint), Lagos in 2020 during covid 19 pandemic. I spoke on the topic Opportunities in tech and how to get started. There were over 100 attendees who attended the online event and I spoke for about an hour. I added event flier, link and email from the management team.

TN comment: It’s not suffiecient

  1. (i) I created an open source project named Electronic Learning System to solve the geographical boundaries of the education sector in Africa. This open-source project is cloned by different people trying to implement it to solve learning system in their region by localizing the process. One of the people who implemented the eLearning system is an Associate Professor, in South Valley University in Egypt who reached out to me in 2020 to integrate my system. I added github link, number of starred, forked and watching.

ii) I contributed to an opensource project created by bradtraversy (popular guy on youtube who is also an open-source contributor) which is design-resources-for- developers. The repository has over 42.5k stars, 895 watching and 9.2k forks with over 340 contributors which I am among. I added necessary evidence to it such as link, PR, email accepting my merge etc.

(iii) I created an open-source project on violent crime during lockdown in the UK. I used the sample data provided by the UK police and processed the given data efficiently using Apache Spark on a cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform. it has significant likes.

I also added my Github link and dashboard showing all my contribution

TN comment: The applicant’s work in the Open Source community is also
provided without any evidence of where and how he was recognized for it.

What evidence can I provide again?

  1. Evidence 8 - mentoring, interest group/channel, membership and volunteer. I add necessary evidence. Its a lot and I don’t want to bore you all with my long evidence. One of the evidence is being a member/ volunteer in a community called Google Developer Group in the Northeast of England. Added screenshot of event and email from the main organizer.

  2. I worked as a key software engineer to develop CCC platform with over 700 current users now. I added the ARCHITECTURE DIAGRAM , link to the app and explained each component in details. I did 80% of coding and review the remaining 20% from the team I led. I added screenshot of the github repo showing my name and commit history since its private, email conversation from the CTO and idea shared through our conversation.

  3. I led in the development of high-impact digital products by working as an employee working for EEE. I came up with an idea to create an API endpoint to allow other digital businesses who want to use the service at a discounted rate. Publish the application on the google play store, and thousands of transactions have been recorded. I added link to documentation, github showing my name and total downloads of the app on playstore. I added few other companies I worked for to just do the mash up for the last page.

I would like to know what to do to make my application better next time. Things to work on to be able to provide compelling application.
i) If TN ingores some evidence by not making comments, does it mean the evidence is acceptable?
ii) I provided at least 2 different evidence (like 2 different companies/organisations) for each document, why did the reviewer pick one and ignored others?

I have different doubts and the assessment feedback couldnt allow me to reason which one to tackle.

@Bankole_Jamgbadi when you were rejected last year, how many criteria were rejected?

@Victrr, @Neuron and any other technical applicant suggestions are highly welcome.

cc: @Francisca_Chiedu, @Maya @somdipdey @Yusuf_Adebanjo and all the people on this forum who I could not tag.


Im sorry to hear that you were rejected @alex_james
are you planning to appeal ?

@Maya, yes I am but I don’t know how to go about it. I got a link to the appeal form which is in PDF format. Could you please guide me through?

1 Like

You can appeal but some of your evidence like upwork salary are clearly not sufficient. 2016 evidence is outdated, your academic related awards are not sufficient. I think your strongest points for the endorsement review is your contribution to open source projects.


@Francisca_Chiedu, the big data mastery award was issued in 2016 and it was certified in 2019. I added the company employment letter clearly showing salary. I added the upwork history of earnings as a supporting document not a main document. Why didn’t the reviewer look at the main evidence. So, it’s clear not to add any document if it’s not strong enough as TN will use it against you and ignore the main ones. Based on the explanation of the companies I listed, are they not product led? What happened to technical applicant?. I’ll prepare fresh documents against next year. What are things you feel I could do to make it stronger. Thanks.

1 Like

If you are confident you should be endorsed and provided evidence they didnt look at then apply for an endorsement review.

1 Like

@alex_james Sorry about your rejection.

It’s difficult to determine what to address as the details are lengthy and ambiguous.

But I’ll just add these few points:

  • I believe the rejection reasons are clear

  • A lot of the remarks also suggests that you didn’t follow the guidelines. Your letters seem generic, (TN always warns against this ) as it can weaken your application - this is where the problem started from. Once you get it wrong here, they begin to have doubts about every other documents that you’ve provided even if they’re good. I think that TN usually assesses guidelines first i.e length of letters, pages, profiles of recommenders, type of company (product led) before actual content.
    My honest advice is that, if you think that an evidence doesnt fit the criteria, even if its by 30%, you should put it away. Invalid evidences has a way of making assessors overly critical about your other (valid) evidences. I think its psychological

  • When it comes to evidences in TN, I believe there are 2 types: Main Evidence and Supporting Evidence. The main evidences can stand alone, they are usually strong enough on their own. Supporting Evidences can only work when there’s a main evidence that you need to strengthen further . If you provide a supporting evidence without a main one standing rock solid, it would be deemed “insufficient”. It’s why the rejections always emphasize on the evidence for a criteria not been sufficient instead of unacceptable. It means, "this is ok but we need more to be convinced ".
    In my honest opinion, I do not think the other evidences were overlooked. They were probably acceptable but may need more support. My advice is that, when providing evidences next time, focus on 1 or 2 key things that you did and reinforce multiple evidences to support them. 2-3 solid detailed contributions with multiple supporting evidence > multiple contributions with little details

  • From the remarks: Your evidences seems like a scratch on the surface but with little depth, making everything clumsy and probably confusing for the assessors… It seems that you provided very little context to what you did in terms of how significant your contributions were and what impact they made to those who used them. Those assessing your documents are human beings, I think you didnt explain your evidences like you’re talking to a 5 year old. You’re the only one that knows better about what you did, they don’t.

  • I also think the academic reference didn’t speak well of your work (very important) , in my case (as a technical applicant), I also provided an academic reference but he focused solely on my technical/coding skills and my work.

  • Appealing would be difficult in this case as one of your recommenders was rejected and you cannot provide another recommender on appeal. Even if you claim the profile is a fit for the use case, his letter didn’t cover one of the guidelines for recommenders (to speak about your work). Criteria rejections are what I think can be easily appealed. But you can always give them a try.

Overall, I think you have a good profile but what you’re likely missing is structure, organization and context in your evidences.
This is my personal opinion.


Thank you @Victrr for your time, I will work on those things. Much appreciated

The evidence provided from AAA, which is a school, isn’t relevant or suitable for this visa as the
organization isn’t a product-led technology company, even if he is working for them in a technical
capacity. For this reason, the reference from the CTO of AAA is also not relevant or compelling
towards meeting the threshold criteria for this visa.

What would you say about this? the app is the product for the school and as a technical partner, I built it. it’s like saying udemy isn’t product-led company

A school is not a product-led technology company. If its an edtech, that’s a different case. You’re using technology to support the services of the school, but the school is not offering a technology service/product which is what they mean by product-led technology. Its like building a software to manage inventory in dangote refineries, does it make dangote refineries a product-led technology company because they make use of software?

1 Like

Hi @alex_james
Sorry about this. I know how it feels when you get a feedback from the accessors. Took me months to get over their comments on my first application and my appeal.

To answer your question, all the criteria for mine were rejected because they were not compelling enough and lacked context and in retrospect I agree.

@Victrr, the web application is the school platform as they don’t have physical school for now. Everything is done on the web platform which makes it an educational technology platform. Maybe the reviewer also saw it they way you have seen it now. Isn’t that product-led.?

Aside that, the typical applicant on TN says technical applicant from non technical organizations are eligible. Am I missing something?

@Bankole_Jamgbadi, thank you for your feedback. I’m currently in your situation when you were rejected. All my criteria are rejected too but it seems I didn’t provide enough context as suggested. What’s the time frame when you applied again? Cheers

1 Like

you are missing the points that your evidence were not put together. You should have aded explanatory notes with key metrics to show you meet the criteria. Overall the feedback suggests you didn’t but together a convincing application but you lose nothing appeal. You either get endorsed or get a second opinion on why your application is not strong enough to help you prepare for a fresh application.


Thank you @Francisca_Chiedu. I’ll definitely do that

Took to me slightly more than a year to try again and in that period, I had done a lot more things in my career so that also helped.

My second application was also not planned, just wanted to try again.


Hi @alex_james I am really sorry to hear about the rejection. May be go for an appeal to highlight the evidences that you have already provided and then mention the things that you have pointed out above.

That said, please keep in mind, GTV case workers often don’t consider freelancing work evidences. So, may be in the appeal don’t focus on them and also, in case, you want to reapply then don’t mention them. Another thing I have noticed that in the awards you have provided academic awards or awards achieved at your work place, which is often times not considered by GTV case workers as enough. Though you have been nominated for the Honorary Doctoral Award, which is brilliant but just nomination for such award might not be seen as enough. For future, try to include awards that can be easily recognized or “Googleable” by anyone on the internet to see what the award is and how they are conferred.

Another point I would like to mention that when you provide the evidences, mention what the evidence is for and why the evidence is important along with how it positively contributes to the tech sector. Provide numbers to support your statement as well.

This is my 2 cent on the topic but other experienced applicants here might be able to provide better suggestions. Anyhow, all the best!

Keep us informed and let us know if we can help in anyway.


Hello francisca,

Please i need your assistance on one of the mandatory criteria for technation visa application. One of the evidence i have for my mandatory criteria is an award given to me by my tech company in the uk here as I am a cybersecurity person and I have recommendation from my company director to back it up. Please will this be sufficient for my application? My gross salary is also 50k pounds per annum. Please i will be waiting for your reply

Hello @Dolly

Below is extracted from the guide , Kindly read the guide for clarity

1 Like

@Dolly, Maya already responded to your question.

1 Like