Global Talent Visa UK

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Global Talent Visa UK

Global talent visa is for talented and promising individuals from around the world who are leaders or potential leaders in one of the following three fields:

  • Academia or research
  • Arts and culture
  • Digital technology


Endorsing Bodies for the Global Talent visa

To make a successful application for the Global Talent visa you either have to be a winner of one of the eligible international prizes or you need an endorsement from one of the six endorsing bodies appointed by the Home Office.

The six endorsing bodies are: 

Each endorsing body has its own criteria for endorsement and the documents you will need will depend on the specific route you choose.

Once endorsement is granted the final immigration decision is made by the Home Office.

Exceptional Talent vs Exceptional promise

There are two subcategories in the Global Talent UK visa – one is called Exceptional talent, the other Exceptional promise. Exceptional promise has slightly less demanding requirements and in most circumstances requires a longer qualifying time for indefinite leave to remain (5 years rather than 3 – see Global Talent eligibility for ILR below).

Exceptional promise is a subcategory available in Arts and Culture and Digital Technology. This subcategory is for talented individuals at an early stage of their career who are promising to become leading figures in their respective fields.

The criteria for exceptional promise may be slightly lower than for exceptional talent. This option is available for only selected routes under the Global Talent scheme.

Arts Council England supports applications for exceptional promise endorsement in the following fields:

  • combined arts
  • dance
  • literature
  • music
  • theatre
  • visual arts
  • fashion design (British Fashion Council)
  • architecture (RIBA)

Exceptional promise is not available in:

  • animation
  • film
  • post-production
  • television
  • visual effects

In academia and research most applications are made under exceptional talent subcategory. However, if you are at an early stage of career you can make a peer review application for endorsement to the British Academy, the Royal Society or the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Unlike exceptional promise endorsements by the Arts Council or Tech Nation, exceptional promise endorsement in academia and research does not lead to a longer qualifying period for ILR.

Two stage application process for the Global Talent visa

Unless you are a winner of an eligible prize, your application for a Global Talent visa will be done in two stages. 

The first stage is an application for endorsement to an approved body in your field or discipline. It will take from 7 days to 5 weeks to get a decision, depending on the route your have chosen and the type of endorsement you are applying for.

Once you have received your endorsement letter you may proceed to stage 2 – immigration application. You will have three months from the date of endorsement to submit the stage 2 application.

You may also make both stage 1 and stage 2 applications at the same time and you may choose to do so if you are in the UK and your current visa is due to expire. Making an immigration application will protect your right to remain in the UK, but an application for an endorsement will not.

Requirements for the immigration application

Global talent immigration application is usually made as stage 2 application after you have received endorsement from an approved endorsing body.

If you are a winner of a prestigious prize approved by the Home Office for Global Talent applications, you do not need an endorsement and go straight to immigration application.

There is no English language requirement for the Global Talent visa.

Whether you need a job offer depends on the specific route you have chosen for endorsement.

Once the endorsement is issued, you have to submit the immigration application within 3 months of the letter of endorsement.

There are no additional requirements in the initial applications but if you are applying for an extension, you will have to demonstrate that you have earned money in the UK in the field where you were endorsed. There is an added condition that the endorsement shouldn’t be withdrawn by the endorsing body.

Dependants of Global Talent applicants

You may bring with you your partner (spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner) and children under the age of 18.

For your partner, you will have to show that you are in a marriage or civil partnership which is recognised in the country where it was solemnised.

If you are unmarried partners, you will be required to show that you have lived together in a relationship for at least two years.

For children over 16 you have to show that they live with you (unless they are in a boarding school, college or university) and do not have a family of their own. 

Applications for dependants are made on a separate form. If they are applying from outside the UK they have to wait for your application to be submitted as they will need your GWF (Global Web Form) or UAN (Unique Application Number) for their form.

If they are applying inside the UK, they can apply at the same time as the main applicant.

There is no additional requirements for dependants of Global Talent migrants, except proof of relationship and address. Their application will stand or fall in line with the main applicant.

Dependants of Global Talent visa holders have the right to work in the UK (except as a sportsperson or coach), study, and travel abroad. 

Children of Global Talent visa holders can enrol in a state funded school. For higher education institutions, they have to pay foreign student fees before they get indefinite leave to remain.

Dependants don’t qualify for accelerated settlement and will be entitled for ILR only after five years of residence on condition that the main applicant has already settled or is applying for settlement at the same time.

Global Talent UK visa application costs

Global Talent visa fee is £623. The same fee applies to dependants.

If your application is based on an endorsement, you will pay the fee in two parts:

  • £456 when you apply for endorsement
  • £167 when you make the immigration application

There is also the Immigration Health Surcharge payable at the time of application. This is £624 per year for adults and £470 for applicants under the age of 18.

How long it takes to get a decision on a Global Talent application

If you are applying for an endorsement you will usually receive the decision within three weeks if your application is fast track or within eight weeks if it is not.

Stage 2, immigration application, takes around 3 weeks if you are applying from outside the UK or 8 weeks if you are applying within the UK. 

You can apply for priority service for the immigration application for an additional fee.

Period of grant of the Global Talent UK visa

Global Talent visa can be granted for any period from 1 year to 5 years. It is your decision, how long you need the visa for.

You can extend it as many times as necessary.

Dependants will be granted leave for the same period, or with the same expiry date, as the main applicant, but dependants’ visas can be extended for a further period if the main applicant becomes settled after 3 years.

Permitted activities - what you can and cannot do

Global Talent visa offers you maximum flexibility. You have the right to take up employment, work as self-employed or start your own business.

You can study in the UK but you may need ATAS clearance.

You can travel abroad and if your research or art project takes you out of the UK your visa is not prejudiced. However, if you spend more than 180 days of any 12 months period out of the UK it will affect your eligibility for ILR and you may need to extend your visa for a further period before you qualify for indefinite leave to remain.

You are not allowed:

  • to access public funds;
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson or coach.

Eligibility for ILR and British citizenship

There are two substantive requirements for indefinite leave to remain:

  • the endorsement (if you relied on an endorsement in the initial application) must not have been withdrawn; and
  • you must have earned money in the UK during your last period of permission in the field related to your initial application.

You will qualify for settlement after 3 years (accelerated settlement) if:

  • your initial application was:as a winner of a qualifying prize or award; or
  • if you were endorsed in academia and research by any of the four endorsing bodies (either as exceptional talent or exceptional promise); or
  • if you were endorsed as exceptional talent by Art Council England or Tech Nation. 

You will qualify for settlement after 5 years:

  • If you were endorsed by Arts Council England or Tech Nation as exceptional promise.

Continuous residence requirement

You will be required to demonstrate continuity of residence during the qualifying period for ILR. Continuous residence is interrupted if you are out of the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 month period. But there are exceptions to this rule.

Absences due to compelling and compassionate personal circumstances, such as life-threatening illness of a close family member, are disregarded.

If the initial application was made as a winner of a prestigious prize in science, or you have an endorsement in academia and research, time spent outside the UK for research activities does not count towards the 180 days limit.

Combining time in different immigration categories

The continuous period of residence can be made up of time spent in the UK in any combination of the following routes:

If you have already spent three years in the UK in one of the eligible immigration routes before switching into the Global Talent route, you may qualify for Indefinite leave to remain immediately after approval of your Global Talent visa.

English language and Life in the UK requirements for ILR

Although there is no English language requirement for the initial Global Talent application, you will have to meet the English language requirement for an ILR application and pass the Life in the UK test.

English Language is required at B1 level in speaking and listening.

You may rely on a degree from a UK university or a degree taught abroad in English, subject to confirmation by Ecctis.

General grounds for refusal of Global Talent applications

General grounds for refusal of the Global Talent visa application include:

  • criminality grounds
  • where the applicant’s presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good
  • exclusion from the UK following a deportation order
  • false representations made in relation to the application or a previous application for permission to enter or remain
  • previous breaches of immigration laws if the application is made outside the relevant time period required to lapse after the offence

Endorsement review

If you have been refused an endorsement under the Global Talent category, and you believe that the decision was incorrect, you may ask the Home Office to review the decision.

Once a request for an endorsement review is received, the Home Office will forward it to the relevant endorsing body for a review.

The application for endorsement review has to be made within 28 calendar days from the date of receipt of the refusal.

The application is made on a designated endorsement review form.

The review normally takes up to 28 calendar days. The decision on review is communicated by email. It is final and cannot be challenged second time.

If you wish to provide additional information which was not submitted with your initial application, you have to have a new application. The reviewer will only review the documents that were submitted with the original application and consider whether a mistake was made.

Global Talent UK FAQs

Endorsement is confirmation of your eligibility for the Global Talent visa. This confirmation can be issued by an organisation appointed by the Home Office. See the section on Endorsing bodies above.

No, there is no limit on the number of visas that can be issued. Your application will be successful if you meet the criteria.

Yes, absolutely. There is no restriction on the nationality of the applicant. However, the rules on the grant of endorsement are very prescriptive and may be more difficult to meet for some than for others.

You can travel while your application for endorsement (stage 1 application) is under consideration.

When you make an immigration application in the UK, you cannot leave the country while your application is with the Home Office even if you can keep your passport during the application process. If you leave the country, your application will be considered withdrawn.

If you are making Stage 2 application from outside the UK, your passport will be submitted with your visa application. There may be an option of keeping your passport while the application is under consideration – in which case you can travel. If this option is not available, you can travel if you have a second passport.

There is no separate guidance on withdrawal of endorsements.

Any endorsing body can withdraw the endorsement if they become aware that it was granted in error or on the basis of false representations.

Where the endorsement is based on an eligible job offer, such as an academic appointment or a qualifying grant, the endorsing body may withdraw the endorsement if the job offer is turned down or the grant has to be returned to the funder.

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Last updated on 8 May 2023

Last updated on March 30, 2022

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