Stage 1 Exceptional Promise Application Rejected

I applied for the exceptional promise as a software developer in a fintech company but it was rejected and this was the feedback below:

Documents submitted:

  • Recommendation Letter from MD/CEO of a tech company

  • Recommendation Letter from a CTO of a fintech Company

  • Recommendation Letter from a CTO of another fintech Company

Evidence submitted:
MC1: Led the growth of a digital product by showing lines of codes and a reference letter from the CEO
MC2: High salary remuneration by showing employment contract letter, emails stating bonus, appraisal document, and salary review.

OC2 1: Evidence of mentorship at an educational center. Reference letter from the founder, screenshots of emails showing my contribution during the mentorship program, a link to my profile on their website as a volunteer mentor, and pictures with the students I tutored on app development.
OC2 2: Evidence of participation at a Facebook Testathon. Showed emails of my invitation and pictures with my team from the event.
OC2 3: Evidence of organizing a tech event although I didn’t speak at the event.

OC3 1: Evidence of significant contribution to a digital product by showing lines of code and reference letter from the product solution architect.
OC3 2: Evidence of significant contribution to a digital product by showing lines of code on Github.
OC3 3: Evidence of significant contribution to a digital product by showing lines of code on Github
OC3 4: Evidence of significant contribution to a digital product by showing lines of code on Github
OC3 5: Evidence of significant contribution to a digital product by showing lines of code on Github
Note: All GitHub repos were private but have screenshots of my PR contributions so I do not know if this was an issue.

Then I later filed for a review because I felt my evidences were not looked at but I was still rejected.
NB: I uploaded each of my evidence to Google Drive and attached the URL to my application document.

Re: Application for Endorsement for Global Talent (stage 1)

The Home Office forwarded your request to Tech Nation and it has confirmed it is satisfied with the recommendation not to endorse. We have included further details regarding the decision below:

The applicant has applied for Exceptional Promise with Mandatory Criteria (MC) & Optional Criteria (OC) 2 & 3. We reviewed the evidence and the Endorsement Review form.

Please note that per guidelines, evidence examples provided in the guidelines indicate the type of evidence that could be assessed by Tech Nation when considering the criteria for either Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise. These examples are not exhaustive.

Furthermore, per guidelines, please note that when making a decision on an application, Tech Nation will also consider the factors such as the strength of the statements in recommendation letters; How the applicant will contribute to UK digital technology by being based in the UK; The commercial impact of their previous work, achievements and experiences.

Per guidelines, referees should know the applicant’s work in detail for 12 months or more. We are not convinced that this is the case for all the referees. Furthermore, per guidelines, please note that reference letters provided by immediate colleagues or friends are insufficient. We identified one letter that goes under this description.

Self-statement documents with screenshots are not sufficient as evidence. Each claim should be backed with further evidence. Furthermore, per guidelines, documents containing only links to external sources are not acceptable.

For the MC criterion, candidates must demonstrate recognition in the digital technology field. MC requires applicants to show recognition in digital technology rather than providing proof of their work. One way to achieve this is by obtaining exceptional references from a broad network of established industry leaders, which provide detailed information on how the candidate is a leader in their field. Submitting a document that contains links to screenshots is not sufficient. It is not possible to back these claims without further evidence for authenticity. Assessors have no way of confirming these statements without further evidence. MC is not rewarded.

For OC2, the applicants must demonstrate proof of recognition for work beyond their occupation that contributes to the sector’s advancement. Per guidelines, mentorship should be on behalf of a structured programme with selection criteria and outside any commercial agreement. Furthermore, any contributions here should be related to advancements in the field. The applicant’s evidence of mentoring for an educational programme does not fit these guidelines. We are not convinced this is the case for the applicant’s mentorship evidence. OC2 is not rewarded.

For OC3, applicants must demonstrate significant contributions to the digital technology sector and provide evidence of their impact. The applicant provided a self-statement document with links that outline their salary evidence. While including salary information and bonus can help demonstrate achievement, it is essential to note that such evidence alone is insufficient to satisfy the requirements of OC3. The applicants must still show their significant contribution to digital technology with a variety of evidence. Salary evidence is not convincing alone for this criterion. Evidence should clearly show the impact of their work. The OC3 evidence is not at a convincing level. OC3 is not rewarded.

In conclusion, this application is not endorsed.

@Francisca_Chiedu @karrystewart @May @alexnk and others please

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Just to ask, when did you submit your application and when did you get your first feedback.?

I submitted my application on 2nd Feb and got my first feedback on 27th Feb 2023.

I think the bar for endorsing applicants is higher than what it used to be. In any case, based on the feedback most of your evidence were self authored. You also didn’t follow the guide requirement on the use of external link as evidence. You can take both feedback and improve your application.

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Yes from the above it is seen that assessors referring to guideline in every criteria as mentioned on Technation. Kindly focus on these:

  1. Recognition in digital technology
  2. Contribution in digital technology
  3. Knowledge in digital technology

These are the key things they are looking for and evidences around this to satisfy them for Endorsement would suffice.


The MCs are not sufficient. This is regardless if the bar for endorsement has become higher or not. Just as @karrystewart has said about MC which relates to Recognition in digital technology (at National and/or International level). , you need to work on getting additional external evidence as opposed to self-written evidence.

The OC3.2 to OC3.5 also seem to be the same evidence and could have been easily compressed as one or two documents while you use other document slots for additional evidence.

In general, although the guide says that for Exceptional Promise, one only needs to satisfy at least one item under each criterion, the truth is having multiple high quality evidences per criterion is the key since you don’t know which one would fly.

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I do not know why they said it was self-authored because they were not. But thanks for your feedback.

Thanks @karrystewart. I review the feedback and apply again.