Stage 1 refusal (please help for review)

Hello everyone, kindly help review my rejection, as some of my evidence wasn’t looked at. below is the assessment feedback:
The candidate has applied for an exceptional talent visa and they have chosen Optional Criteria 3
(OC3) and 4 (OC4). The candidate is a senior web developer in a company producing and improving energy and heating system in the UK. The candidate has not provided enough evidence of national or international recognition in digital technology. The reference letters are complementary but they do not qualify for the mandatory criteria. As the visa specifies “Evidence of recognition, such as Reference Letters, provided by an immediate colleague, manager, or friend are not sufficient”. The candidate publication, on its own,
is not sufficient evidence to award the mandatory criteria.**
For OC3, the candidate has not provided enough evidence to prove consistent impact. In the case of FinTech founded by the candidate, there is no evidence of meaningful traction nor any metrics related to the product and the impact from the applicant, the information provided (a design architecture) does not prove impact. Finally, the University of Technology is not seen as a product led digital technology company and the impact of the candidate is as expected of a competent senior developer.
For OC4, university degrees and attending courses are not eligible as evidence for OC4. the candidate needs “to demonstrate exceptional ability in the field through research published or endorsed by an expert”. We acknowledge their publication on Loan Repayment Prediction in the International Journal of Computer and Information Engineering but as a one event, it is not sufficient to qualify for OC4.
Given the evidence, we do not endorse the application.

NOTE: Apart from the above mentioned evidences:
FOR Mandatory

  1. I added evidence of high salary for mandatory criteria, nothing was said about this,
  2. I added another publication for mandatory criteria
  3. I added detailed information about a digital product I led its design and development
  4. Apart from references from my immediate employer, I also added three(3) more references from other leader in the field


  1. I added I added a reference letter from a business analyst stating my roles and impact on the FinTech company I founded in the UK
  2. I added a reference letter and detailed specifications of an Edtech platform where I lead the development team
  3. I added another reference letter from a co-developer


  1. I added a certificate of attendance for an international conference where I was a presenter with over 276 attendees, attendance was also added. I was not only a presenter but also a co-chair of the session.
  2. I added My M.Sc in Computer Science (Distinction) and another M.Sc. in Cyber Security (Distinction) one from the UK
  3. I added a reference letter from my M.Sc research supervisor
  4. I added another publication as mentioned in the feedback

Please help, what can I do, I need to apply for review ASAP

Hi @samright I feel really sorry for your rejection , Endorsing body has raised their bar very high ,due to many applications.

You need to be very clear about your application if you choose OC4 you need be exceptionally proven records in the research work ( they prefer PHD graduates)

Or go with OC2 with speaking event and mentorships which would be better path which would benefit you in MC as well.

Coming back to your questions as I said here endorsing body now days not considering the salary evidence at all.

OC3 is weak for you ,reference letter will not be enough you need to show some awards and impact of the company growth by your product with external links or financial statements etc., they want some proof other than RL.

MC publication is ok but they need two evidence in each criteria so you need one more strong evidence of high tech conference speaking with significant viewership on media or news cut ( which was missing in OC4 for this same) and supporting letter from one of a leader who attend the conference.

To summarize try to go with MC ,OC2 and OC3 with strong evidence.

Strong evidence means it need to be standalone like media coverage or news cut and links on website.

Don’t give up you have strong chance since your in UK with a job.

All the best.

@Ramesh87, thanks, Can I change from OC4 to 2 while applying for review? The issue is this 31st March.

if your doing new application spend some time and start work on OC2 it needs lot of effort , don’t worry about close gate of technation announcement they might still receive applications for another 1-2 months.

Re-appeal you cannot change anything but you can give explanation as you explained here why they didn’t consider salary evidence , MC as per guideline you need to meet at least one ( which you meet with publications and salary evidence), OC4 also you meet two . So good for re-appeal and meanwhile you can work on fresh application.

All the best.

@samright, it’s sad to receive rejection but a good one to build on for future application.

For Mandatory, you may want to read the guideline again to understand what it says.
High salary was stated as an example. However, I am not sure how you stated it because in some sense high salary may not show recognition. You have to add some words, salary comparative from reliable source, the impact of your job to digital tech and spell out that your high salary is a function of you relevant skill and how it distinguishes you from all other talented fellows in that same field, the same grade but not earning as high as that.

Like, I said please go through the guide again. I am not sure what publication is doing on MC unless you mean media publication or major trade publications. If it is later, I am not sure what and how you presented it.
Digital product design and development cannot fly for MC. Read and digest the guide. Did you led the growth of the product apart from the design? How did you do it. Any media mention on the product, was the design accompanied with line of code?if yes, speak to it in your appeal.

For OC3, what you provided is far from what is expected. First, consider if you are for technical or business route. That will guide you in gathering your evidence. Reference is not enough. Quantitative evidence will be fine.

OC4 is academic contribution. It goes beyond certificate of distinction. I like the publication aspect. Are you the principal author or were you Co-authored? If you were Co-authored, you need to state your contribution to the article or journal. If you are the principal, few lines describing the work, how it contributed to academic world is fine. You then add the letter of endorsement from a well know researcher and your degrees (distinction) should be fine and pass you.

In summary, you have a good profile that can be worked upon.

Good luck

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@Grace thanks for your feedback, I will give review a shot but hopefully, the route continues beyond 31st, March.

The route is much more open

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For OC3: Please what example of Quantitative evidence would you recommend?

I am also considering reapplying as PROMISE and move my OC4 to OC2, using the 2 speaking conferences, the accepted publication and other evidence I provided for OC4 (I plan to explain why I choose promise as per limiting my experience to just digital technology sector as there feedback suggested that my previous experience is as expected of a senior developer

For MC: I believe they accepted my other publication as well. It not sufficient, I have got another speaking conference which was published on national daily’s about 3years ago, planning to add this, I also forgot to add my GitHub link, planning to add this as well thou just about 28 commits in the pass 3years. Also planning to explain how the product I led made significant contribution to digital technology field.

Your response will be highly appreciated

The MC product evidence also needs to show leadership.

More is expected from OC4 for Exceptional Talent as this looks to be work done during MSc especially with the use of MSc supervisor as expert.

What will be your justification for Exceptional Promise route?