Route 3: Endorsed funders

Route 3 of the Global Talent visa is for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

If you are a UK or international funding organisation and interested in applying for endorsed funder status, please contact for an initial conversation on criteria and assurance requirements.

To apply for endorsement, you must select the relevant ‘fast-track’ option on the stage one (endorsement) application form and provide:

  1. A copy of the grant award letter(s) that support your work. The letter must confirm that:
  • The grant or award is worth a minimum of £30,000.
  • The grant of award covers a minimum period of two years.
  1. A Statement of Guarantee from the Director of Human Resources or equivalent from an eligible research organisation (see Annex 2 of the Immigration Rules). This letter should be on headed paper and dated and confirm in detail that:
  • The employing or hosting organisation is on the list of eligible organisations available at Annex 2 of the Immigration Rules.
  • The applicant is essential to the execution of a grant or award from an endorsed funder and the grant and the applicant’s role meets the eligibility criteria set out in W7.7.3 of the Immigration Rules.

You should not provide a copy of a contract as this will not contain all of the required information. Your employing institution may provide you with additional guidance to support your application.

Temporary concession for researchers working on COVID-19 grants

From 1 July 2020 to 31 January 2021, academics and researchers wishing to work on COVID-19 related grants can apply for a Global Talent Visa under relaxed criteria. The changed criteria are:

  • Research grants must have been awarded for at least 12 months or more (not 2 years or more).
  • Researchers must have an employment contract or hosting agreement for 12 months or more (not 2 years or more).
  • Applicants who are already in the UK can switch into this route from any other visa category.

The application process remains unchanged. The only additional requirement when applying under this concession is that the Statement of Guarantee confirms the research project is related to COVID-19 and includes the unique database reference number of the research project on the UKCDR COVID-19 Research Project Tracker. If you believe your research project is eligible but it is not listed on the UKCDR tracker, please contact before submitting your application so UKRI can seek direct confirmation from the funder. Full application guidance is available on the website. For further information about the concession, contact

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