UK Global Talent Visas
The Global Talent visa for the UK is designed to allow those with exceptional talent to come to the country to live and work. It is an excellent opportunity for experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and humanities to spend up to five years in the country. The visa can be renewed as necessary and indefinite leave to remain can be applied for after three years, should an individual wish to settle more permanently in the UK.
The visa, formerly referred to as an Exceptional Talent visa for the UK, is awarded to those with the potential to be leaders in their field or who are already leaders in their field. The government has not imposed any restriction on the number of visas in this category that it will issue, however, the application does need to be sound and the applicant will need to properly demonstrate their eligibility.
IBB Law’s expert immigration lawyers have an in-depth working knowledge of the Global Talent visa application process. We have a strong track record of success in applying on behalf of individuals with exceptional aptitude and we understand the key points that need to be satisfied. We also know how to address the situation should your application be turned down.
We represent clients from a wide range of countries, ensuring that their visa applications are as strong as possible and providing bespoke advice for those looking to apply as well as those who wish to renew their visa.
If you ask us to represent you, our skilled immigration team will put together a sound application on your behalf, giving you the maximum chance of success.
We can also advise you in respect of the full range of other types of UK work visas, to make sure that you have chosen the best route to the UK.
Complete support for UK Global Talent visa applications
Our expert immigration solicitors represent individuals from all over the world in respect of applications for an Exceptional Talent visa for the UK. Our services include:
- Advising you in respect of your eligibility for a UK Global Talent visa, to include ensuring that this is the correct choice for your circumstances
- Preparing your Global Talent visa application
- Putting together the correct documentation in support of your application
- Global Talent visa rejections and refusals
- Renewing a Global Talent visa
Why choose IBB Law for help with applying for a Global Talent visa?
Our UK immigration experts at IBB Law will provide the following:
- In-depth knowledge of UK Immigration laws, policies and procedures.
- Hands on support from experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the law so that you always receive practical and accurate advice.
- A cost-effective and timely service with great attention to detail.
- Independently accredited immigration expertise with our team being ranked by leading client guide the Legal 500 for Immigration Law
Looking for immediate help with a UK Global Talent visa application?
We have the immigration expertise to ensure that the strongest possible visa application is made on your behalf. We also provide exceptional client service, keeping you up to date with the progress of your application and being available to answer your questions as they arise.
For more information, see UK business immigration lawyers.
How to apply for a Global Talent visa for the UK
Our guide below sets out information in the following key areas:
- What rights does a UK Global Talent visa give you?
- Differences between the Global Talent visa and the old Exceptional Talent visa
- UK Global Talent visa requirements
- Supporting documents for a UK Global Talent visa application
- Making a Global Talent visa application
- How long does it take to get a UK Global Talent visa?
- UK Global Talent visa refusals and rejections
- Renewing a UK Global Talent visa
- Alternatives to a Global Talent visa
- Global Talent visa fees
The Global Talent visa, previously referred to as the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, will give you the following rights:
- Choose the length of your visa, up to 5 years
- Be employed, self-employed or a company director
- Change jobs or stop working without the need to notify UK Visas & Immigration
- Bring your partner and children with you as your dependants where they are eligible
- Travel overseas and return to the UK
- Renew your visa as often as you want, subject to eligibility
- Apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK once you have lived here for three years, provided you meet eligibility criteria
You will not have the right to apply for most benefits, nor will you be able to work as a sportsperson.
The Global Talent visa replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, sometimes referred to as the Tier 1 Global Talent visa, in February 2020.
The Global Talent visa category is unlimited in the number of visas that can be issued. It is also open to individuals who have been offered a grant by an endorsed body, whereas the Exceptional Talent visa was only available to professors and fellows of institutes.
The new visa also permits an individual to be absent from the country for periods of time and offers holders a fast track to permanent settlement in the UK, allowing applications for indefinite leave to remain after just three years.
To secure a Global Talent visa, you need to apply for an endorsement demonstrating that you are a leader or a potential leader in your field of expertise, as well as applying for the visa itself.
UK Visas & Immigration will send your application to the relevant expert association for review and endorsement, where appropriate. The organisations used for endorsement include The Royal Academy, The Royal Academy of Engineering and The Royal Society.
Your application will depend on the route you will be following and whether you:
- Have an eligible offer of employment as a researcher or an academic
- Have been granted a fellowship
- Have been offered a research grant approved by UK Research and Innovation
- One of the above bodies has peer reviewed you and is prepared to endorse your application
If you are the holder of an eligible award, you will not have to obtain an endorsement. We can advise you of the relevant awards if you believe you may be entitled to apply for a visa on this basis.
Documents required by UK Visas & Immigration when you apply for a UK Global Talent visa are as follows:
- Your valid passport or identity document; this will need a blank page available for the visa if you are from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland
- Tuberculosis test results if you are coming from a country where this is required
- Certified translations of documents that are not in English or Welsh
You will also need to prove your identity. The process for doing this varies, but includes having your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre and using the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
Additional documents required in respect of the endorsements will depend on the basis of your application, as follows:
Academic or researcher
You will need to be in receipt of a job offer for either an academic or research position or at an institution approved by the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering or the British Academy and provide the following:
- Full job description
- A letter from the human resources department giving full details of the following:
- The position and the name of the department
- Why the job makes you eligible for a Global Talent visa
- Confirmation that you have accepted the job
- Confirmation that the position was advertised and the selection process was by way of open competition (or if not, why not)
- Confirmation that you provided a minimum of two references
- Confirmation that a minimum of three academic, research or innovation professionals interviewed you
- Confirmation that an expert in your field either interviewed you or was consulted about your appointment
If you have held an eligible fellowship within the previous five years, approved by the Royal Society (science and medicine), the British Academy (humanities) or the Royal Academy of Engineering, you can apply on the basis of having either exceptional talent or exceptional promise.
You will need to provide:
- A copy of the letter awarding you a fellowship
UK Research and innovation endorsement
You can apply on the basis of having a UK Research and Innovation endorsement if you are supported by a research grant from a body approved by UK Research and Innovation. You will need to provide the following:
- A link to the approved research body
- Confirmation that the grant is worth a minimum of £30,000 and is for at least two years
- Confirmation that the grant is a one-off payment or renewable on the basis of regular peer review
- A letter from the body’s human resources department confirming:
- The name of your position and department
- That you have accepted the job
- That you are essential to the funding grant
- That you will be spending a minimum of half of your working time on the grant
- That the recruitment process was fair
If you are actively working in an approved area of research and have a PhD or equivalent, you may be able to apply for an endorsement by way of peer review on the basis of either exceptional promise or exceptional talent. To show this, you will need to satisfy a number of points, including having received a fellowship or holding an advanced research post, being a member of a national academy, having received a prestigious or internationally recognised prize or holding a letter of recommendation from a respected UK organisation in your field.
Documents required are:
- A copy of your CV outlining your career and publication history
- A letter of recommendation from an eminent person in the UK who has internationally recognised expertise which states:
- How they know you
- Confirmation they believe you to have exceptional promise or exceptional talent
- That you would benefit from being in the UK
- That you would contribute to the UK
- What plans you have for future work
Where your application is on the basis of exceptional talent, you will also need to provide evidence of the following:
- Proof of membership of a national academy
- Proof of a prestigious or internationally recognised prize
- A letter of recommendation from someone senior within a respected UK organisation in your area of research
Application for a Global Talent has to be made online or, if you are applying from overseas, you may be able to apply at a visa application centre.
The application process can be complex and mistakes are easily made which could cause your request to be rejected. It is strongly recommended that you work with an expert when putting together your application and the supporting documentation, to ensure that everything is in order.
At IBB Law, our team are highly experienced in every aspect of the Global Talent visa and will be able to ensure that adequate evidence is provided with your application, which we will check for accuracy.
We will also check that the bodies endorsing you are acceptable to UK Visas & Immigration and that all of the details they require are included. We can liaise on your behalf with those providing your endorsement to ensure that they have the requisite standing and that they include all of the necessary information.
The endorsement process and visa application process are separate, although you can apply for both at the same time.
When the application system is running normally, you should receive a decision regarding an endorsement within five weeks if you are being peer reviewed or within two weeks if you have been offered a relevant job, fellowship or research grant.
You can expect to receive a decision in respect of your visa application within three weeks if you are outside of the UK or within eight weeks if you are already in the UK.
In the event that you are turned down for a Global Talent visa, you will receive an explanation of the refusal. If the application included errors on your part, you can apply again. You will need to explain why mistakes were made and assure the authorities that they were genuine errors.
If you believe that UK Visas and Immigration, the Home Office body that deals with visa applications, has made an error in dealing with your application, you may be able to ask for an administrative review. We can advise you whether this is likely to succeed and, if requested, put together an official request on your behalf, setting out the issues that you believe have not been properly dealt with.
For expert advice on what to do if your Global Talent visa has been refused, please contact the immigration team at IBB Law, and we will be happy to discuss your options with you and provide you with our recommendations.
You can ask the authorities to renew your Global Talent visa as many times as you wish, extending it for five years at a time, provided you still meet the eligibility criteria and that you have earned money by working in your field of expertise.
If you are not able to secure a Global Talent visa, there are other visas available, including:
- Skilled Worker visa
- Innovator visa
- Intra-company Transfer visa
- Sole Representative visa
The total cost of applying for a Global Talent visa is currently £608. This is payable as follows:
- £456 when applying for an endorsement
- £152 when applying for the visa
If you do not need an endorsement because you have an eligible prize or award, you should pay the full £608 when applying for the visa.
A further £608 is also payable if you are including your partner in your application as well as £608 for each child you wish to join you in the UK.
Additional costs for UK Global Talent visa applicants
You will also be required to pay a healthcare surcharge, which is generally £624 per person per year.
Get immediate expert advice on applying for a UK Global Talent visa
If you need advice and support in respect of a UK Global Talent visa application, our expert immigration team will be happy to assist.