What is the Global Talent Visa?
The UK’s Global Talent Visa is a highly sought-after immigration category designed for non-British nationals who want to come to the UK for the purposes of work or employment in specific industries.
In most cases, applicants are required to receive an official endorsement from one of six approved endorsing bodies.
The British Academy, The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) issue endorsements for eligible applicants within the fields of science, engineering, medicine, social sciences, humanities and other academic and research roles.
The four routes available to eligible academics and researchers when applying for endorsement include academic and research appointments, individual fellowships, endorsed funders, and peer review.
Arts Council England and Tech Nation are the bodies that oversee applicant endorsements within the fields of non-academic arts, culture, and digital technology.
Receiving an endorsement from an approved body is the first step in the process. The applicant must then submit their visa application and endorsement for approval by the Home Office.
The application process for the Global Talent Visa can be complex and it is important to submit your endorsement and visa application forms at the highest standard to maximise your chances of a successful application.
Contact IAS on 0333 305 9375 for a confidential discussion about how we can assist you with your application.
Who can apply for the Global Talent Visa?
- Academia or research
- Arts and culture
- Digital technology
Some of the fields included within these categories include science, engineering, humanities, social science, medicine, architecture, fashion, and film and television.
Eligible applicants must apply to the appropriate endorsing body and outline how they meet the eligibility criteria.
It can be a complex and difficult application due to the rigorous nature of the application process for both the endorsement and visa stages.
The government’s Global Talent immigration rules outline eligibility criteria in further detail, but if there is any doubt, it is recommended to consult with an immigration solicitor who can advise you on your personal circumstances.
The applicant must apply for the visa from outside the UK and they must obtain 70 points under the new points-based immigration system to qualify for this visa.
Applicants can meet the 70-point requirement through one of the following means:
- The applicant has been awarded a prize listed in the immigration rules under Prestigious Prizes (e.g., a Nobel Prize or Golden Global Award)
- The applicant is making an initial application with an endorsement and has been issued an endorsement by an approved body. The date of the application is no more than three months after the date on the endorsement letter, and the endorsement has not been withdrawn
- Applicants who are applying to extend their stay can obtain 70 points if they can demonstrate they met the earned money requirement, and that if they were issued with an endorsement, this endorsement has not since been withdrawn
You can use the Gov.uk’s online application form to apply for the visa.
Eligibility requirements for the Global Talent Visa
The eligibility requirements for the visa vary considerably depending on the applicant’s circumstances and areas of expertise.
This section provides an overview of the eligibility requirements for the Global Talent Visa:
Arts and culture endorsement
- An eligible applicant must demonstrate that they have been professionally engaged in producing an outstanding work of art
- They should have a record of regular professional engagement in their field over the last five years
- They have a substantial track record in more than one country
- They have three letters of recommendation from eligible organisations
- They have evidence of work or performance in at least two countries with media recognition
- They have exceptional promise with evidence from at least one country
- The applicant should provide three letters of recommendation from eligible organisations
- To evidence exceptional talent, the applicant should demonstrate proof of winning an award or a body of work within at least two countries with media recognition
Fashion design industry endorsement
- The applicant has a leading role in the fashion industry and can demonstrate professional engagement in the last five years
- The applicant can provide three letters of recommendation
- An applicant with exceptional promise can provide examples of media recognition or sponsorship from an eligible fashion organisation
Film and television endorsement
- The applicant has won a ‘main award’ (e.g., an Academy Award, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, or an Emmy Award), or has been nominated for one of these awards in the last ten years
- Evidence of three letters of recommendation from relevant bodies
Digital technology endorsement
- A technical applicant has proven expertise in building relevant technical infrastructure
- A business applicant has proven commercial investment or product development expertise
- The applicant provides a CV with career achievements and three letters of recommendation from relevant bodies
Science, engineering, humanities, and medicine fields endorsement
- The applicant is an active researcher or leading industry individual in their relevant fields in an eligible organisation
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and there are strict eligibility requirements for each category that applicants must be able to evidence to be granted the Global Talent Visa based on their area of expertise.
What documents do you need to apply for the Global Talent Visa?
The documents you need to apply for the visa depend on the exact nature of your application and the evidence required by one of the six endorsing bodies.
Some of the documents you should expect to provide include the following:
Arts and culture applications
- A comprehensive CV outlining your career achievements (no more than three A4 pages in length)
- Three recommendation letters confirming your achievements and outlining what benefits you would bring to the UK under the Global Talent Visa
- Up to ten ‘pieces of evidence’ to support your application and your achievements (e.g., media recognition, international awards, appearances, or exhibitions)
Digital technology applications
- Three letters of recommendation from established and eligible organisations confirming your position as an industry leader and outlining how you can continue to contribute to the field
- Proof of a digital technology business which you have established/ in which you have played a key role
- Up to ten pieces of evidence to demonstrate your eligibility and level of qualification
Researchers and academic leader applications
- A letter from the head of human resources at your organisation outlining your details, the nature of your work, the interview process by which you obtained the position and other relevant details
- Details of work you have undertaken and achievements in your role
Research grant applications
- Confirmation that you have been issued a grant from your funder and that you are in receipt of at least £30,000 and that your grant will last at least two years
- Confirmation from an industry leader with internationally recognised expertise stating how that person knows you and the nature of your potential contributions within your industry to the UK
As well as the above list (which is not exhaustive), you will be required to provide other documents as part of the application.
This includes your passport, tuberculosis test results (where relevant), and certified translations of documents not in English (where relevant).
Waiting time and application fee
The majority of applications for the Global Talent Visa will be decided within three weeks from the date of application.
If the Home Office requires further information based on your situation, you will be required to submit this and it may prolong the waiting period.
The earliest you can apply for the visa is three months in advance of your intended date of travel to work in the UK.
You may be able to apply for a priority service at an additional cost to receive a faster decision on your application.
You will be given information on this when you submit your application.
The cost of the Global Talent Visa application is £608. If you are applying based on an endorsement, the cost of the endorsement is £456 and the visa application is £152.
If you are applying based on receipt of an eligible award, you will be required to pay £608 in total.
It is possible to include dependents on your application, and the cost of each individual is £608.
As well as this, applicants are required to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge (usually £624 per person per year).
You can check how much you need to pay at the Gov.uk eligibility checker page.
Further, if you apply from one of the following countries, your application fee will be reduced by £55:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
How do I get an endorsement for the Global Talent Visa?
If you believe you are eligible, the best way to receive an endorsement for the Global Talent Visa from an endorsing body is to carefully read the requirements of each organisation and then demonstrate how you meet the criteria in your application.
The requirements for each endorsing body can be found at the below links:
- Tech Nation applicant eligibility guide
- Arts Council of England eligibility guide
- The Royal Society applicant eligibility routes to endorsement
- Royal Academy of Engineering visa overview page
- The British Academy visa overview
- UK Research and Innovation visa overview
By submitting an endorsement application and paying the fee to the relevant body, you will receive a decision on your application. If approved, you can then apply to the Home Office for your visa.
What are the benefits of the Global Talent Visa?
The reason that the visa is popular is because it allows holders greater advantages and freedoms when working in the UK.
Some of the benefits include:
- You are eligible to work for a number of employers or be self-employed in your relevant industry (you are not tied to a single employer, as may be the case with other visas, including the Skilled Worker Visa)
- The organisation employing you does not need to hold a sponsor licence and you do not need to apply for a certificate of sponsorship
- You are free to change your job without informing the Home Office
- There is no end limit of stay for eligible holders of this visa. The initial visa grant is made for five years and can be extended if the holder can demonstrate they meet the extension requirements
- You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after holding the visa for five years. If granted and held for one year, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship
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If your endorsement application was refused, you may have recourse to an endorsement review. It can be frustrating and disappointing if you receive a negative decision on your application and it may be beneficial for you to work with a qualified immigration lawyer to discuss your case.
An endorsement review may be submitted to the Home Office which will then in turn be submitted to the endorsing body. The Home Office will then provide a response to you following a consultation with the body.
There is a deadline of 28 calendar days for the endorsement review to be submitted following the refusal, so it is important to act quickly.
Yes, if you fulfil the eligibility requirements, you may be able to extend the Global Talent Visa. Unlike many visa categories, there is no upper limit on how many times you can renew it.
However, you must submit evidence that you meet the requirements of the extension. In most cases, you will need to show that you still hold the endorsement from the endorsing body (i.e., the endorsement has not been withdrawn).
As well as this, you should demonstrate that you have earned money from your work in your field of expertise.
No, the Global Talent Visa does not have a language requirement. This means that individuals with any level of English language skills may apply for the visa.
However, if the individual later qualifies for indefinite leave to remain, there is a requirement to provide evidence of minimum English language ability.