Global Talent Visa UK

UK’s Global Talent Visa allows exceptionally talented and promising foreign professionals to live and work in the UK without sponsorship. It replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in February 2020 and is a fast route to permanent residency. Eligible talents can apply from outside the UK or switch from a qualifying UK visa from within the UK.

To learn more about the UK Global Talent Visa and its eligibility requirements, speak to one of our UK immigration experts. Total Law’s immigration lawyers are always ready to help you. Call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online for immediate assistance.

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    Global Talent Visa UK - Overview

    The Global Talent Visa is open to exceptional and promising talents in the fields of academia and research, arts and culture, and digital technology. Applicants for this visa route must be recognised leaders (established professionals) or potential leaders (with less than five years of experience) in their fields.

    Individuals eligible for Global Talent Visas do not need job sponsorship to move to the UK. However, to qualify, they must have obtained an official endorsement from a UKVIS-approved endorsing body or received a globally recognised prestigious prize.

    Because the Global Talent Visa route does not require sponsorship, UK employers do not have to undergo the rigorous process of obtaining and maintaining a sponsor licence.

    Also, there are no restrictions on the number of applicants that can be admitted via this visa route. This makes it easier for UK establishments to hire top foreign talent.

    Global Talent Visa holders also do not have to notify the Home Office of job changes. The Global Talent Visa is valid for five years and allows unlimited extensions.

    However, you may qualify for permanent settlement after three years of residing in the UK on a Global Talent Visa as an exceptional talent and after five years as a promising talent. There’s no minimum income or language requirement for this visa route.

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    UK Global Talent Visa Requirements & Eligibility


    UK’s Global Talent Visa is open to foreign individuals over the age of 18 who are exceptional or promising talents in the fields of:

    • Academia and Research – engineering, humanities, medicine, and science.
    • Arts and Culture – Architecture, combined art, dance, fashion design, film & television, literature, music, theatre, and visual arts.
    • Digital Technology – The eligible applicant must get 70 points on the points-based immigration system to qualify. You meet the 70-point requirement if you have one of the following:
    • An endorsement from one of the six approved endorsing bodies: the Arts Council England, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society, Tech Nation, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The endorsement must be no earlier than three months before your visa application.
    • A recognised prestigious award such as a Golden Global Award or Nobel prize. In this case, you don’t need to apply for endorsement.
    • You meet the earned money requirement, and your initial endorsement has not been withdrawn (if you apply for a Global Talent Visa extension).

    Image by Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay

    Academia and Research

    To qualify for a Global Talent Visa under academia and research, you must meet one of the following endorsement requirements.

    • You have an offer from a UK higher educational or research institution to work as an academic or researcher.
    • You are participating in research as part of a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-approved research grant from an endorsed funder. A UKRI-approved research institution must also host you.
    • You are a recipient of an individual fellowship in the UK.
    • You have received a peer review endorsement. To qualify for a peer review endorsement, you must hold a PhD or equivalent research experience and participate in ongoing research. You must provide a recommendation letter from a renowned UK research organisation.

    The British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) administer endorsements in this field.

    Arts and Culture

    To qualify for a Global Talent Visa under arts and culture, applicants must:

    • Have worked continuously in the field for the last five years and produced internationally recognised outstanding artwork considered exceptional by the Arts Council England.
    • Prove that their work or performance has been recognised in more than one country.
    • Provide three letters of recommendation from eligible organisations.

    Other industry-specific requirements under arts and culture include:

    For Architecture endorsement:

    • Applicants must have evidence of internationally published works.
    • The Royal Institution of British Architects (RIBA) must consider their work outstanding.

    For Fashion Design endorsement, the applicant must:

    • Be known as a leading figure, and other leading figures in the industry must recognise their work.
    • Have works that have been exhibited and sold internationally.
    • Potential leaders must have proof of media recognition or sponsorship from eligible international fashion organisations.

    For Film & Television endorsement, applicants must

    • Have won a prestigious award such as an Academy Award, BAFTA, Emmy Award, or Golden Globe or must have been nominated for any of these within the last ten years.
    • Be considered exceptional by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT).

    Digital Technology

    To qualify for a Global Talent Visa under digital technology, a foreign individual must meet one of the following requirements. You must:

    • Have founded, made substantial commercial investment, or held a senior position in a product development tech company.
    • Have worked on an innovative digital concept.
    • Have taught or participated in a collaborative technical project that significantly contributed to developing the digital technology sector.

    Winning an award or having your research endorsed by an expert further increases your qualification for the visa. Tech Nation is responsible for administering endorsements in this field. You must also provide three recommendation letters from eligible bodies.

    Global Talent Visa Application Process

    You need an endorsement to be eligible for a Global Talent Visa, so you must obtain one before applying. While it’s possible to apply for a visa and endorsement simultaneously, your visa application will only be accepted if the endorsement decision comes before your visa application is processed.

    The steps to applying for a Global Talent Visa are as follows.

    1. Check eligibility: Before starting your application, ensure you meet all eligibility requirements to avoid wasting time and resources. You must be able to prove you’re an exceptional or promising talent to stand a chance.
    2. Apply for endorsement: You need an endorsement to prove you’re a leader or potential leader in your field. You’ll make the endorsement application to the Home Office, which will forward your application to the relevant endorsing body for review. To apply,
    • Register on the UK Visas and Immigration website using your email address.
    • Complete the online application.
    • Upload all required supporting documentation and pay the endorsement fee.
    • Receive your endorsement letter and use it to apply for the visa.
    1. Complete the online visa application: Sign in to your UKVI account and complete the online Global Talent Visa application form. You may then be required to make an appointment at a visa application centre.
    2. Prepare supporting documents: Gather all required documents, including your endorsement letter, in preparation for your visa appointment.
    3. Attend your visa appointment: You may need to go for an appointment at a UK visa application centre, where you’ll submit your biometric information (fingerprints and photos). You’ll also submit your supporting documents during this appointment.
    4. Pay applicable fees: You must pay a visa application fee and an Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 when applying for the Global Talent Visa.
    5. Wait for a decision: The Home Office will review your application and decide between two and four weeks. Depending on your location, you’ll be notified of the decision via email or post.

    You can skip the second step if you have received a prestigious award since you’ll be eligible to apply for a Global Talent Visa without endorsement.

    You can travel to the UK once your visa application is approved. You’ll be issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) upon arrival in the UK.

    Applying for a UK Global Talent Visa can be somewhat complex. Therefore, it’s best to seek professional guidance. Total Law UK immigration lawyers are always ready to help. You can contact us for immediate consultation.

    Our expert lawyers can guide you through the process of obtaining a UK global talent visa. Contact Us

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      Documents Required for Global Talent Visa Application


      When applying for a Global Talent Visa, you’ll be required to submit certain documents to prove your qualification for the visa. The specific documents required vary across different fields. They include:

      • Valid passport having at least two blank pages.
      • Endorsement letter from the appropriate endorsing body.
      • Detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) outlining your career accomplishments.
      • Up to 10 proofs of your exceptional work – achievements, international awards, publications, media recognitions, or international exhibitions.
      • Recommendation letters or references from experts in your field.
      • For academic leaders or researchers: A letter from the host UK organisation stating your identity details, department, and position. It should also state that you got the job via an open competition for an advertised role, senior members of the organisation interviewed you, and you provided at least three references.
      • For research grant work: A letter from the funding organisation stating that the research grant is worth at least £30,000 and will last up to two years.
      • For peer-reviewed endorsement: A letter from a known expert in your field attesting to your exceptional talents and how they will benefit the UK.
      • For art and culture global talents: Three recommendation letters from leaders in your field attesting to your qualifications and their benefits to the UK.
      • For digital technology talents: Three recommendation letters from leading organisations in the digital technology sector. Each letter should attest to your work and its benefit to the digital technology industry and the UK.
      • Valid Tuberculosis certificate if you’re from a country that requires the test.

      You must provide certified translations of documents in languages other than English and Welsh. You must complete your application within three months of receiving your endorsement letter, or it’ll become invalid. The Home Office may request additional supporting documents for further eligibility checks.

      Global Talent Visa Application Fees

      The total application fee for a Global Talent Visa is £716. You’ll pay it in two parts if you apply based on endorsement.

      • £524 endorsement fee.
      • £192 visa application fee.

      If you apply using an eligible award, you’ll pay £716 as a lump sum. If you bring your family members along, each dependant’s visa application will cost an additional £716.

      You’ll also have to pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge of £624 per annum for each person.

      Application Processing Time

      A Global Talent Visa processing time varies for each application depending on where you’re applying from and the basis of the application. The typical processing time for applications from outside the UK is three to four weeks, while applications from within the UK can take up to eight weeks.

      Individuals applying based on endorsement must first apply for an endorsement, which usually takes about eight weeks to process. This is why it’s best to get a decision on your endorsement application before proceeding to apply for the visa.

      A large volume of applications from your visa application centre or a Home Office request for additional supporting evidence can delay visa processing.

      Depending on your location, you can pay for a priority service for a faster decision.

      Global Talent Visa Validity Period & Renewal

      The Global Talent Visa is valid for five years and renewable. If you are already a leader in your field, you can apply for permanent settlement after three years of residence in the UK.

      If you’re a promising talent, you can apply for permanent settlement after holding the Global Talent Visa for five years. You may qualify for British citizenship after holding an Indefinite Leave to Remain for one year.

      If, for some reason, you do not qualify for permanent residence, you can apply for a Global Talent Visa extension, provided that your endorsement or award has not been withdrawn.

      Bringing Dependants

      Global Talent Visa holders can bring dependant family members along to the UK. Eligible family members include spouses, civil partners or unmarried partners, minor children, and dependant older children (if they were already in the UK).

      Your partner and children can apply for their dependant visas at the same time as you, and you’ll usually get your decisions simultaneously. The visa application costs £716 for each dependant.

      Our legal team has helped hundreds of cases secure a UK global talent visa. Let us help you too! Contact Us

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        Switching to a Global Talent Visa

        Depending on your visa type, you can switch to a Global Talent Visa if you’re already in the UK. You can apply for the visa switch if you meet the eligibility requirements and currently hold one of these UK visas.

        • Innovator Visa
        • Start-up visa
        • Tier 1 visa
        • Tier 2 visa
        • Tier 5 Temporary Worker visa for Government Exchange Programmes.

        Your visa must be valid and not near expiry at the time of your application. Your dependant family members must also apply separately for a visa switch.

        Foreigners with other visa types in the UK cannot switch to a Global Talent Visa. They must leave and apply from outside the UK.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Applying for a Global Talent Visa can be complicated for most people, mainly because of the endorsement requirements and other industry-specific criteria. Collecting the required supporting documents and qualification evidence can be equally stressful and time-consuming.

        So, whether you’re an employer seeking to bring exceptional talents to work in the UK or a leader or potential leader in your field seeking to further your career in the UK, you’ll need expert guidance to navigate the Global Talent Visa process.

        If you’re considering applying for the Global Talent Visa, or you’ve applied and were rejected, Total Law UK immigration lawyers can assist you with your situation. Our lawyers are conversant with UK immigration laws and have years of experience guiding people through complex immigration situations.

        We can guide you through the entire application process, from ascertaining your eligibility to collecting the required documentation, securing the necessary endorsements, filing your application, and following up with the Home Office.

        We are always ready to help you in person, online, or over the phone. Call us today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online for immediate assistance.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You need to provide sufficient evidence to prove you’re a recognised leader in your field. It could be international awards and recognitions, media recognitions, published works, international exhibitions, or global endorsements.

                  The significant difference between the skilled worker and Global Talent Visa is that the Global Talent Visa does not require job sponsorship and has a longer validity period.

                  Yes, the UK Global Talent Visa is worth it. It is one of the fastest routes to obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and British citizenship.