Close this search box.

UK Global Talent Visa

The UK Global Talent Visa is a quick pathway for leaders in academia, arts, and digital technology. For a free consultation, call +44 (0) 1293 522 275 or fill out our contact form.

Get in touch

Hero Section Contact Form

"*" indicates required fields

November 10, 2023

Table of Contents

What is the UK Global Talent Visa?

The Global Talent Visa is meticulously crafted to expedite immigration processes for individuals worldwide who possess exceptional expertise in academia or research, arts and culture, digital technology, architecture, fashion design, film and television, science, engineering, humanities, and medicine. Introduced in February 2020, it replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa. This scheme is open to leaders and potential leaders in the following specific areas:

  • Academia or research: Scholars, researchers, and experts contributing significantly to their fields.
  • Arts and culture: Accomplished artists, performers, and cultural influencers making a substantial impact.
  • Digital technology: Innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the tech industry demonstrating exceptional skills and potential.
  • Architecture: Visionary architects contributing to cutting-edge designs and projects.
  • Fashion design: Creative minds shaping the fashion landscape with original designs and innovative concepts.
  • Film and television: Esteemed professionals in the film and television industry, including directors, producers, and actors.
  • Science: Pioneering scientists and researchers advancing knowledge in various scientific disciplines.
  • Engineering: Accomplished engineers and innovators contributing to technological advancements and solutions.
  • Humanities: Influential figures in the humanities, including philosophers, historians, and scholars.
  • Medicine: Leading healthcare professionals, researchers, and medical practitioners at the forefront of their fields.

Global Talent visas are typically granted for up to five years, with the option to extend for an additional one to five years. Alternatively, visa holders can pursue settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR) after three years for leaders and five years for potential leaders.

The Global Talent visa, positioned at a higher tier than other UK work visas, offers exceptional benefits. With a Global Talent visa, you can:

  • Enter the UK without meeting an English language requirement or securing a job offer.
  • Work for a UK-based company, contributing your expertise to the local workforce.
  • Be self-employed, fostering entrepreneurial ventures and initiatives.
  • Serve as a company director, leading and directing business operations.
  • Change or cease employment without the necessity to notify the Home Office.
  • Bring your partner and children with you as dependents, ensuring family unity.
  • Travel abroad and seamlessly return to the UK, facilitating international mobility.
  • Apply for ILR after just 3 years (for leaders), providing a pathway to permanent residency.

Eligibility Criteria for the Global Talent Visa

To qualify for a Global Talent Visa, individuals must:

  • Be aged 18 or above.
  • Demonstrate leadership or potential leadership in academia or research, arts and culture, or digital technology.
  • Secure an endorsement from a recognised endorsing body.

Unlike many other types of UK visas, there are no stipulations regarding salary or English language proficiency.

Business endorsement

Choosing an Endorsing Body

Integral to a successful Global Talent Visa application is securing endorsement to validate your status as a leader or potential leader, obtained from an approved endorsing body. Notably, if you possess an eligible award (see below), endorsement may not be necessary. The endorsing body you approach for endorsement is based on your field of work. The primary endorsing bodies for the Global Talent Visa include:

Arts Endorsing Bodies

  • Arts Council England
  • British Fashion Council
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television

Digital Technology endorsing bodies

  • Tech Nation

Science, engineering, humanities and medicine endorsing bodies

Factors Considered by Endorsing Bodies

The endorsing body you approach will meticulously evaluate various factors to ascertain your standing as a leader or potential leader, as delineated below:

Academia or Research

For endorsement in academia or research, the body will verify your leadership or potential leadership in disciplines such as science, medicine, engineering, or humanities. To qualify, you must demonstrate:

  • Eligible Job Offer: As an academic or researcher, your job offer should involve directing or leading an individual or team in a research or innovation project or program of work, or being responsible for academic, research, or innovation leadership and development.
  • Individual Fellowship: Possession of an individual fellowship approved by esteemed institutions, such as the Royal Society for Science and Medicine, the British Academy for Humanities, or the Royal Academy of Engineering.
  • Research Grant: Approval of a research grant by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). If ineligible under these established routes, there exists the option for your application to undergo a peer review by an endorsing entity.

Arts And Culture

To secure endorsement in the arts and culture category, you must persuasively present to the endorsing body that you are a leader or potential leader in fields such as combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre, visual arts, architecture, fashion design, film, and television, including animation, post-production, and visual effects. The nuanced eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Regular Work Engagement: A demonstrated record of working regularly in your field for the past five years.
  • International Work Impact: Production of work published or performed internationally, acknowledged as “outstanding” by Arts Council England.
  • Global Recognition: Proof of the global recognition of your work in at least two countries if applying as a leader.

Digital Technology

Applicants seeking endorsement under the digital technology route must exhibit leadership or potential leadership in financial technology (“fintech”), gaming, cybersecurity, or artificial intelligence. The comprehensive evaluation by Tech Nation entails a scrutiny of the following factors to determine if you qualify as “exceptional talent” or exhibit “exceptional promise.” The scrutiny includes:

  • Innovation Track Record: A proven track record of innovation, such as setting up or holding a senior position in a product-led digital technology company.
  • Pioneering Contributions: A history of pioneering contributions while working in a new digital field or concept as an employee.
  • Sector-wide Impact: Contributions to the digital technology sector outside of the professional sphere, encompassing activities like mentoring or collaborative projects.
  • Entrepreneurial Ventures: Establishment or involvement in a product-led digital technology company with substantial technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions to the sector.
  • Research Recognition: Publication or endorsement of research by an expert in the field.

How to Apply for a Global Talent Visa

The application process for a Global Talent Visa involves the following stages:

  1. Seek Endorsement from an Approved Endorsing Body in the UK: Apply for endorsement from a relevant and approved endorsing body in the UK. It is crucial to understand the endorsement process for a Global Talent Visa. Each endorsing body has its unique application process and eligibility criteria for leaders and potential leaders. Typically, you will be required to furnish evidence of a substantial body of work and endorsements from established experts in your field. An endorsement fee of £456 is applicable.
  2. Complete the Online Application Form: Once endorsed or if you possess an eligible award (in which case endorsement is not required), fill out the online application form on the Home Office website. The specific form you need to complete depends on whether you are switching from a different visa while in the UK or applying from outside the UK.
  3. Prove Your Identity: After submitting your application form, you need to verify your identity. This can be accomplished through either of the following methods (the recommended method will be specified during your application):
    • Having your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to obtain a biometric residence permit. There is a nominal fee of £19.20 to cover the costs of processing your biometric information. The biometric residence permit serves as proof of residency in the UK.
    • Utilising the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document.
  4. Pay the Application Fee: Submit the application fee of £192, and each dependent family member will also be required to pay an application fee of £716.
  5. Immigration Healthcare Surcharge: Pay the immigration healthcare surcharge for the duration of your visa, which is presently £624 per person per year.

Applications are typically processed within 3 weeks if submitted from outside the UK or within 8 weeks if switching to this visa within the UK. The processing time may be extended if additional evidence is requested or if an interview is required.

Global Talent Prestigious Prizes Route

Applying for a Global Talent visa without the need for endorsement is possible if you have received an eligible award. These awards are distinguished in the following fields:

  • Architecture:
    • Example: Pritzker Prize
  • Arts and Culture:
    • Examples: Booker Prize, Olivier Award
  • Digital Technology:
    • Example: Turing Award
  • Film and Television:
    • Examples: BAFTA, Golden Globe, Grammy
  • Science, Engineering, Humanities, and Medicine:
    • Example: Nobel Prize

Global Talent Visa Extension

As your current Global Talent visa approaches its expiration, you have the opportunity to apply for a visa extension (or permanent settlement if eligible – see below), provided the endorsing body that originally supported your application has not withdrawn their endorsement. Additionally, you must demonstrate that you have generated income from your expertise in the UK during your stay. To fulfil this requirement, you must submit comprehensive evidence of your earnings, and examples include:

  • Payslips:
    • Present recent payslips indicating your income from employment.
  • Employer Confirmation Letter:
    • Provide a letter from your employer confirming the details of your earnings.
  • Bank or Building Society Statements:
    • Furnish personal bank or building society statements clearly illustrating payments from your employer or a limited company, of which you are a director.
  • HMRC Tax Statement:
    • Include an HMRC tax statement detailing declarable taxable income on which tax has been paid or is scheduled to be paid in a given tax year.
  • Employer-Produced HMRC Document:
    • Submit an HMRC document produced by your employer, such as a P60, outlining your taxable income.
  • HMRC Tax Return:
    • Provide an HMRC tax return as part of your evidence.
  • Dividend Vouchers:
    • If applicable, include dividend vouchers indicating income received from shares or investments.

The current fee for a Global Talent visa extension is £718.00 per person. Additionally, you will be required to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge of £624 per year.

Global Talent Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Global Talent visa holders with long-term plans to stay in the UK can seek settlement (ILR) by following these guidelines:

  • As a recognised leader after residing and working in the UK on this visa for three years.
  • As a potential leader after residing and working in the UK on this visa for five years.

It is imperative to note that during your ILR qualifying period, you must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any given year.

ILR offers significant advantages, including the elimination of the need to apply for additional visas, increased flexibility for employment and study, and the absence of a requirement to pay the costly immigration healthcare surcharge. Following a year of holding ILR, it becomes possible to apply for British citizenship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fee for a Global Talent Visa?

You are required to cover both the endorsement fee and the application fee. The endorsement fee amounts to £456, while the application fee is £152. Additional expenses comprise a biometric fee of £19.20 and an annual healthcare surcharge of £624.

How long does the validity of a UK Global Talent Visa last?

UK Global Talent Visas are issued for a maximum period of 5 years. If you desire a more extended stay, you have the option to seek a visa extension or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 3 years (for leaders) or 5 years (for potential leaders) in your field.

Is it possible to bring my family to the UK under a Global Talent Visa?

As a holder of the Global Talent Visa, you have the option to bring your partner and dependant children with you to the UK. Each family member must submit a distinct online application before travelling to the UK.

Is proficiency in the English language a requirement for obtaining a UK Global Talent Visa?

There is no English language requirement for the UK Global Talent Visa. Nevertheless, when seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settlement, you must demonstrate compliance with the English language criteria. This can be achieved by possessing an English language qualification at B1, B2, C1, or C2 level, or by holding a degree taught or researched in English.

Related Services

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa (formerly Tier 5) is for individuals aged 18-30 from qualifying countries who want to live
Temporary Work Visas allow foreign nationals to work in the UK for up to 12 months. Contact our immigration solicitors
The Minister of Religion Visa is one of five UK work routes for religious roles, requiring a job offer and
The UK International Sportsperson Visa is for elite international athletes and coaches developing their sport in the UK. Contact our