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UK Global Talent Visa Endorsement – Guide for Nigerians

With the Global Talent visa, highly talented individuals can move to the UK on the basis of their qualifications and work history without needing to be sponsored by an employer. You also need to meet the UK global talent visa requirements to qualify for the visa.

Get in touch with us for more information about global talent visa endorsing bodies on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online.


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Global Talent Visa Endorsing Bodies

The Global Talent visa is a category of immigration to the UK designed for talented and promising people in particular industries who want to work in the UK. It took the place of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa in February 2020.

The UK Global Talent visa is a prominent work route that draws highly skilled individuals to the UK in order to work without having to be sponsored by an employer.

The Global Talent application has two steps. Before moving on to apply to the Home Office for the visa, you must first demonstrate that you meet the talent requirement, typically through endorsement by an authorised body.

Typically, candidates must obtain endorsement from one of the six endorsing organisations contracted by the UK Home Office in order to be accepted for entry under the Global Talent visa. These endorsement bodies include:

  • The Royal Society which endorses natural and medical science.
  • Arts Council England which endorses arts and culture.
  • The British Academy which endorses humanities or social sciences.
  • Tech Nation endorsed digital technology (until they closed on 31 March 2023). They’re now replaced by Founders Forum Group (FF Group).
  • The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) was created for individuals from all research fields, who can show they are supported by an eligible job offer as a researcher, academic, a fellowship, or a research grant from an endorsed funder UKRI approved.
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering which endorses engineering.

You must choose which endorsing body is best qualified to evaluate your specific skill set in the field that applies to you and what criteria you must satisfy in order to be effectively approved.

The criteria to be utilised in determining whether you are either “exceptionally talented” or “demonstrates exceptional promise” have been developed by the endorsing bodies using their experience in each of their separate areas of competence. As a result, the requirements change based on the organisation reviewing your application.

Global Talent Visa Endorsement Process

A relevant endorsing body will be required to evaluate your knowledge, skills, and accomplishments during the endorsement application stage in accordance with the “Code of Practice for Endorsing Bodies” that is available on GOV.UK.

They will then inform the Home Office of their choice as to whether you should be approved as an established leader displaying extraordinary talent or an emerging leader showing exceptional promise after carefully reviewing your application.

Even though the application is taken into consideration by the endorsing authority, applications for endorsement must still be submitted to the Home Office. Both applicants from within and outside of the UK must complete the identical stage-1 application for endorsement by an endorsing body online at GOV.UK using the following form: ‘Apply for Global Talent endorsement – stage 1’.

The additional digital technology form, which may be accessed on the Tech Nation website, is required of applicants for Tech Nation endorsements, though this procedure might have changed when Tech Nation closed on March 31, 2023.

Practically speaking, stage 1 does not extend any current leave you have in the UK pending a decision because it is an application for endorsement rather than a visa. You must apply simultaneously or provide enough time to complete both application phases before any current visa expires.

The decision on an endorsement application often takes a few weeks, though applicants in the fields of research or academia, as well as digital technology, may benefit from a quick decision if specific requirements are met.

If the endorsement is approved, your stage-2 visa application must be submitted within three months of the date of the approval letter. If the endorsement is given, the Home Office will make the ultimate decision about your immigration.

In total, a global talent visa costs £608. If your application is based on an endorsement, you have to pay the £608 in two instalments. You will pay £456 when you submit your stage-1 endorsement application and £152 when you submit your stage-2 visa application.

When you apply for your visa, you must pay the entire £608 if your application is based on an award that qualifies. The endorsement fee must be paid in order for a stage-1 endorsement application to be accepted.

Supporting Documents for Endorsement

The global talent visa endorsement documents you will need to submit depend on your chosen field. There will be both specific and general evidential criteria to support your application for endorsement.

For instance, if you apply for an endorsement in the arts and culture you must submit three letters of recommendation, two from recognised expert organisations in the arts and culture, at least one of which must be located in the UK, and the third from a well known arts and culture organisation, or individual, with acknowledged expertise in your field.

You will also need to provide at least two of the following if you have an outstanding promise in the arts and humanities:

  • Evidence of at least two instances of recent media coverage of your work as a person, an identified group member, or as a contributor, from at least one country (including your country of residence).
  • Proof of winning, being nominated for, or making the shortlist for an international award for excellence, or of significantly contributing to such a win, nomination, or shortlisting.
  • Proof of international distribution and audiences for your individual work, or evidence of international appearances, performances, publications, or exhibitions as a group member or contributor, from at least one country.

You must submit your application to the Home Office alongside the documents required by your endorsing authority. However, as part of the application process, applicants for digital technology must upload the required supporting documents through an online form.

For more information regarding the submission of your applications or the replacement of Technation by the FF Group reach out to our immigration lawyers on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929.

Our team of seasoned professionals is dedicated to helping Nigerians secure a UK Global Talent Visa endorsement.

What if I Already Have Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Endorsement?

If you currently work in the UK in your specialised field and have an endorsement obtained through the earlier Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) method under the previous regulations. Under the Global Talent visa category, you can apply to extend the leave that you have been granted.

You won’t need to file a new stage-1 endorsement application as long as your current endorsement has not been revoked by the endorsing body. But you will need to provide evidence that you earned money in the UK during your most recent grant of leave related to your field of expertise.

There is no set minimum salary needed to satisfy this financial condition, therefore applicants may offer any proof as long as it comes from a reliable, independent source.

Can I Use My Endorsement to Apply to Settle in the UK?

If you apply for a renewal before your current grant of leave expires, you can live and work in the UK for up to 5 years at a time on a Global Talent visa, with no term cap on your overall stay. Depending on the qualifying field you work in, this also offers a path to settlement after 3 or 5 years.

As with an extension application, you must be able to prove that your endorsement has not been withdrawn and that during your previous grant of leave, you were earning money in the UK related to your expert field if you’re applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) under this route in order to settle in the UK permanently.

Additionally, you must meet the requirements for English language, Knowledge of Life in the UK (KOL) and continuous residence.

What Are the Requirements for Arts Council England?

The Home Office has chosen Arts Council England as the endorsing organisation to examine all requests for endorsement from those who specialise in the following fields:

  • Dance
  • Music
  • Combined Arts
  • Visual Arts, except museums, focused work.
  • Theatre
  • Literature

You must show that you are either an established leader in your industry or have the potential to do so, as well as that you are a prominent artist or a globally renowned specialist of arts and culture in order to qualify for endorsement.

You must be able to show that you are professionally involved in creating work of the highest calibre that has been performed, presented, exhibited or distributed abroad (other than only in magazines or newspapers). Your professional experience must be recent within the previous 5 years and demonstrate an impressive global track record.

  • You must provide proof from at least two countries to back up two of the following (for exceptional talent):
    • Two or more examples of your work recent recognition by the media (advertisements are not allowed)
  • You have won or contributed to the win of a significant international prize in your field like an Academy Award or the Booker Prize.
  • Evidence of recent appearances, publications, performances, or exhibitions in venues that are acknowledged as being internationally renowned in your industry, such as displaying work at the Tate Modern or a musical performance at the O2 Centre.

Additionally, you must submit three letters of recommendation from recognised experts in your field and cultural organisations. The proof should consist of not more than 10 documents excluding the three required letters of support.

Full Peer Review Endorsement

Meet the following requirements as an individual with exceptional talent under full peer review. You must:

  • Possess a PhD or comparable research qualifications including clinical or industrial research.
  • Be an active researcher in a field that has been approved, such as one that is connected to a research institute, university or the industry directly.
  • Meet one of the following requirements:
    • You should have won an award, a prestigious internationally recognised prize.
    • You should be a foreign member of an academy of another country or a member of the national academy.
    • You are required to get a letter of recommendation from a senior official of a reputable UK organisation engaged in research related to your field.
  • Should be at the early stages or beginning of your career.
  • Have received an award or held an international fellowship, a renowned UK-based research fellowship for the previous 5 years, or an advanced position deemed by the endorsing organisation to be equivalent to such a fellowship.

If you have any questions about UK Global Talent Visa process, our team is happy to assist.

What Documents I Need to Provide for a Full Peer Review Endorsement?

You will need to provide the following for full peer review endorsement:

  • A CV that shows your career publication history.
  • A letter of personal recommendation for your Global Talent application from a well known person in the UK that includes everything listed below:
    • Your successes and honours in the corresponding field.
    • How the author is related to you.
    • The contribution you would make to the wider society and the UK research excellence.
    • How the author evaluates and draws conclusions that you offer exceptional talent or promise.

What Are the Requirements for Tech Nation?

You must show the following if you are seeking endorsement in the area of digital technology:

  • As a technical applicant, you need to show your technical knowledge with the most recent technologies in building, deploying, using, or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure.
  • As a business applicant, you must present proof of your confirmed commercial investment, product expertise in developing digital products, or ability to make significant investments in digital product enterprises.

But if you are applying for an endorsement in the field of technology proving exceptional talent, then you must:

  • Show that you have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital sector.
  • Get a proof of any two of the following:
    • Possess documentation of accomplishments outside of your line of occupation that improve the field.
    • Demonstrate how well known you are as a great talent in the field of digital technology.
    • Have contributed to your field’s knowledge through your academic work, published research, or expert endorsement, demonstrating great ability in it.
    • Have contributed significantly to the field through your work as an employee, senior executive, or founder of a product driven digital technology company.

But if you are applying for an endorsement in the field of technology proving exceptional promise, then you must:

  • Prove that your potential as a great talent in the field of digital technology has been recognised.
  • Get a proof of any two of the following:
    • Proof of the recognition for your work beyond your occupation that contributes to your field’s advancement.
    • Get at least 2 examples of your innovation as an employee working on a new digital concept/field or a founder of a product driven digital technology company.
    • Provide at least 2 examples of your exceptional ability in the field, either through research endorsed by experts or academic contributions.
    • You must have founded or worked for a digital technology company with a strong focus on products, and you must have made important technical, business, or entrepreneurial contributions to the field.

Who Is Eligible for a Global Talent Visa in Digital Technology?

The UK’s digital technology sector welcomes the best tech talent to join and contribute through the Global Talent visa programme. Each candidate must show the sponsoring body (Tech Nation) evidence of a successful track record as an innovator in the field of digital technology by choosing one of the following:

  • As a well known innovator in the field of digital technology (exceptional skill).
  • As a rising leader in the field of digital technology (exceptional promise).

Technology applicants should be professionals with a broad range of skills, including constructing, implementing, and designing the technical infrastructure.

Whereas the criteria focus for business applicants is that they must demonstrate both commercial and investment skills when dealing with digital products (including leading investments).

What Documents Do I Need to Provide for Endorsement by Tech Nation?

You are required to provide these documents by Tech Nation:

  • Your CV
  • Three letters of recommendation, each with a date and the signatures of three different senior members of three different recognised organisations in the field of digital technology. These individuals need to be familiar with your skill set in order to submit a letter of recommendation.

If required:

  • Proof of any current businesses that have been operating or firms that have closed within the last five years, which must have achieved commercial success or otherwise show how you satisfy the requirements for endorsement.
  • Proof of one or more cases of digital technology innovation.
  • Proof of recognition for work outside of your current position that has aided in the sector’s advancement is required (the applicant must have a demonstrated history or record that goes beyond your usual day-to-day duties and demonstrates your significant contribution to the advancement of the related industry).

For instance, mentoring in the technological field through educational institutions, structured mentoring programmes, sharing open-source code to support the tech community through various platforms that encourage reuse, or publishing op-ed pieces in credible sources.

  • Proof that you have founded, served in a senior executive role for, or worked for a product-led digital technology business and made substantial technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions to the field of digital technology. Such evidence must demonstrate a concrete impact, such as an increase in revenue, expansion into new markets or market segments, cost savings for the customer, etc.
  • Evidence that you have proven outstanding ability in the discipline by publishing research or by receiving the support of a research expert or supervisor.

How Can IAS Help

Through the global talent visa programme, the UK digital technology industry accepts professionals with a broad range of technological skills. If your application meets all the requirements for the visa, it may be accepted.

As a professional in your field of work, you need to provide evidence to show what you have done. The processes involved in this specific visa application are many, it is not advised that you take on the application process by yourself.

This is because you may get confused along the way when providing all the supporting documents required and applying according to the global talent visa category that you are eligible for.

It is recommended that you seek expert guidance from top immigration lawyers. At IAS, we can guide you through getting a recommendation letter, global talent visa endorsement letter and the entire visa application process.

For more information about global talent visa endorsement or recent updates regarding Technation replacement (for digital technology applicants), reach out to one of us on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929. You can also contact us online.

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

You must submit an application demonstrating exceptional skill or great promise in a qualifying field, along with supporting evidence, in order to be approved for the global talent visa.

Tech Nation announced that it had joined the Founders Forum Group on April 25. The current procedure for requesting a Global Talent endorsement as a candidate in digital technology is unaffected by this. You can still continue an application you started using the Tech Nation website.

Nigeria came in third place for the total number of global talent visa applications completed in 2021. Therefore, Nigerian citizens can apply for the global talent visa.

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