Following the abolition of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa in February 2020, the UK visas and Immigration introduced the Global Talent visa. The Global Talent visa will be an option for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to come to the UK to work in said their relevant field.
You can apply for a Global Talent visa if you work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed as either a recognised leader, known as exceptional talent, as an emerging leader, known as exception promise or under the UK research and Innovation endorsed funder option. To be considered for the Global Talent visa, applicants must gain an endorsement from one of the endorsing bodies engaged by the Home Office.
The application process takes place across two stages. You first need to apply to be endorsed online. You can be endorsed in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology, the arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture). If you are applying as a digital technology specialist, you will also need to apply directly to Tech Nation. Applications for endorsements can take up to 8 weeks.
Each endorsing body has its own set of criteria, but in each case you will need to provide substantial evidence of your work and support from experts in your field.
If your application is successful, you will receive an endorsement letter. Once you have this letter, you can then make the application for the visa. You must do this within 3 months of receiving your endorsement letter.
How Long is the Visa For
The length of your visa will depend on how long you applied for. You can apply for a visa for between 1 to 5 years. The choice is down to each applicant. If you wish to stay longer than anticipated, you can also apply to extend your visa. There is no limit as to how many times you can apply for an extension. Similar to the initial application, each extension can last for a period between 1 – 5 years.
Global Talent visa holders who continue to satisfy the requirements for an extension and demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. How soon you can apply for settlement depends on which category you are in:
- Exceptional talent visa: 3 years
- Exceptional talent endorsement in science: 3 years
- Endorsement under the UKRI endorsed funder scheme: 3 years
- Exceptional promise endorsement in either arts and culture or digital technology: 5 years
The relevant continuous period can include time spent in the following immigration categories: Global Talent, Innovator, Tier 1 (excluding Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Post-Study Work)), Tier 2 (excluding as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)).
What you can and cannot do
If you reside in the UK on a Global Talent visa, you can:
- Work – either for an employer, as a director or be self-employed
- Change jobs without needing to reapply
- Do voluntary work
- Bring your dependants (partners and children under 18 years old)
Unfortunately, you will not be able to:
- Have access to public funds
- Work as a doctor or dentist in training
- Work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
Applications can be made from outside the UK. If you are in the UK and your current leave is under Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – GAE), start-up or innovator categories then you will also be able to apply for this visa from inside the UK.
Once you have obtained an endorsement, the earliest you can apply for your visa is 3 months before your planned travel date.
Once your application has been submitted and you have attended the Visa Application Centre to enrol your biometrics, you should receive a decision within 3 weeks. There may be options to pay an additional fee to receive a faster decision, however this service is not available at every location.