Global Talent Visa UK

Global Talent visas
Legally reviewed by: Sherena Lawrence

Global Talent Visa UK – Overview

Introduced in February 2020, the Global Talent visa replaced the previous Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. Eligibility for this visa is extended to individuals aged 18 and over whom the endorsing body can identify as leaders or having potential.

The Global Talent visa is not capped, doesn’t require a job offer and can lead to settlement in the UK. Additionally, dependant partners and children under the age of 18 of the visa holder can apply under this route.

Global Talent Visa UK Requirements

To qualify for a Global Talent visa, you must be able to evidence to UK Visas and Immigration that:

*If you have been awarded a prize from the Global Talent Prizes list, you can bypass the endorsement stage of the application and go directly to the visa stage. 

Although there is a general list of requirements, these may differ on a case-by-case basis. An expert immigration solicitor can guide you through the requirements, providing guidance to give your application the best chance of acceptance.   

If you are not eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa, there are other visa routes available for you to work in the UK such as a Skilled Worker visa.

Documents to Apply for a Global Talent Visa

When applying for a Global Talent Visa you will need to provide the following:

  • A valid passport or other document showing your nationality and identity.
  • Your tuberculosis test results, if you’re from a country where that requires a test.

If you have been granted an award of scholarship to study in the UK in the last year, you will need to get written permission from the agency or government that granted it.

Additionally, if your document is not in English or Welsh you will need to provide a certified translation. 

You will need to have a blank page in your passport for your visa if:

  • You are from outside of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
  • You are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland but do not have a biometric passport with a chip in it.

If you’ve won an eligible award, the Home Office will look at publicly available information (such as the award organisation’s website) to confirm that you’ve won. You will only be asked for evidence of your win if the required information cannot be found.

Applying for a Global Talent Visa Outside the UK

Before applying for a Global Talent visa, you need to have already:

  • Won an eligible award.
  • Successfully applied for an endorsement, evidencing that you are a leader or potential leader in your industry.

Global Talent Visa UK – Endorsement Application

Most applicants will need to apply for an endorsement before applying for a Global Talent visa. The endorsement needs to be granted by an appropriate endorsing body and needs to evidence the applicant’s exceptional talent or promise.

You can be endorsed in the following fields:

  • Arts and culture,
  • Film and television,
  • Architecture,
  • Fashion,
  • Digital technology,
  • Science, engineering, humanities, social science and medicine.

Each endorsing body has its own set of criteria for the Global Talent visa. Additionally, in your chosen field you will need a substantial portfolio of work that exemplifies your talent.

Alternatively, applicants awarded with a qualifying Prestigious Prize, can make a single visa application without the need of endorsement from one of the Global Talent endorsing bodies.

UK Global Talent Prestigious Prizes Route

Those who have won a qualifying prestigious award, are able to fast-track their endorsement application. Therefore, they can start making a single visa application without the need of endorsement.

Prizes must also be open to all nationalities and winners must be determined by experts or peers, rather than the public. 

It’s important to note that the prestigious prize must be awarded directly to the individual and not to a whole organisation that the applicant works at.

You can find a list of the prestigious prizes outlined here: Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes

UK Global Talent Category English Language Requirement

Applicants applying to enter the category or extend their stay on the Global Talent route do not need to satisfy English language requirement. However, those looking to settle to the UK on the Global Talent route must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK to qualify.

Is There a Maintenance Fund Requirement?

You do not need to satisfy a maintenance fund requirement when applying for Global Talent visa.

How Early Should You Apply for a Global Talent Visa

You have three months from the date you receive your endorsement to make your application for a Global Talent visa. The application can be made up to three months before you intend to travel. It’s important to plan backwards from the date you hope to arrive in the UK to know when the best time to start an application is.

How Long Does a Global Talent Visa Take to Be Processed?

A priority service is available at most application centres for those needing a quick decision on their application. It is advisable that you work on the basis that the Home Office will take roughly a month to process the application. However, using the priority service can reduce this down to a week. At some application centres you can get a decision back in as little as 24 hours.

It’s worth noting that before your application can be processed, you will need to wait back for a decision regarding your endorsement application.

Bringing Dependants to the UK on a Global Talent Visa

You can bring a Spouse, Civil Partner, or Unmarried Partner and a child with you to the UK as a Global Talent visa dependant. The child needs to be under the age of 18 when they make their first application to enter the category.

Read more about how to ensure your dependants are eligible to join a Global Talent visa holder in the UK here.

How Long Can You Stay in the UK On a Global Talent Visa?

As a Global Talent Visa holder, you can live and work in the UK for three to five years at a time.

Global Talent Visa UK Extension

If you want to extend the time you stay in the UK on the Global Talent visa, or if you are not able to apply for settlement following your initial grant of leave, you are able to extend your stay. There is no set maximum period that you can stay in the UK on the Global Talent visa category.

The requirements for a Global Talent visa UK extension are the following:

  • You need to have earned money in the UK during your last grant of leave. These earnings need to be linked to your Global Talent visa endorsement field or a field relating to the subject matter or your prize. You will need to provide evidence from an independent source that is verifiable by the Home Office.
  • If your initial application was granted by an endorsement, you must not have had the endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body.
  • If your initial application was granted by an endorsement body, the endorsing body must continue to be approved by the Home Office. 
  • Finally, the Home Office will check your character and immigration history to ensure you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds.

UK Global Talent Visa Indefinite Leave to Remain

Before applying for indefinite leave to remain, you must be continuing to satisfy the requirements for an extension of stay and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK.

You’re eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of 3 years in the UK. To apply you must satisfy one of the following:

  • You were endorsed by the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or UKRI.
  • You were endorsed under the exceptional talent criteria by Arts Council England or Tech Nation.
  • You were granted your initial application using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes.

If your last endorsement was under the “exceptional promise” criteria for Arts Council England or Tech Nation, you will need to have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK before you can apply for settlement.

Residence Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a UK Global Talent Migrant

To qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the Global Talent category, you must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK during any rolling 12 months during the continuous period of leave relied upon.

An exception to this rule is if you are a Global Talent migrant who holds leave following an endorsement by one of the following endorsing bodies:

  • science
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • medicine

In this case your grant of leave must be directly linked to research overseas. These individuals will not have absences counted when they apply for settlement.

Can I Switch to a UK Global Talent Route?

You can make an application to switch over to the UK Global Talent route from within the UK if you do not currently have one of the following, or was not last granted permission to stay as one of the following:

  • Short-term Student,
  • Parent of a Child Student,
  • Seasonal Worker,
  • Domestic worker in a private household or outside the Immigration Rules.

To make an application when you currently hold leave in one of the above categories, you will need to leave the UK and submit your application for a Global Talent visa from your home country.

How Our Immigration Solicitors Can Assist in Visa Applicants

At Cartwright King, our immigration solicitors are experts in assisting talented individuals across various fields. More so, our team navigates the complexities of Home Office rules and policies. Therefore, we ensure that your visa application is meticulously completed to the highest standards, thereby maximising your chances of success.

We take pride in our approachability and commitment to understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. Whether you are seeking guidance on immigration options or visa applications, Cartwright King is here to provide tailored, comprehensive support.

We offer a 30-minute consultations with one of our immigration solicitors. Our solicitors can call you over the phone or via Skype. Alternatively, we can hold a meeting in our offices. We do not offer free advice and will charge a non-refundable £95 fee per consultation.

Frequently asked questions.

When Did the Global Talent Immigration Category Open?

The Global Talent category opened to new applications on 20 February 2020.

What Happened to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Category?

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category closed to new entrants on the 20 February 2020.

I Hold Leave as a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Migrant, Can I Extend My Leave?

If you currently hold a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa and wish to extend your leave, you can do so under the new Global Talent category.

I Hold Leave as a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Migrant, Can I Settle in the UK?

Yes, you can settle in the UK if you currently hold a Tier 1 (Exceptional Migrant) visa if you satisfy the requirements. You can do this without the needs of switching to a Global Talent route.

How Long is a Global Talent Visa Valid For?

Those who have been granted a Global Talent visa can choose how much leave they want, in whole years, up to a maximum of 5 years. This is to be granted in a single application. As a result, Global Talent visa applicants can minimise their Immigration Health Surcharge payment if, for example, they only wish to come to the UK for 3 years.

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