Suggestions of rejection review (business role)

  • Business role (I work as a Senior Strategic Manager for an UK tech product led start-up with 228M funding for one year; my major responsibilities are develop key digital/ e-commerce partners and to monetise editorial content from them into revenue stream so I actually work closely with the data engineering teams; my skillsets sit under performance marketing area, which is listed in TN guideline. Before that, I worked for another tech company for 3 years; in total, I’ve been in this industry for 7 years, while I switched my role between tech/ non-tech companies.)
  • I applied for exceptional talent while it’s obviously a big mistake that I regret the most (I should have applied for promise) I read at least 3 cases in this forum that applicants who applied for talent got promise in the end; I therefore thought TN will automatically decide what route applicants belong to. But based on the feedback I received, TN obviously used a high standard (as they should) to review my files so I was SO wrong and foolish. When many strong talent applicants who might be in this industry for 20+ years and have been C levels or entrepreneurs etc., in comparison, my profile seems much weaker for sure.

I really hope I can explain that I made a mistake to apply exceptional talent instead of promise but I wasn’t sure if it’s a good idea (as TN did stress that select the route carefully.) I do feel my profile and evidence might be enough for a promise as I carefully review the guideline over and over again and intendedly selected the key words TN is looking for to blend into my entire evidence & profile. I feel overall my experience is just not a match for exceptional talent.

MC1- No
OC2 - No
OC3- Yes

Feedback from TN
Regarding the mandatory criteria, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the applicant has been recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology sector. The applicant has provided the required letters of recommendation from previous employers, which alone are not sufficient to demonstrate leading talent. Although the applicant earns a respectable salary, he has not demonstrated what makes him a leading talent, with sustained high-profile national or international media recognition. The media coverage examples provided are regarding the firms where the applicant has been employed vs the applicant himself. We are unable to award the mandatory criteria.

Optional Criteria 2 requires recognition for work outside of the applicant’s immediate occupation that contributed to the advancement of the sector. The evidence provided demonstrates the applicant has spoken at XXX however conferences/talks must be widely regarded as sector-leading events for
the field. We are unable to award OC2.

Optional Criteria 3 requires that the applicant should have made significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder, senior executive, board member or employee of a product-led digital technology company. The applicant has provided YTD revenue and has contributed
a significant percentage to profits, this is accompanied by a letter from Heroes stating he has delivered significant revenue growth. We are able to award OC3.

The 10 files + 3 required letter I provided


  1. Company information: funding & press release
  2. Employment contract, salary & skilled worker visa
  3. Leading digital marketing development at XXX (my employer; I included Slack chat record where the co-founder pinned me publicly to praised my achievement to bring 220% daily revenue growth due to my work.)
  4. Exceptional leadership & recognition (including several email thread/ communications between me and partners in the same industry- some of them are beyond my work.)
  5. Basic info of the public talk at XXX (top tech uni in my country; including info of full recording/ event page on social/ attendances/ photos of the place venue- the event was online/ offline hybrid due to covid restriction)
  6. Details of the public speech (6 highlight screenshots of my speech with detailed explanation. My topic is: Strategic execution and successful case studies in affiliate marketing)
  7. Digital certification & business plan (this is a bit irrelevant to OC2 I understand; but I tried to add additional metric that with my skillsets & experience, I plan to launch a performance growth platform that can contribute to the digital tech business; while since it’s just a blueprint, it’s obviously not valid I believe.
  8. Additional recommendation letter from Head of Program Management of my company
  9. Commercial success for my current employer (revenue chart to show I bring £10.1M YTD revenue and 4.8% YoY growth
  10. Commercial success for my previous employers ( I feel this evidence was completely ignored by TN as with doc 8 & 9, TN already endorsed me OC3.

Letter 1: Co-founder from my current employer --> mainly for my MC1 & OC3
Letter 2: Director of Partnership from a tech software company who can prove my business/ partnership development ability --> mainly for my MC1
Letter 3: Ex CEO of my previous employer/ Current Program Director of the XXX Tech uni where I made my speech --> mainly for my OC2

Overall, I understand that for MC1, the pain point is that I focus too much on my occupation and TN would like to see something more in general as the reputation and recognition in the tech industry. Even though in the doc 4, I did show email communications and compliments about my successful strategies from peers in the same industry. Also Letter 2 is from someone not my employer to back up my business skills. These 2 are what I think TN missed. Do you guys think I have a chance to get endorsed if TN is willing to re-measure with a Promise standard?

For OC2, tbh nothing much I can do and the speech I provided is the best at can achieve at this stage. I understand TN think speech at a tech uni is not outstanding enough (while I did claim there were 105 attendances and not just for students.) Doc 7 is basically completely useless and ignored by TN haha --> I can only hope TN is willing to evaluate again with a promise standard, or it’s a game over to me as I can’t provide anything for OC1 (innovation) & 4 (academic) due to my limited business role experiences.

Tbh I left the strongest evidence for OC3 (YTD revenue with figure, obviously TN needs to see this and which is why I got endorsed for this criteria) but as a business (performance marketing) applicant, the tricky thing is this is also my MC1… this is the major value my role is: generate the revenue for the company. When I prepared my docs, I tried to avoid “repetitive info” in each doc; then unfortunately it led the result that my MC1 evidence is insufficient. For a business applicant, it’s really challenging to prove how good I am as a “partnership developer” (as it’s hard to be digitalised into data & numbers like I showed for OC3 revenue contribution) even though I already provided several emails communications & recommendation letter- I just can’t think of any other way to prove my business skills regarding digital partnership (that can actually bring millions of revenue for tech sector, which is something I proved in OC3 and TN recognised this, but not in MC1 unfortunately.) I feel I need to picture the relevance and coherence between 2 from the existing evidence I’ve provided.

@Francisca_Chiedu @alexnels sorry for tagging you guys here, but it will be super super helpful to hear some feedback from you! Thank you

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@May @somdipdey it will be really helpful to hear from you too!

I think you have addressed your mistakes. If you have more than 5 years experience, you can’t be assessed as exceptional promise. The evidence you provided clearly didn’t meet the bar for exceptional talent. You may need to give it some time and work on meeting the criteria. You mandatory criteria doesn’t show you are at the forefront of your sector, you need to work on this.

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@Francisca_Chiedu Thank you for your feedback- my experience in tech leading company is actually just 4 yrs so far as I switched my role between tech/ non-tech companies in the past 7 years - in this case, I should be able to claim exceptional promise is the correct route? Or it’s better just to submit a new application with similar evidence via exceptional promise route?

You can’t be asking for an endorsement review under exceptional promise when you applied as talent. Not sure why you chose to gamble with your application knowing fully you didn’t meet the benchmark for exceptional talent.

@Francisca_Chiedu because I see there are 3 applicants who applied for exceptional talent then got promise in the end plus on the TN guideline, I see a statement “Tech Nation’s independent panel of assessors will determine whether, overall, they consider that the applicant should be endorsed and FOR WHICH ROUTE.” but obviously now we know it’s not the case.

I guess I should just re-apply for exceptional promise then?
Do you think my profile is qualified for a promise? What criteria is lack for my MC1 in your opinion?

Thanks for your feedback again!

You may need to give it some time and work on the gaps in your application.

@Francisca_Chiedu Thanks for your feedback. May I ask based on you experience, for partnership development skills, what specific evidence should I provide/ work on? Is it more persuasive to use a direct recommendation letter from peers in the same industry?

Evidences that are mostly based on peer based recommendation letter might not fly well with TN Visa Case Officers. Participate in activities that can build up your public profile. Show evidences that can be verified through online. You have good experience in terms of tech but you need to build your public view of your experiences.

Try to engage in public speaking activities or engaging in public tech activities that can be verified/accessed online.