Global Talent Visa
A UK immigration category for talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK
The Global Talent visa is a UK immigration category for talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK. It replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa on 20 February 2020.
This information is here to help you make a Global Talent visa application in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences and the humanities. Please refer to the UK Home Office Guidance and Global Talent Immigration Rules for information on gaining endorsement in the fields of arts and culture and digital technology under Arts Council England and Tech Nation.
Overview of the Global Talent visa
To be considered for entry under the Global Talent visa, applicants must gain an endorsement from one of six endorsing bodies engaged by the Home Office.
If you are applying for endorsement in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences or the humanities, the Home Office will refer your application to the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which will make an endorsement decision based on the evidence you provide.
If you are applying for endorsement in the fields of arts and culture and digital technology, your application will be referred to Arts Council England or Tech Nation, which follow separate endorsement criteria. Please see the Global Talent Immigration Rules for further information.
If endorsement is granted, the final immigration decision rests with the Home Office.
Applying for a Global Talent visa
There are four routes to obtaining endorsement for a Global Talent visa in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences and the humanities:
1) Senior appointments – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have accepted a job as a Professor, Associate Professor, Reader, or equivalent position such as Senior Group Leader, at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute, provided certain recruitment requirements are met. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society.
2) Individual fellowships – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.
3) Endorsed funders – fast-track endorsement for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI. In order to be eligible, researchers must be hosted or employed by eligible institutions named in Annex 2 of the Global Talent Immigration Rules.
Temporary concession for researchers working on COVID-19 grants
International academics and researchers wishing to work on COVID-19 related research grants can apply for a Global Talent visa via the endorsed funder route under relaxed criteria until 31 January 2021. Find out more.
4) Peer review – standard endorsement for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.
Please see our applicant decision tree to identify which route may be most appropriate for you.
For the endorsed funders route, UKRI will review applications from any academic or research discipline. For the other three routes, the applicant must select the appropriate endorsing body based on their field of research.
The British Academy reviews applications from the humanities and social sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering covers engineering, and the Royal Society covers the natural and medical sciences.
The full list of eligible disciplines and sub-disciplines per endorsing body is available in the Home Office Guidance.
What does the Global Talent visa offer?
The Global Talent visa allows successful applicants to work in the UK and is granted for a period of up to five years at a time without a sponsor or entry requirements such as language tests and minimum salary thresholds which apply to other UK immigration categories. Benefits include being able to change roles and employ organisations without permission from the Home Office, enter self-employment, set up a spin-out company, and earn additional income from consultancy or other sources which may or may not relate to the field of research in which the applicant was endorsed. There is no cap on the number of visas granted under this visa category and applicants can choose the length of their visa, initially up to five years with the option to renew multiple times.
In addition, the Global Talent visa comes with considerable advantages for individuals, their partners and their dependants wishing to establish a long-term connection to the UK, including a fast-track to settlement after three years for the main applicant. The visa also allows successful applicants to undertake research overseas without this counting towards the maximum time period allowed for absences in the context of applications for settlement. See the Global Talent Immigration Rules for information on the rules covering dependants, extension and settlement.
How do I apply for a Global Talent visa?
There are two stages to the application: endorsement application (stage one) and immigration application (stage two). Stage one and stage two applications must be made directly to the Home Office.
There is a single GOV.UK link for the stage one application form regardless of your current residence. For stage two, there are two different forms depending on whether you are applying within the UK or from outside the UK.
Stage one: Endorsement application
Specific application details for each of the four endorsement routes under the Global Talent category are outlined on the individual pages for each route.
The endorsing body that you choose will send its endorsement decision to the Home Office. You will then be notified by the Home Office about the outcome of your endorsement application. Please do not contact the endorsing body to check on progress.
Stage two: Immigration application
If your stage one application is endorsed, you can apply for a visa under stage two on gov.uk. There is no requirement within the Immigration Rules to provide a copy of your endorsement letter when you apply for stage two. However, it may speed up the consideration of your visa application if you do so. The endorsing bodies are not involved in stage two of the process and endorsement as part of stage one is not of itself decisive as to whether a Global Talent visa will be issued.
In stage two, the Home Office will consider, for example, immigration aspects of your application including whether general grounds for refusal apply and, if you are in the UK already, whether you are eligible to switch into the Global Talent category from your current immigration category. Please note that if you have submitted a stage two application, extension or settlement application, travelling outside of the common travel area will mean your application is withdrawn automatically. You are not able to live and work in the UK as a Global Talent migrant until you have made a successful stage two application. For further information, please refer to the Home Office Guidance.
Last updated 7 April 2020