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Global Talent Visa: Architecture Industry Talents

The Global Talent Visa is available for workers with exceptional talent in their field. This visa applies to architects who are skilled in their field. However, while the Global Talent Visa architecture is a great route for migrants to enter and work in the UK, it is also very complex.

This is why we advise enlisting the assistance of a legal advisor or lawyer to help you through the process. From gaining endorsement to the process of the actual application itself, IAS can help.

Give us a call today at +44 (0)333 305 9375, or send us an email to get started.

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    Architecture And The Global Talent Visa

    The Global Talent Visa is a route for immigration into the UK. It is designed to allow those outside of the UK to apply for a visa if they are exceptionally talented in their field.

    An applicant can apply for this visa type if they have been endorsed by an eligible endorsing body in their field as one of the following two options:

    • A recognised leader: the Global Talent route.
    • An emerging leader: the Global Promise route.

    Those in architecture who are applying for the Global Talent Visa will need to have established themselves as having produced work of exceptional quality that has been presented, published, or exhibited internationally. They will also need to have won international awards for exhibiting excellence in architecture.

    The individuals who apply for a Global Promise visa will exhibit a developing impressive record of quality work to an outstanding degree, and they may also have won awards or may have even just been nominated or shortlisted for international or national awards for excellence in the field of architecture.

    Our immigration team can assist you with the process of obtaining a global talent visa for architectures.

    Eligibility For The Global Talent Visa & Requirements

    Should an individual wish to be considered as an applicant for a Global Talent Visa in architecture, they need to demonstrate that they are established as a leader in this field or need to be recognised on an international level as an expert in the architecture field. This will require evidence as follows:

    • Proof that the applicant has won or made a substantial contribution to the winning of an international award for excellence in this field
    • The applicant must have produced work that is considered to be outstanding in quality. This work needs to have been exhibited, published, or presented on an international level.

    An applicant will be able to provide a maximum of 10 pieces of evidence to support the claims that they meet the above criteria. Applicants will also need to provide three letters of endorsement.

    These letters of endorsement need to come from organisations or significant individuals that are well-established on a national and international scale and are widely acknowledged as having expertise in the field of architecture. These letters of endorsement will also need to detail the applicant’s achievements as well as the contribution that the applicant could make to UK culture.

    The overall requirements for this visa type, aside from the general eligibility criteria that classify an applicant as a global talent migrant,  include the following:

    • The applicant must be over the age of 18.
    • The applicant needs to have been issued a letter of endorsement by RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) or will have been awarded a prize that is listed in the Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes.
    • The applicant has provided a valid TB certificate if this is required.
    • The application does not, in any way, fall under any general grounds for refusal.

    These requirements are critical for an application for a Global Talent Visa.

    Our lawyers can help you throughout the endorsement process and architectural visa application process.

    Letters Of Recommendation For The Global Talent Visa & Endorsements


    Letters of endorsement for an architect applying for the Global Talent Visa will be given by the Royal Institute of British Architects. To qualify for RIBA endorsement, the applicant needs to be professionally engaged as an architect. This means that the applicant has to be producing work of exceptional quality that is being internationally published, exhibited, or presented.

    To gain endorsement from the RIBA, the applicant needs to apply, which requires three letters of recommendation.

    Two of these letters of recommendation need to come from well-established organisations that are well-established in architecture and are acknowledged as being experts in said field. One of these organisations needs to be UK-based.

    The final and third letter of recommendation will need to come from another architecture organisation that is well-established or an individual who is recognised as being an expert in the architecture field.

    Once the applicant has submitted their application for endorsement from RIBA, there is usually a four-week wait time. It should take no longer than four weeks for the applicant to get a decision from the RIBA on their endorsement application.

    Additional Evidence For The Global Talent Visa For Architecture

    The evidence and criteria for the evidence that will support the application vary depending on whether an applicant is applying for Global Talent or Global Promise. Should an applicant apply for Global Talent, however, then the criteria of evidence will be as follows:

    • International recognition in the media.
    • Evidence must demonstrate two plus ‘recognitions’.
    • The application evidence needs to be less than 5 years old.
    • Evidence must be presented in print or online format.
    • The applicant’s evidence of exceptional work needs to be published in a country other than their country of residence.
    • There must be awards regarding their work.
    • The applicant must have won or contributed significantly and directly to winning a minimum of one international award in architectural excellence.
    • Awards achieved must be awards of excellence in architecture.
    • There must be at least two publications or exhibitions of the applicant’s work.
    • Work must be considered significant on an international scale in the field of architecture.

    Obtaining a global talent architectural visa can be a complex process. Speak to our immigration team for help.

    How To Apply For The Global Talent Visa

    Applying for the Global Talent Visa is very dependent on the RIBA’s assessment of the individual’s endorsement application. However, there is more to consider about the application than just the endorsement.


    An application for this visa is done in two stages.

    • Stage one is when the RIBA will assess the applicant’s skills, achievements, and abilities regarding the outlined criteria (seen above) to decide whether or not the applicant is eligible for the endorsement of their visa.
    • Stage two is when the Home Office considers the immigration side of the individual’s application, and from this, it will determine whether a visa should be granted to the individual.

    The RIBA aims to send recommendations to UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) within around four weeks of the application being received. UKVI then notifies the applicant if they have been recommended and how they can progress into the second stage of the application. Alternatively, if an endorsement is not given, UKVI will notify the applicant of what to do in this case.

    The total turnaround of both stages will usually be around eight weeks; however, there are exceptions to this in the event all necessary information is not obtained for endorsement or the Home Office visa application.

    The applicant will also need to pay the relevant fees for each application stage. There is an endorsement fee when applying or switching to this visa category from another category.

    It is also important for applicants to be aware that gaining an endorsement is not grounds to automatically gain a visa. Should the applicant be turned down in the second stage of the process, they will not be reimbursed.

    Options To Extend The UK Global Talent Visa For Architecture

    It is possible to apply to extend the UK Global Talent visa if you have applied based on an endorsement and the organisation that endorsed you has not withdrawn this endorsement. You can also apply to extend your visa if it is based on an eligible award that you have won, and this award still stands.

    If you look to extend your visa, you do need to be able to show that you earned money in your field of expertise during your UK stay by sending evidence towards this. This could include payslips.

    If you, the applicant, have dependents with you, they will need to apply separately to get a visa extension. This could be done at the same time as you or at any time before their visa expires. All applications for extensions should be completed before the visa expires at the five-year mark.

    UK Global Talent To Visa To Indefinite Leave To Remain

    A Global Talent visa holder can get indefinite leave to remain, allowing them to settle in the UK. This can be applied after three or five years. The amount of time is dependent on the field of work that the applicant does and in which way they apply.

    Gaining indefinite leave to remain in the UK gives the applicant the right to work, live, and study in the UK as long as they wish. They can also apply for benefits under this visa if they are eligible.

    How Can IAS Help?

    The Global Talent Visa is an ideal visa option for architects who have significant international media recognition and meet exceptional promise criteria in their field. These architecture applicants of outstanding quality can gain work and the right to live and work in the UK through this visa.

    However, gaining endorsement and preparing all the necessary supporting evidence for the application can be tricky. For this reason, having a specialist global talent visa lawyer or legal advisor help you through the process can ensure the applications go through smoothly. A legal advisor can assist in minimising any delays by ensuring that all necessary documents are prepared in advance.

    If you are denied endorsement or if your application is refused, our legal advisors and lawyers at IAS can help you understand what you can do next. Our legal team is well-versed in immigration rules and can liaise with the Home Office on your application. Give us a call today at +44 (0)333 305 9375, or send us an email to get started.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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