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The UK’s New ‘Global Talent’ Visa

Written by Isabelle Cooper

Published 15/03/2021

What is it?

Since February 2020, the Global Talent visa replaced Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Route for leaders and ‘potential’ leaders. It is designed to attract world-leading talent and expertise in the fields of engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology and arts and culture.

 The new route is much more flexible, does not have a cap on successful applicants, and allows holders to work freely (can be self-employed) and study (full or part time). For many, it is more attractive than the ‘Skilled Worker’ route.

Additionally, it provides a route to ‘indefinite leave to remain’ (ILR) after 3 years (see Appendix Continuous Residence). Applicants must speak proficient English and pass a ‘Life in the UK’ Test.

Who is it for?

The scheme is open for anyone over 18 and who is a leader or ‘potential’ leader in one of the following fields:

  • science
  • research
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • social science
  • medicine
  • architecture
  • digital technology
  • arts and culture
  • fashion
  • film and television

There are four available routes to the Global Talent visa for researchers:

  1. Academic and Research Appointments
  2. Individual Fellowships
  3. Endorsed Funders
  4. Peer Review

See the Royal Society’s decision tree to work out which route is right for you.

How do I apply?

There are two stages to the application process.

Stage 1: Endorsement

Firstly, applicants must obtain an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsing body:

  • Arts Council England – for arts, culture, architecture, fashion, film and television
  • The British Academy – for humanities and social science
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering
  • and The Royal Society – for natural sciences and medical science research
  • and The Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering applications
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – for science and research
  • Tech Nation – for digital technology

The Home Office has essentially outsourced assessing the eligibility of applicants to these bodies. Each body has varying criteria and different processes.

Stage 2: Visa Application

The final stage is relatively easy. There are no English language or financial requirements. All you need is:

  • confirmation of your endorsement
  • a valid passport
  • a tuberculosis test result if from certain countries

If you’re applying from overseas, you can apply here. This is usually processed within three weeks.

If you’re applying from within the UK, you can apply here. This is usually processed within eight weeks.

There is a different application for extension applications.

How much does it cost?

  • Endorsement application: £456
  • In-country and overseas visa application: £152
    • Reduced fee of £92 for applicants from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge: £624 per year

Total cost (5-year visa): £3,728

Can my family members join me?

Yes – partners and children of the main applicant can apply. It costs £608, excluding the immigration health surcharge.

Get in touch if you would like help with your ‘Global Talent Visa’ Application.



March 15,2021 at 10:53 am

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