Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about Global Talent Visas.


Am I eligible to apply for the Global Talent visa?

To see if you are eligible, please refer to Appendix Global Talent of the Immigration Rules, the guidance on GOV.UK, and our applicant decision tree. Unfortunately, we cannot provide advice to individual applicants.

Do I need a UK visa if I am from the European Union (EU), Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein?

Yes. Freedom of movement for EU, Swiss and EEA citizens coming to work or study in the UK ended on 1 January 2021. This means that all non-UK nationals, except for Irish citizens, are now subject to UK visas and immigration rules. 

Does the Global Talent visa have any restrictions based on nationality?

There are no nationality-based restrictions for the Global Talent visa.

Is the Global Talent visa right for me?

You as the applicant are best placed to assess whether the Global Talent visa is right for you. Please note that other visa options for researchers exist in addition to this category. More information is available on GOV.UK.

Do I need a job offer to be eligible?

See specific application details for each of the four endorsement routes.

I am currently in the UK on a different visa, can I switch to the Global Talent visa?

Information on switching to the Global Talent visa can be found on GOV.UK.

Can I apply for a Global Talent visa to be employed or hosted at any UK organisation?

Route 2 (Individual fellowships) and Route 4 (Peer review) do not list specific employing or host organisations. Route 1 (Academic and research appointments) and Route 3 (Endorsed funders) are only open to applicants being employed or hosted at an organisation on the approved lists. Holders of certain prestigious prizes can apply for a Global Talent visa without going through the initial endorsement stage and do not need to be employed or hosted at a specific organisation.

Will going on a secondment outside the UK as part of my fellowship award or grant affect my eligibility to apply for a Global Talent visa?

Secondments and other time spent outside the UK do not impact eligibility to apply for endorsement where other criteria are met. Route 3 (Endorsed funders) requires that applicants at the time of application for a Global Talent visa have a minimum of two years remaining on their employment or hosting agreement with an eligible UK organisation. This requirement does not apply to the other three endorsement routes.

Does the Global Talent visa allow me to undertake research overseas?

Yes. Any time spent outside the UK for the purpose of research does not count towards the 180-day annual limit for absences if you wish to apply for settlement.

What is the "prizes route"?

Holders of certain prestigious prizes can apply for a Global Talent visa without going through the initial endorsement stage. The list of eligible awards and further information is available on GOV.UK.

Does the UK's Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) apply to Global Talent visa holders?

The endorsement process for the Global Talent visa makes no assessment of whether the applicant is eligible to work or study in security sensitive fields in the UK. Global Talent visa holders and their potential employers should check relevant guidance on whether security checks may be required before they take up employment or study in sensitive subjects in the UK. Information on ATAS is available on

Where do I send my application?

To submit your application, you will need to complete the forms available on GOV.UK. There is a single link for the Stage 1 application form regardless of your current residence. For Stage 2, there are two different forms depending on whether you are applying within the UK or from outside the UK. Payment should be made via GOV.UK when applying online. If you hold an eligible prestigious prize you do not need to submit a Stage 1 application form.

How do I track the progress of my application?

You will receive an update from the Home Office when your payment has been processed. The relevant endorsing body will not provide you with any updates as all correspondence is via the Home Office. For queries relating to the Home Office’s processing of applications, please email [email protected].

I need my passport to travel to conferences, when do I need to submit it?

There is no requirement to submit your passport during Stage 1 of the application process and you can travel while your endorsement is under consideration. If endorsed in Stage 1, you will be required to submit your passport at Stage 2 of the process when the Home Office will consider immigration aspects of your application. You must apply for Stage 2 within three months of gaining your endorsement.

What if I do not meet the requirements?

If you do not meet the requirements for the Global Talent visa, other immigration categories are available. All work visas are listed on GOV.UK.

I have a legal question, can you put me in touch with a lawyer?

The endorsing bodies are not able to put you in touch with legal representatives.

Assessment – all endorsement routes

How long does it take to be assessed for endorsement?

Under Route 4 (Peer review), Stage 1 of the application process can take up to eight weeks from the time the Home Office receives your application. Within these eight weeks, the relevant endorsing body will usually return an endorsement decision within five weeks. For fast-track applications under Route 1 (Academic and research appointments), Route 2 (Individual Fellowships), and Route 3 (Endorsed funders), the endorsing bodies usually return an endorsement decision within 14 working days. Once you have received endorsement, Stage 2 of the application process will need to be completed. The Home Office advises that Stage 2 can take around three weeks if you apply from outside of the UK, and up to eight weeks if you apply from within the UK. Applications for Stage 2 can be submitted in person at a Premium Service Centre (PSC) in the UK or via priority or super-priority services outside the UK where applicable. Please note that PSC submission is not available for Stage 1 and if you submit a Stage 1 application at the PSC it will be rejected.

Can the endorsing bodies advise me on my application or my supporting documents prior to submission?

We are not able to review your documents prior to submission. Please ensure that you read Appendix Global Talent of the Immigration Rules and the guidance on GOV.UK and these pages carefully. Sending your application to one of the endorsing bodies before submission will not increase your chances of endorsement.

Assessment – Route 1 (Academic and research appointments)

What is an "eligible academic or research position"?

You will only be considered eligible for Route 1 (Academic and research appointments) if responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership and development or for directing or leading an individual or team research or innovation project or programme of work is a significant function of the role you have accepted.

The "academic, research or innovation leadership and development" category is for individuals in senior leadership roles at a departmental, faculty or institutional level. Typical duties may include strategy development and delivery and overseeing the management of staff and resources. Example roles (not exhaustive) include Vice-Chancellor/Principal, Pro Vice-Chancellor/Vice-Principal, Dean, Associate Dean, Head of School, and Research Institute Director.

The "directs or leads" category is for individuals whose role requires them to act independently in initiating, planning and managing a research or innovation project or programme of work without supervision. This is likely to make you ineligible if your role is an entry-level postdoctoral research position. If your role involves teaching and curriculum development, your endorsement application must confirm that directing or leading a research or innovation project or programme of work is a significant function of the role alongside your teaching and learning responsibilities. If it is not a significant function, you will not be considered eligible for this route.

What information should the employing institution include in the job description and statement of guarantee?

Employing institutions are required to use a standard template letter for the statement of guarantee which is available from the endorsing bodies. To receive a copy of the template, your HR department should contact the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society.

Assessment – Route 2 (Individual fellowships)

What is the eligible period for endorsement?

Eligibility for endorsement through Route 2 (Individual fellowships) opens on the date your award letter is issued and closes five years after the end date of the fellowship.

What information is needed in the award letter?

The award letter should include the name of the applicant and the name, start date and duration of the fellowship. Please check that your fellowship is on the list of eligible awards before applying. If your award letter does not contain all the necessary information, you should provide supporting information from the funder or your host institution. If there is no award letter, the endorsing bodies will accept alternative documentation from the funder as evidence that the fellowship has been awarded.

Are individuals with Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowships eligible?

Only holders of MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships (both MSCA European Postdoctoral Fellowships and MSCA Global Postdoctoral Fellowships) are eligible for Route 2 (Individual fellowships) provided they hold the award currently or have done so within the past five years.

I have been awarded a MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship Global Fellowship, am I eligible to apply for the Global Talent visa even though I will be in the UK for only part of the fellowship?

Yes. There is no requirement that your MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship Global Fellowship should be held in the UK. You are eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa under Route 2 (Individual fellowships).

Are MSCA recruited researchers eligible for the Global Talent visa?

Researchers recruited as part of the MSCA Innovative Training Network (ITN) and MSCA/Doctoral Networks (DN), or MSCA COFUND Doctoral or Postdoctoral Programme (DP) are not eligible under Route 2 of the Global Talent visa but may be eligible under Route 3 (Endorsed funders) subject to meeting the endorsement criteria.

I need to submit written confirmation of my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellowship (MSCA) or European Research Council (ERC) Grant as part of my Global Talent visa endorsement application, which document should I submit?

If you have received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowship (named MSCA Individual Fellowship until 2020) or an European Research Council (ERC) Grant prior to or in the 2020 call, you should submit a copy of your Grant Agreement and Data Sheet.

If you have received a MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship or ERC Grant in the 2021, 2022 or 2023 calls hosted in the UK but don’t yet have a Grant Agreement because you are submitting your grant details to UKRI in order to receive funding through the Horizon Europe Guarantee, you can submit the following documents with your Global Talent visa endorsement application: 1. for a MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship submit a copy of the European Research Executive Agency GAP invitation letter and a copy of the grant proposal (which contains your name); 2. for an ERC Grant submit a copy of the European Research Council Executive Agency GAP invitation letter and a copy of the grant proposal (which contains your name); 3. if you already have confirmed funding from the UKRI Horizon Europe Guarantee, you must submit a copy of your UKRI Guarantee Offer Letter with your application.

If you have received a MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship or ERC Grant results in the 2021, 2022 or 2023 calls with a host organisation based outside of the UK, you must submit a signed copy of your Grant Agreement, which should include a Data Sheet with your grant data and a copy of your CV submitted as part of your original Fellowship or Grant application. You will need to wait until the Grant Agreement has been completed and signed before applying for Global Talent visa endorsement.

Assessment – Route 4 (Peer review)

What is "exceptional promise"?

The exceptional promise category is for applicants who demonstrate potential to contribute significantly as a future leader in their field of research or innovation in an academic or industry setting. Applicants who choose to apply under this category will typically be towards the start of their career and on a steep career trajectory. As future leaders they will be outstanding researchers or innovators on a clear path to independence or leadership, having already demonstrated the ability to innovate, and drive advances (and/or translation) in their field of research or innovation. The exceptional promise category does not specify a minimum number of years of research experience, in recognition of differences in people’s career paths and progression.

What do you mean by PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial or clinical research) in the mandatory criteria?

Equivalent research experience to a PhD means significant time spent leading and undertaking research. This would entail at least three years' consolidated research time where you have been the intellectual drive behind a project and achieved strong demonstrable outputs from your research experience. This could include, for example, working in industry, holding a clinical post with dedicated research time, or working in other academic and non-academic settings or having pursued a non-traditional academic career path. Clinical practice without demonstrable research achievements is not considered to represent equivalent research experience. Being at the final stages of a PhD does not qualify as equivalent research experience, nor does work undertaken during PhD studies. An applicant will not be considered as meeting the necessary mandatory and qualifying eligibility criteria if they have not yet been awarded a PhD and are unable to show evidence of equivalent research experience.

What do you mean by 'active researcher'?

Being an active researcher means a sustained track record of research production in your field of talent. All evidence submitted as a part of your application will be used to determine whether or not you meet the eligibility criterion of active researcher, including your track record, career history and your contributions to the field to date. A broad range of research outputs will be considered, including publications, prizes, and funding awarded, patents, licences, spinouts or other forms of intellectual property and the impact of past innovation activity, in an organisation, academia or as an individual.

What type of evidence should I submit to meet the eligibility and assessment criteria?

You must submit all the mandatory evidential requirements in order for your application to be forwarded to the endorsing body for eligibility assessment. Mandatory documentation means:

  • Complete application form, which must include your personal statement
  • CV
  • Letter of personal recommendation (with author’s CV)
  • Letter of objective assessment (with author’s CV) for Exceptional Talent only

You do not need to submit additional documents for the following:

  • Copies of full publications listed in your application form and your CV. You must provide within your CV the full bibliographic reference, and name of the publisher, where each publication may be obtained, including a URL if available
  • Copies of any degree certificates (i.e. BA/BSc, MA/MSc/MRes). Copies of PhD certificates are not needed, except if you have been awarded your PhD within the past 12 months, in which case you may wish to submit a copy as additional evidence of its completion
  • Copies of employment contracts, or any completed professional training
  • Copies of award certificates, or photos of medals received
  • Copies of any other certificates (i.e. journal review certificates, conference attendance certificates, etc)
  • Copies of conference proceedings, or evidence of invited presentations

What types of recommendation letters should I provide?

Please ensure that recommendation letters meet the requirements in Appendix Global Talent of the Immigration Rules.

The letter of personal recommendation should be from an eminent person resident in the UK. The person must be familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and qualified to assess your claim of exceptional talent or exceptional promise. The letter should be as detailed as possible as this will make it easier for reviewers to assess your application.

If you are applying under the exceptional talent category, you need to provide a second letter with an objective assessment of your reputation in the field. This letter should be from an expert in your field, who is a senior member of a reputable UK organisation concerned with research or innovation in your field.

What do you mean by "eminent" person for the letter of personal recommendation?

The letter of personal recommendation should be from an individual with internationally recognised expertise in your field.

Page last updated: 14 May 2024

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