Stage 1 Endorsement Received!

Hi all,

I’ve been a member of this forum since I found out about the Global Talent visa about 2 years ago and it’s been tremendously helpful, so I’m very appreciative of everyone’s insight. I recently received my stage 1 endorsement after previously being rejected twice, so I wanted to share my experience in order to help others here!

For context, I’m a blockchain software engineer (full stack but mostly front end) with about 3 years of experience in total, 1 of which has been spent in the UK under the skilled worker visa (working for a consulting firm and helping architect solutions at banks). I applied for the Exceptional Promise pathway given I have less than 5 years of experience.

I submitted the following documents as evidence:

LOR 1: From the CTO of my blockchain company, who I’ve worked with for two years and knows both me and my technical abilities better than anyone.

LOR 2: CEO of the second biggest VC firm that’s invested in the blockchain company I work for, spoke about how I directed contributed (technically and on the business side of things) to our company receiving a high valuation + fundraising round.

LOR 3: CEO of the lead VC firm that’s invested in the blockchain company I work for, spoke about similar things as LOR 2 but also added more details on my technical contributions.

Personal Statement - spoke about how I did my master’s in the UK a few years ago, my journey from working as a translator to transitioning to becoming a software engineer, and the desire I have to become a blockchain / tech leader in London. The key point of the personal statement is laying out what you’ve already done, what you’re going to do, and how this will contribute to the UK digital technology sector. The more details, the better - but also remember to form a cohesive narrative.

Mandatory Criteria

  • Industry leader letter: LOR from my mentor / friend from college who works at a major crypto exchange and is one hell of a dev
  • Industry leader letter: LOR from my blockchain company’s advisor and someone who has worked in the crypto space for about 10 years
  • Proof of a high salary (this is apparently very important)
  • Hackathon Finalist Evidence: I entered a global hackathon and achieved finalist status so this one was a key piece of evidence.

OC - “At least 1 example of significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder or employee of a product-led digital technology company”

  • I wrote three elaborate case studies on 3 major features I developed at my blockchain company. These included code snippets, figma screenshots, architecture diagrams, and also demonstrate how I contributed to my company receiving a high valuation. I spent a great deal of time on refining these case studies to ensure they were thorough!

OC - At least 1 example of proof of recognition for work beyond the applicant’s occupation that contributes to the advancement of the field"

  • Contributions outside daily job: I made a document that encapsulated everything I do outside of work, from investing in other crypto start ups (even though they were small contributions they still count!) and advising other projects, to attending in person conferences etc.
  • GitHub contributions: screenshots of my github commit history to both open source projects as well as to my job.

I made a lot of mistakes made along the way (hence my two previous rejections), but the key is to focus on your strengths and present those in the best way possible. Again, thanks to everyone who has posted here, answered a question, etc - without you, I wouldn’t have known what to do!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away - happy to help out where possible!


Congratulations!!! Please can you also share your application timeline?

Of course!

Stage 1 application submitted: June 28th
Stage 1 endorsement received: July 11th

I haven’t completed stage 2 yet, but I do have my BRP appointment scheduled for next week and should have that all wrapped up by mid August at the very latest!

All of my application timelines have varied, though - the first time I applied I heard back after 4 weeks, the second time 3 weeks. This time was the quickest, luckily!

Hope this helps!

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Congratulations @floridaman
I am both happy for you and impressed about your strong determination.

However, I will be glad if you can shed light on the mistakes you made in the first two rejected applications.
Hoping to learn from your mistakes.

Congrats on e again

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@Yusuf_Adebanjo Thank you! I appreciate that.

Of course. Happy to share what went wrong the first two times :sweat_smile: Better for people to learn from my errors.

So my situation wasn’t necessarily straightforward. I moved to the UK just over a year ago on a skilled worker visa (working at a consulting firm that ships me out to clients where I’m a Senior Software Engineer). However, prior to moving out to the UK, I was working for a crypto company full time for over a year and was one of the founding core members, and remained with them part-time after I moved out to the UK (of course within the legal limits of my visa). I moved to the UK for personal reasons and took the first job that offered me a visa.

I obviously wanted to apply for Tech Nation with all my crypto experience and not consulting / banking, since Tech Nation doesn’t particularly like consulting work as evidence (since it’s not product led). The issue was presenting all of my evidence in a clear, irrefutable manner without drawing attention to my part time working situation.

So the first time I applied, I had met the mandatory criteria as well as the optional criteria for my contributions to a product led company; however, because I didn’t provide sufficient evidence for my contractual relationship / obligation to the crypto company, all of my evidence for the second optional criteria I chose (the innovation one) was discarded as irrelevant. So getting 2 of 3 was painfully close, yet so far!

It’s incredibly important to provide an offer letter with evidence of high earnings / earning potential, or snippets of a contract with your annual salary. You want to make sure there’s no ambiguity at all between yourself and your relevant employer or client! If there’s any doubt, you won’t meet that criteria (at least from my experience).

I went back to the drawing board yet somehow on my second application I only met 1 of 3 criteria - somehow I was rejected for the mandatory one (which I had previously met) and innovation, yet still met the contributions to a product led company criteria.

This one I’m a bit confused about, as I got some strange feedback as if I had applied for exceptional talent, not exceptional promise. I know the panels vary from application to application and it’s all subjective, but the second application panel was far more critical of my evidence than the first. I do think I didn’t help myself by using a lot of the same evidence and not strengthening the weak points enough. It’s better to go back and redo your documents to be as strong as possible.

I hope this helps!


Congratulations on your endorsement
It seems as though you only submitted seven evidences, is that correct?

Many thanks!

Congratulations on your endorsement!
How many pages was your recommendation and reference letters?

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@floridaman congratulations! Please, I am currently working for two different startups. The first startup who is a CTO of the company (Ed Tech) is working for Microsoft and he’s a senior engineer while the other one is working at Amazon who is also a senior member. Can both use their company’s letter (the start up) and put their profile based on the main organization they work with?

I submitted 9 pieces of evidence! There were 3 case studies, all of which I used as separate documents.


All of my reference letters were as close to 3 pages as possible. The more detail, the better. If you’re given a 3 page limit, definitely make the most of it!

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Okay. Many thanks for this.

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Hi Floridaman,

Thanks for sharing your application experience. Did you not share your CV as part of the document submitted?

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Hi Floridaman,

Please, how did you infuse the resume of your recommender on your recommendation letter? Did you have a separate document for their resume?

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No problem! Yes, I did share that as a piece of evidence but forgot to mention that here!

In terms of the CV of my LORs, you should include LinkedIn URLs and then you can also add a copy of their CV within the LOR document itself.


@floridaman regarding your recommendation letters, did your recommenders talk about your work with other companies or just the ones they witnessed?

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They spoke about the work they saw me do, what my role in the company was, the impact / innovation of my work (this is very important), and how I will be a tech leader in the UK as well as what I will contribute to the UK if granted a global talent visa (this is also very important).

In my opinion, the person writing your LOR should speak to what they’ve seen you do in your role, not in other companies. They can still provide an effective letter by speaking about your impact, maybe something innovative you’ve built etc - but better for them to have worked closely with you. I think it’ll really strengthen your case. I could be wrong, though!


Thank you for the clarification

How about your references especially for your MC?
Did they talk extensively like your recommenders? Or just about the work they saw you do?

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yup! references for MC were also elaborate.

All of my LORs were incredibly detailed and were just about 3 pages each (make the most of the 3 page limit). The more information, the better!

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Many thanks @floridaman

Do we need to get the “Statutory declarations” for all the references and recommendation letters?
Signed from any Government Bodies