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Is It Worth It To Get A Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Consultant? (my story) ­čÖé

tier 1 exceptional talent consultants
Credit: Pexel

Disclaimer: The information contained on these pages is for general use only and is not a substitute for speaking to a licensed immigration consultant and should not be relied upon as case specific advice in any form whatsoever. It does not constitute formal legal advice or give rise to any rep-client relationship. The Presidential Hustle disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance upon this general information.


Do you need a consultant for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa application? The answer is Yes and maybe….No!

It really depends on you. When I applied and got endorsed in 2017, I didn’t use any consultant. Actually, I was in Nigeria when I applied and being a freelancer – I had a lot of time in my hands to spend hours and hours doing research, visiting the Tech Nation (the, they were called Tech City) website trying to gather as much up-front information as possible.

To be honest, back in 2017 – there wasn’t a lot of information out there (at least not from successful applicants) and this was the reason why I decided to dedicate a section of my blog to providing guidance for the tier 1 exceptional talent Visa, because I knew how crazy it was for me trying to gather information.

Back to the topic at hand. Is getting a consultant really important or needed for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa? It will be hard to give a definitive answer because everyone’s case is different. Some people have time, some people don’t. Some people are experienced with visas, some are not. Some people have money to spend and some people don’t.

When I applied back then, I had a lot of time in my hand. You see, I had just returned back from London to Nigeria after finishing my MSc in Business Information Systems Management and I knew that I didn’t want to stay back in Nigeria. I knew I wanted to return back to the UK to continue the life I had started. So, besides time in my hands, I was desperate.

You know how focused a desperate man can be.

Quick run-down of my Tier 1 Exceptional Talent application process.

Just like everyone else, my application started from me stumbling upon the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa scheme. To be honest, I had already read about it when I was still in London but the name “World Leading Exceptional Talent” scared me and I felt like there was no way I could be endorsed and seen as a “World Leading Excpetional Talent” in digital technology (little did I know I was lying to myself)

Remember I said I was desperate? Well, when I my student Visa expired and I had to return to Nigeria – I was desperate to find a visa that could take me back to London. That was when I re-stumbled upon the Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa.

So, I started doing my research and findings.

The steps were as follows:

  • I read the heck out of the Official Tech Nation PDF Guide and website
  • I also read the UK Government main guide on Exceptional Talent Visa
  • Googled “exceptional talent success stories” to see what other people who have been successful have written about the process. In 2017, I only saw a guy’s blog and even though he didn’t really go in-depth into the process. I was grateful to have found someone who was successful writing some type of content about the visa.
  • I started gathering my documents and evidences
  • Reached out to companies who fit the criteria of companies / businesses Tech Nation wanted to see support letters from
  • Got the letters from my referees after obviously following up with them almost everyday. I literary told them that their letter is the most important letter in my life as it opens the door to move to the UK and start my career.
  • Gathered the letters and documents following the guidelines in the Tech Nation Guide. (This took about 1-2 weeks – working hours everyday)
  • Applying online at Tech Nation’s dedicated application portal and also on the Home Office’s website (I believe as of 2019, you only have to apply on Tech Nation’s website)
  • Printed and put my application documents into an envelope and shipped it via DHL to the Home Office UK address (as of 2019, you do not need to send physical documents/ evidences anymore)
  • I think I applied 20th of March 2017. (Why I’m not sure the exact date I applied is because it’s been a long time but I do have a screenshot below which makes me think its March 20th)

tech nation guidance

 

As you can see from the screenshot, I sent an email to Tech Nation on the 6th of April 2017 asking about my application status and I indicated that I had made payment 17 working days ago. Normally, they should have gotten back to me after 18 working days – hence why I sent my email. (from my calculation, 17 days back would be 20th of March 2017)

Their reply stated that they actually sent a response to the Home Office 1 day before I messaged them, as you can see – I was kind of right that I should have recieved an answer from them around that time.

  • Now that they confirmed my decision had been sent to the Home Office, I began to wait and panic the fuck out!
  • I got an email from the Home Office on the 7th of April 2017 with my decision.

tier 2 exceptional talent failure

 

As you can see from the screenshot above, the Home office sent me my decision letter exactly one day after I messaged Tech Nation about my decision.

  • I opened the email with my hands shaking and discovered that I FAILED! I WAS NOT ENDORSED!

This email really killed me. I was down. I felt like my world was crumbling. I felt like I had no more hope. I thought to myself – fuck! I thought I was going to be endorsed, my documents were spot on. I thought a lot of things.

One of the things I knew for sure was that I would re-apply because I knew that I had what it takes, I had everything and more they wanted but maybe my approach and documents were not strong enough or prepared well. I knew I had no other alternative, I had to try again!

Okay, let’s try again.

After receiving the bad news of my endorsement not being successful, I decided to take the feedback provided by Tech Nation in their per forma.

I will be very honest, I am grateful and commend Tech Nation/ the Home Office for providing some type of feedback on the application, what they thought of my documents / evidences and what i could have done better.

This feedback helped me in arranging my new documents / evidences and re-applying.

This time, after tasting failure. I was determined to re-apply with all I’ve got.

I spent more time this time gathering my documents, evidences and getting stronger letters from my referees. I believe that exposure to failure helped me work more strategically in my second application.

I pretty much followed the same steps as outline earlier but this time with a little bit more attention to details, willingness to go above and beyond and to over-deliver on what Tech Nation wanted to see from a potential successful applicant.

I then applied and waited again for another 18 working days. This time around, I didn’t bother sending an email to either Tech Nation or the Home Office asking about update. I just waited and prayed everyday, literally. I couldn’t think of anything else. When I ate, i thought about it. When I slept, I dreamt about it. When I talked, I envisioned it and talked about how my life would change if I got endorsed.

The Tech Nation Visa was what I thought and talked about.

On May 23 2017, I got an email from the Home Office with my decision.

tier 2 exceptional talent success letter

 

I was so scared to open the email or attachment. I remember how scared I was.

Even writing this post brings back that memory of how my hand was shaking and my heart was beating so fast! The D-Day had come.

When I opened the attachment, I JUMPED for joy! It said I had been endorsed!

I was so HAPPY! I screamed and went downstairs to tell my aunt, I remember she was about 7 months pregnant or so and she also jumped for joy!

I cannot explain how happy, excited and pumped I was! I couldn’t eat, sleep or talk about anything else through-out that day. I even replied the home office with a “Thaaaaannnkkkkkkssssss!!!” reply as you can see from the email above.

Remember I said how desperate I was to leave Nigeria back to the UK? Well, I applied for my Visa on the same day! Yes, that same day – I started my Visa application process!!!

May 23 2017 is one of the best days of my life!

 

tier 2 exceptional talent success letter1

You know what makes it even more special? It was one day after mt birthday, so you can imagine how that felt. Also, my MSc graduation was in July 2017 – So, this meant I could apply for my Visa and be back to the UK just in time to attend my MSc graduation ceremony! I’ve never felt so good before in my life!

Okay, let’s talk consultation shall we?

In both my applications, I did not use any consultation. I did it myself.

Maybe if I had used a consultant in my first application, I would have been successful because he/she would have given me advice on what to change or update in my application? The answer is we will never know! Maybe if I had used a consultant in my second application, I would have been successful but attributed my success to the consultant’s consultation? Maybe but the answer remains the same – We will never know.

All I know is that I spent hours, days and night putting my whole application together and am glad it paid off.

Most people might not have time to work on their application, they might omit some things and maybe might not even understand the Tech Nation guide well enough to put together a solid application and they will need the help of a paid consultant.

It is entirely up to you to decide if you want to use a consultant or not.

However, here is the number one thing to look out for when choosing a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Consultant:

  • Niche Specific Knowledge: The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent is VERY DIFFERENT from any other type of Visa. There are 2 stages to the visa; the Endorsement Stage (Stage 1) and the Visa Application Stage (Stage 2)

The Endorsement stage (stage 1) is the most important part of the Visa. I would say this is about 80% of the Visa if not even 90%. Why I say this is because without the endorsment, you CANNOT get a visa.

The endorsement stage has nothing to do with Law. It has everything to do with YOU the applicant and your ability to show that you are an Exceptional Talent in your field. So, this requires niche specific knowledge that not just anybody, lawyer or solicitor can give you.

When I got endorsed, I applied for my Visa myself and got it within 2 weeks. It was so simple because all you have to do is print out your Endorsement letter you got in your email and attach with your passport to apply for the Visa. Nothing else is required. (except you are from countries where you need to show Tuberculosis result from the doctor)

Its so simple that even my Grand mum can apply for the stage 2 (Visa application stage) without stress.

So, as you can see the Stage 1 a.k.a Endorsement Stage is the MOST important stage.

If you google “Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Consultants”, a lot of law firms will pop up. They offer consultation on the Visa scheme and permit me to say this – most of them are not qualified to provide consultation for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa BECAUSE the visa scheme has so little to do with the Law and so much to do with KNOWLEDGE of the field you are trying to get endorsed under.

I do not believe that a lawyer who provides almost all immigration visa services can advise or guide me on how to position myself as a “World Leading Exceptional Talent in Digital Technology” or Arts, Fashion, Humanities, Engineering and the other exceptional talent routes.

I hope you get my point? I am not saying they have nothing to offer but being someone who personally applied for the Visa and know how much attention to details it takes in-field knowledge it requires – I have a hard time believing that some solicitor can advise on this topic.

Now, because the stage 2 part of the application is all about immigration and law – a lawyer or solicitor might be able to provide consultation on that aspect.

So, before you pick a consultant – ensure that you are not picking a firm that provides every immigration service under the earth and knows little about what the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa really entails.

Go for consultants who have knowledge and experience in Exceptional Talent scheme and can give you solid insights and advice.

In Conclusion.

So many people have sent me emails and messages about how reading and watching my videos on the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa scheme has helped them in their application and even helped them achieve success.

I am very happy and humbled that just by consuming my free blogposts on the topic or getting my video guideline / done for you templates, people have been able to prepare better and adjust their application documents / evidences and then achieve success.

I get a lot of emails and messages on LinkedIn from people around the world asking me to review their documents, asking me questions and even asking me to provide consultation. I reply to EVERYONE and help when I can.

As I have a business to run and bills to pay, I might not be able to get on Skype with everyone to walk through their documents or application and I might not be able to provide free consultation to everyone but I reply EVERYONE and answer questions they ask because I have also been in their shoes and understand how important being able to get your questions answered is when thinking of applying for the Tier 1 Exceptional talent visa is.

After pretending that I was an applicant by asking for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa consultation fees from law firms in London I found through google, I saw that their prices ranges between ┬ú950 – ┬ú5,000 depending on the size of the firm.

Seeing how much these firms charge for something they do not really have specific knowledge on was interesting to me.

The visa scheme has evolved from 2017 to date, some people say it’s much harder now but I believe its all based on perspective and individual situations. If you need consultation, guidance and advice on the Stage 1 part of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, be sure to send me a message using the contact form here

I will reply your email and answer any question you might have upfront for free. If you do need me to go through your documents / evidences and give you in-depth insight and advice based on your application pack, I will need to charge you for my time to do so. (We may also be able to schedule a video call to talk more)

PLEASE NOTE: I do not provide immigration consultation or advice as I am not a licenced lawyer or solicitor in the UK. I only provide consultation for the Stage 1 (Endorsement Stage) of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa which requires NO immigration law rather it requires expertise in the field of Tech, Engineering, Fashion and other professional fields.

All the best.


Disclaimer: The information contained on these pages is for general use only and is not a substitute for speaking to a licensed immigration consultant and should not be relied upon as case specific advice in any form whatsoever. It does not constitute formal legal advice or give rise to any rep-client relationship. The Presidential Hustle disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance upon this general information.


 

Tags : tier 1 exceptional talent guidancetier 1 exceptional talent visa advicetier 1 exceptional talent visa consultation
Daniel Damilola Nejo

The author Daniel Damilola Nejo

Daniel Damilola Nejo is a Nigerian born, London based Creative Designer and Content Creator with love for the hustle and community. He has a Masters in Business Information Systems Management and is Endorsed by the UK Government as a “World Leading Exceptional Talent in Digital Technology” . He is a true hustler and a forward thinking individual who uses his knowledge and skill to add value to lives around the world. He works with startups, businesses and individuals around the world as a digital designer and brand developer. Founder of some Digital startups and brands.

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