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UK Global Talent Visa

The UK Global Talent visa is a highly beneficial immigration fast-track route for leaders and potential leaders in the areas of academia or research, arts and culture, and digital technology. Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your global talent visa.

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What is the Global Talent visa?

The Global Talent visa is specifically intended to provide an immigration fast-track for individuals from around the world with expertise in the fields of academia or research, arts and culture, and digital technology. The Global Talent visa replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa in February 2020. The scheme is open to leaders and potential leaders in the areas of:

  • Academia or research
  • Arts and culture
  • Digital technology
  • Architecture
  • Fashion design
  • Film and television
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Medicine

Global Talent visas are typically granted for up to five years, after which it is possible to extend for another one to five years. Alternatively, Global Talent visa holders can choose to apply for settlement (i.e. Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR) after three years for a leader and five years for a potential leader.

The Global Talent visa is pitched at a higher level than other UK work visas and hence comes with additional benefits. With a Global Talent visa, you will be able to:

  • come to the UK without meeting an English language requirement or having a job offer
  • work for a company in the UK
  • be self-employed
  • become a company director
  • change or stop doing your job without telling the Home Office
  • bring your partner and children with you as your dependants
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • apply for ILR after just 3 years (for leaders)

Global Talent Visa eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible for a Global Talent Visa, you must be:

  • over 18
  • a leader or potential leader in academia or research, arts and culture, or digital technology
  • be endorsed by an endorsing body

Unlike many other UK visa types, there are no salary or English language requirements.

Business endorsement

Selecting an endorsing body

Crucial to making a successful application for a Global Talent Visa is that you must gain endorsement to prove that you are a leader or potential leader from an approved endorsing body 1. You will not require endorsement, however, if you have an eligible award (see below). The endorsing body you need to approach for endorsement will depend on your field of work. The main endorsement bodies for the Global Talent Visa are as follows:

Arts endorsing bodies

  • Arts Council England
  • British Fashion Council
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Exceptional Talent applications only)

Digital Technology endorsing bodies

  • Tech Nation

Science, engineering, humanities and medicine endorsing bodies

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

Factors the endorsing bodies take into consideration

The endorsement body you apply to will take into consideration a wide range of factors when determining whether you are a leader or potential leader, as follows:

Academia or Research

The endorsing body will check that you are a leader or potential leader in any of the following disciplines: science, medicine, engineering, or humanities. You will need to have:

  • an eligible job offer as an academic or researcher, which must be either:
    • directing or leading an individual or team in a research or innovation project or programme of work
    • being responsible for academic, research or innovation leadership and development
  • an individual fellowship approved by one of the following:
    • Royal Society, for science and medicine
    • British Academy, for humanities
    • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • a research grant that is approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

It is also possible, if you are not eligible under these routes, to have your application peer-reviewed by an endorsing entity.

Arts And Culture

To be endorsed under the arts and culture route, you will need to satisfy the endorsing body you are a leader or potential leader in one of the following:

  • combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre or visual arts
  • architecture
  • fashion design
  • film and television, including animation, post-production and visual effects

The exact eligibility rules depend on which area you specialise in; for example, those in Combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre, or visual arts must:

  • have worked regularly in their field for the last five years
  • be producing work that is published or performed internationally and that Arts Council England judges to be "outstanding".
  • prove that their work is well known in at least two countries - if applying as a leader

Digital Technology

Those applying under the digital technology route must be endorsed as being a leader or potential leader in the areas of financial technology ("fintech"), gaming, cybersecurity, or artificial intelligence. This will be assessed by Tech Nation, who will determine if you are classed as an "exceptional talent" or if you have "exceptional promise". To demonstrate exceptional talent, they will check that you:

  • have a record of innovation where you’ve set up or had a senior position in a product-led digital technology company
  • you have a record of innovation where you’ve worked in a new digital field or concept as an employee
  • have contributed to the digital technology sector outside of work, for example, mentoring or collaborative projects
  • have set up or worked in a product-led digital technology company and have made technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector
  • have had research published or endorsed by an expert

How to apply for a Global Talent Visa

The application stages for a Global Talent Visa are as follows:

  1. Apply for endorsement from an appropriate approved endorsing body in the UK – it is important to understand how to get an endorsement for a Global talent visa. As explained above, each endorsing body will have its own application process and eligibility criteria for a leader and potential leader. In most cases, you will be expected to provide evidence that you have a strong body of work and the support of established experts in your area of work. You will need to pay an endorsement fee of £456.
  2. Once endorsed or if you have an eligible award (in which case you are exempt from endorsement), you will need to complete the online application form on the Home Office website; the form you need to complete depends on whether you are switching from a different visa while in the UK or you are outside the UK 2.
  3. Once your application form has been submitted, you will need to prove your identity. This can be done by either (you will be advised which identity method to use when you apply):
    1. having your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre - this is to get a biometric residence permit. There is a small fee of £19.20 to cover the costs of having your biometric information scanned and processed. Your biometric residence permit provides proof of residency in the UK.
    2. using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document.
  4. Pay the application fee of £152 – each dependant family member will also need to pay an application fee of £608. If you are from an EU country, your application fee may be reduced by £55.
  5. Pay the immigration healthcare surcharge for the duration of your visa (this is currently £624 per person per year).

Applications are typically processed within 3 weeks if submitted outside the UK or 8 weeks if switching to this visa in the UK. This may take longer if more evidence is needed or you are asked to attend an interview.

Global Talent Prestigious Prizes Route

You will be able to apply for a Global Talent visa without endorsement if you have an eligible award 3. Eligible awards are in the fields of:

  • Architecture (e.g. Pritzker Prize)
  • Arts and culture (e.g. Booker Prize, Olivier Award)
  • Digital technology (e.g. Turing Award)
  • Film and television (e.g. BAFTA, Golder Globe, Grammy)
  • Science, engineering, humanities, and medicine (e.g. Nobel Prize)

Global Talent visa extension

Towards the end of your current Global Talent visa, you will be able to apply to extend your visa (or apply for permanent settlement if you are eligible – see below) as long as the endorsing body which initially backed your application have not withdrawn their endorsement, and you can prove that you have been able to make money from your expertise in the UK during your time here. To meet this latter requirement, you will need to provide evidence showing your earnings (there is no set minimum for this), in the form of:

  • payslips
  • a letter from your employer confirming your earnings
  • personal bank or building society statements clearly showing payments from your employer or a limited company of which you are a director
  • an HMRC tax statement showing details of declarable taxable income on which tax has been paid or will be paid in a tax year
  • an HMRC document produced by an employer showing your taxable income; such as a P60
  • an HMRC tax return, or;
  • dividend vouchers

The current fee for a Global Talent visa extension is £608.00 per person. You will also need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge of £624 per year.

Global Talent Visa to indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

Global Talent visa holders who intend to remain in the UK in the long term can apply for settlement (ILR) 4, as follows:

  • As a recognised leader after living and working in the UK on this visa for three years
  • As a potential leader after living and working in the UK on this visa for five years

It is important that you must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any year within your ILR qualifying period.

ILR confers considerable advantages, including removing the need to apply for further visas, greater flexibility when it comes to employment and study, and there is no requirement to pay the costly immigration healthcare surcharge.

In order to meet the requirements for ILR, you must:

  • Have met the 3 or 5 year continuous residence period in the UK on a Global Talent visa (it is also possible to include time on other visas including a Tier 1, Tier 2, Innovator, or Representative of an overseas business visa)
  • Pass the Life in the UK test
  • Meet the English language requirements (by having an English language qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level or a degree taught or researched in English)
  • Have evidence that you are still endorsed by the endorsing body which initially backed your application

After a year of holding ILR, it is then possible to apply for British citizenship.

References:

1 GOV.UK: Global talent endorsing bodies

2 GOV.UK: Apply for the Global Talent visa

3 GOV.UK: Global Talent eligible prize lists

4 GOV.UK: Indefinite leave to remain if you have a business, investor or talent visa


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"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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