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Global Talent Visa: For Film and Television Talents

Like any other UK industry, the UK Film and TV industry greatly benefits from skilled overseas workers. However, if you are a Skilled Worker looking to apply to work in the UK Film and Television industry, it is vital that you understand the complex process that will get you there.

The legal advisors at IAS can lead you through the process, inform you of what you need to prepare, and show you how to obtain endorsements and letters of recommendation. Give us a call today to get started at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    Eligibility Criteria & Requirements For The Global Talent Visa For Film And Television

    To be able to qualify for the Global Talent Visa in Film and TV, applicants are required to satisfy the UK Visa and Immigration laws by meeting the following criteria:

    • The applicant is over the age of 18.
    • The application will not fall under any of the general grounds of refusal.
    • The applicant has been granted a letter of endorsement from PACT or has been granted a prize that is listed in the Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes category.
    • The applicant has provided the necessary TB certificate, should this be required.

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

    Eligibility To Get PACT Endorsement

    For an applicant to get a PACT endorsement, they need to meet the criteria as per the Appendix Global Talent criteria of the Immigration Rules.

    To be eligible for PACT endorsement, an applicant, therefore, needs to show proof that they have one of the following:

    • Evidence that the applicant has won, at any time or in the 10 years before the application, a nomination for the following award:
      • Academy Award.
      • BAFTA Award.
      • Golden Globe.
      • Emmy Award.
    • In the past ten years, the applicant has evidence of making a direct or significant contribution to the nomination of or winning one of the aforementioned awards.
    • In the previous 15 years, the applicant has proof that they have had at least two nominations for the aforementioned award.
    • The applicant can demonstrate that they gained notable recognition in the industry through the following:
      • Having international sales, distribution, and recognition, as well as:
      • Achieving one of the following:
        • Having, at any time, won at least two Notable Industry Recognition Awards in a minimum of two productions.
        • Having, at any time, won one and having been nominated in the six months before the application for another Notable Industry Recognition Award in a minimum of two productions.
        • In the last six years before the date of the application have been nominated for a minimum of three Notable Industry Recognition Awards in two separate productions at least.
        • In the previous three years before the date of the application, to have made a direct and significant contribution to winning or being nominated for at least three Notable Industry Recognition Awards in a minimum of two separate productions.

    Note that no more than ten documents should be submitted from the above.

    Additionally, applicants also need to provide three letters of support. One of these letters needs to be from an organisation based in the United Kingdom that is recognised as having expertise in the film and television industry internationally or nationally. The organisation also needs to meet certain criteria as well.

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

    Obtaining Letters Of Recommendation & PACT Endorsements

    To obtain a PACT endorsement, applicants must meet the above criteria. There are nearly 200 awards on the notable industry list by PACT; therefore, it is key to ensure that you meet the criteria.

    Also, should you rely on these awards, you should be able to show that your work has international media and distribution sales recognition. Having only the awards is not enough.

    PACT Evidence For Endorsement

    PACT also required additional evidence. The application needs to include three letters of recommendation.

    One of these three letters needs to be from an organisation based in the United Kingdom. This organisation needs to be well-established and should be acknowledged as being an expert in the film and television industry.

    Another of these three letters needs to be from an organisation that is established internationally or nationally and is acknowledged as having expertise in the film and TV industry. This organisation can be UK-based or based abroad.

    The final letter has to be from an organisation that is well-established internationally or nationally and is widely accepted as having expertise in the specialist field of the applicant. Alternatively, this letter could come from a prominent individual with internationally recognised expertise in the film and TV industry.

    All of the above letters have to be from a senior member of the business or organisation who is familiar with the applicant’s work and can comment accurately on the applicant’s achievements. This person will need to be able to detail the applicant’s achievements in their specialist field and inform on how, in their perspective, the applicant has demonstrated expertise to be a leader in their field.

    Decision Time For A PACT Endorsement

    Typically, it can take between two and three weeks from the date that the application has been received by PACT from the Arts Council England to be reviewed and decided upon.

    All applications for endorsement received by PACT should be received within two to three weeks. That being said, decisions on applications may be delayed in some instances where an application does not contain all of the valid information, especially contact information that is necessary to verify the authors of the endorsement letters.

    How To Apply For The Global Talent Visa For Film And Television After A PACT Endorsement

    Applicants can apply for a Global Talent Visa before gaining endorsement; however, if the endorsement is not approved, the visa application will also be refused.

    Once you have been endorsed by PACT, you will receive a letter of endorsement. After gaining the endorsement letter, applicants have three months to make their visa applications. This can be done in the UK or from overseas.

    Those applying from outside of the UK can apply to gain ‘entry clearance’ at a visa appointment centre in their country of residence.

    To make your application, you will need to do the following:

    • The application needs to be valid; ensure you use the correct form to apply.
    • Pay the relevant fees for the application. This includes the immigration Health Charge.
    • Submit required biometrics.
    • Submit supporting documents. This includes the endorsement letter.
    • Provide evidence that you meet eligibility requirements.
    • Prove that you have met the required 70-point mark needed for this visa.
    • Ensure your character and immigration history holds no grounds for the application to be refused by the Home Office.

    The Global Talent Visa has a requirement of 70 points. These points are easy enough to achieve should the applicant go through the aforementioned process of gaining endorsement or proving having attained a prize in the Global Talent Appendix.

    An applicant who has attained 70 points will have one of the two following options:

    1. The applicant will have been granted a PACT endorsement letter, which was issued three months before the application date.
    2. The applicant is not relying on endorsement due to having been awarded a prize that is listed in the Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes, as previously mentioned.

    It is also necessary for the applicant to submit their current passport or valid travel documents, along with their endorsement letter, to the Home Office along with their application. If it is required, the applicant also needs to submit the results of a tuberculosis test as well.

    Fees For The Application

    To apply for this visa type, the applicant will need to pay a total of £623. Those who are applying based on endorsement do this in two separate payments. The first payment will be £456 and is paid when the applicant applies for endorsement; the second payment is £167, and this is paid when the applicant applies for their visa from the Home Office.

    If the applicant is applying based on a prestigious prize award, the total of £623 is paid in one lump sum alongside their visa application.

    Should the applicant have any dependents, then the applications of the dependents will also cost £623 per person.

    Alongside this amount, applicants are also required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge per year of leave. When applying, the full amount needs to be paid.

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

    Extending The Film And Television Global Talent Visa

    The Global Talent Visa will be valid for five years; however, flexibility is also offered to applicants with respect to the total duration of their granted leave. Those who apply for this visa can choose to apply in whole-year increments, up to five years overall.

    A benefit to applicants is that they only need to pay the immigration health surcharge for the amount of time they require. Therefore, if the applicant only requires three years instead of five, then the applicant only needs to pay the immigration health surcharge for three years.

    The applicant can also extend their Global Talent visa for Film and Television if they have maintained their endorsement. The only notable case in which an applicant could be refused an extension on their Global Talent visa would be if the endorsement was withdrawn.

    If this is the case, the applicant needs to create a new application.

    Global Talent To Visa To ILR: Settlement Options

    The Global Talent visa can lead to ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain), otherwise known as a settlement, after the applicant has spent three or five years in the country in this category.

    The amount of time taken for the qualifying period is dependent on whether or not the applicant received endorsement under the ’emerging leader’ or ‘leader’ criteria in their industry. It also depends on the overall endorsement type.

    For example, those who get a Global Talent visa in the scientific category can gain ILR after three years on a Global Talent visa.

    The rules for dependents are different; even if an applicant on a Global Talent visa can get ILR after three years, this does not mean that the dependents will be eligible to apply for ILR after three years.

    Not only should the qualifying period stated above be considered, but the applicant also needs to show that during their most recent period of leave, they earned an income that is appropriate to their expert field. Evidence applicable for this can include, but is not limited to, salary, evidence of self-employment, evidence of the earnings of a business, or a letter from the organisation in which the funding was secured.

    Should an applicant apply for ILR, they will also need to meet KoLL criteria, which include passing an approved English language test at level B1 and the life in the UK test as well.

    How Can IAS Help?

    Applying for the Global Talent Visa for film and television can be tricky. Those with exceptional talent who can demonstrate notable industry recognition and a direct contribution to their industry can get this visa, but the process of PACT endorsement and applying for the visa is complicated. This is why having a lawyer or legal advisor helps you through the process and makes things a lot easier.

    At IAS, our lawyers and legal advisors can help applicants throughout the endorsement application and visa application process, whether you are an expert in your field or an applicant showing exceptional promise. We can help you achieve a successful endorsement and a successful global talent visa application.

    If you are taking the global talent route with a UK based organisation as a recognised leader in film or television crafts, contact us today at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    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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