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UK Global Talent Visa Requirements for Nigerians

If you’re a Nigerian leader, potential leader or promising talent in research, science and technology, arts and academia, you may be eligible for a Global Talent visa. With this visa, you can work in the UK without a job offer or sponsorship.

You can call our Lagos office on +23413438882 or our UK office at +44 (0) 3316300929. You can also contact us online for more information about the Global Talent Visa, advice on how to go about the application, or assist you on any other UK immigration pathway you choose.


Are You Looking to Apply for a Global Talent Visa?

We have helped many skilled Nigerians in relocating and working in the UK through a Global Talent visa. Our team of seasoned lawyers is well-equipped to guide you through the entire application process and address all the questions about the specific requirements for this visa you might have.

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For Nigerian emigration matters, please call +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882.

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Overview of the Global Talent Visa

The UK Global Talent visa is for foreign nationals who have shown exceptional talent or hold promise as a leading figure in science and technology, arts and culture, research or academia, engineering and humanities. This visa replaced the Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1) in February 2020. One of the global talent visa UK benefits is it is a route towards getting British Citizenship.

With the Global Talent visa, you can settle permanently in the UK after 3 years if you are a talented candidate or after 5 years if you are a promising candidate. The Global talent visa does not restrict the kind of job you will do when you move to the UK as long as it is in the field for which you hold promise. This visa is one of the ways the UK government attracts the best talents in the world to the country.

As a Nigerian talent or leader, there is no cap on how long you can stay in the UK with the global talent visa. But you have to renew your visa when it expires. An extension covers your stay for 1 to 5 years, depending on how long you want to stay.

You generally can extend your stay as a Global Talent Visa holder if the organisation that endorsed you has not withdrawn their approval or if you have made wealth by working in your field.

UK Global Talent Visa Requirements and Eligibility

To be eligible for the global talent visa as a Nigerian, you must meet the following eligibility requirements.


You must be 18 years or older.


You must prove that you are a talent or promising talent by getting an endorsement from any of the five endorsing bodies approved by the Home Office. These bodies are:

  • Royal Society
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • The British Academy
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Arts Council England

These bodies have their criteria to meet before they can endorse you. But the requirements are usually based on two premises: that you have made an exceptional contribution to their field or that you have shown promise as a talent or leader.

To be considered for endorsement by these bodies, you will follow any of the four pathways below:

  • Endorsement due to appointment- you can be endorsed by a body if you have the offer to work as a reader, senior group leader, associate professor or professor in any accredited UK research institute or higher institution. The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society and the British Academy mainly endorse talents via this pathway.
  • Endorsement due to funding – if you have funding from a reputable funder for research to be carried out in the UK, you can apply for endorsement using this route. Applications from this route are usually fast-tracked and endorsed by the UKRI.
  • Endorsement due to peer review – the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society or the British Academy can also endorse Nigerians with exceptional peer-reviewed research.
  • Endorsement due to fellowship – if you have a fellowship with any of the organisations listed under the Royal Society, the Royal Academy or the British Academy, you might be eligible to apply for endorsement via this route. You must either be a current fellowship holder, or last held it not more than 12 months before your application date.

After your endorsement by any of the bodies mentioned above, you can now make an application to the Home Office online.

Prestigious Award Holders

If you are at least 18, you can apply for a Global Talent visa without endorsement if you have won a prestigious prize in your field. There are various awarding bodies that the Home Office recognises. Here are some of those bodies:

  • The New York Dance and Performance Awards
  • British Phonographic Industry
  • The Booker Prizes
  • Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards
  • JP Morgan Chase Award
  • Guggenheim Foundation
  • International Classical Music Awards
  • Grammy Awards
  • MOBO Organisation
  • Society of London Theatre
  • International Dublin Literary Award
  • Fryderyk Chopin Institute of Warsaw
  • Queen Elisabeth Competition
  • The American Theatre Wing and Broadway League
  • International Tchaikovsky Competition
  • Van Cliburn Foundation
  • Wihuri Foundation
  • WOMEX – Artist Award
  • Hyatt Foundation
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • The Fashion Awards – British Fashion Council
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (OSCARS)
  • British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Wolf Foundation
  • Society for Applied Microbiology
  • British Pharmacological Society
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Robert Koch Foundation
  • Institute of Acoustics
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Nobel Prize)
  • Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Technology Academy Finland
  • King Faisal International Fund
  • Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

You can find the rest at the Home Office’s website.

Required Documents

Here are the global talent visa UK documents:

  • A valid ECOWAS passport with at least one blank page.
  • A medical report shows that you do not have tuberculosis.
  • Proof that you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge fee.
  • Proof that you have paid the visa application fee.
  • Proof that a relevant body has endorsed you. This is proven by presenting a letter from the said body.

Other documents you need to present when applying for the global talent visa depend on your pathway.

If you are taking the research funding pathway, you’ll have to present the following:

  • A letter from the funder stating that your research will last at least two years and that you have funding of at least  £30,000.

If you are taking the academic or research pathway, you’ll have to present the following:

  • A letter from the organisation which bears your name, department and position you will occupy.
  • A proof that the position was advertised and you were selected on merit.
  • A proof that you presented three references to the endorsing body.
  • Proof that there was an interview between you and at least four senior researchers or academics in the institution you want to work in.

If you are taking the peer-reviewed pathway, you’ll present the following:

  • A letter from someone who is a recognised authority in your field. This letter must bear your name, why they think you are a promising talent and how you will contribute positively to the UK.

If you are taking the arts and culture pathway, you’ll present the following:

  • Three recommendation letters from globally recognised authorities in your field. These letters must contain how your recommenders know you and what benefit you’ll be to the UK when you go.
  • Your resume.
  • Ten pieces of evidence that show your achievements in arts and culture. If you have won an award on the prestigious list, you could mention it, and the Home Office would do due diligence on your claim.

Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters are essential to your application for the UK global visa. These letters are instrumental in convincing the Home Office that you are a leader or a promising talent in your field.

You typically have to submit three recommendation letters, and they should be from globally recognised leaders in your field. These letters must be signed and dated. They should also include the following:

  • The recommender’s credentials
  • Your achievements in your field or evidence of your promising talent.
  • Proof of how your recommender knows you.
  • A detailed explanation of how the UK would benefit from your talent.

Our team of experts is here to help you navigate the requirements of UK Global Talent Visa.

What Are the Required Fees

You are required to pay the following fees when applying for the Global Talent Visa:

  • £456 for the endorsement application.
  • £152 for the visa fees.
  • £623 for the Immigration Health Surcharge per year.
  • £623 if you are going with a dependant 18 years and older per year for immigration health surcharge.
  • £470 if you are going with a dependant less than 18 years per year for immigration health surcharge.
  • £608 for any extra family member you are travelling to the UK with.

How Can IAS Help?

The UK global talent visa application requires a meticulous approach. And it is also a competitive visa. This means that your application should be with uttermost carefulness to avoid being rejected.

At Immigration Advice Service, we have legal advisers who will guide you while making this application. They are available to help you assess your eligibility to know if you can get the visa. Our lawyers are also on hand to help you assemble the proper documentation you need for your application.

We have experience helping Nigerians get into the UK via the global talent visa pathway or any other pathway of choice.

You can walk into our office in Lagos, Nigeria, for more enquiries and physical meetings with our lawyers. Or you can contact us via our Lagos line. You can also contact us online or speak to us via our Nigerian number on +23413438882 or our UK line at +44 (0) 3316300929.

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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Frequently Asked Questions

If your endorsement application is refused, you can apply for a review. The review is done free of charge. You should ask for a review if you think the Home Office did not properly look at all the evidence you presented or if there was an error while the application was processed. You are expected to ask for a review on or before 28 days after you get the decision. To request a review, fill out the review form on Home Office’s website and email a copy to them at [email protected].

Your family can go to the UK with you if you have a global talent visa. You will need to prove that they are either your child or partner. You will also have to pay a separate visa application fee and health surcharge fee for each family member. Their biometrics will also be collected at the TLScontact centre at Lagos or Abuja for free.

If you are in the UK on another type of visa, you can switch to a Global Talent visa. However, you will need to meet all the requirements for the visa as though you were applying from outside the UK. You cannot switch to the global talent visa if you are on the following visas:

  • Seasonal worker visa.
  • Visitor/tourist visa.
  • Short-term student visa.
  • Domestic worker in a private household visa
  • Immigration bail.
  • Stay in the UK based on compassionate reasons.

If you are in the UK with any of the visa types mentioned above, you’ll need to leave the UK before applying for a global talent visa.

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