Applying for a Global Talent Visa

To be considered as a global talent is quite an achievement in life – even more so if it allows you to be granted a visa to work in a new country.

That’s exactly what the UK Global Talent Visa is for. It’s an immigration route for people considered as a leader or an emerging leader in a particular field that would like to live and work in the UK.

For people that are familiar with UK immigration, the Global Talent Visa replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in February 2020. The purpose of the new visa route is similar and is aimed at those working in the following fields:

The application process involves two steps.

The first part is to be endorsed by a government-designated endorsing body that is relevant to your specific industry or line of work. This is a required step to be able to submit an application, which means that without endorsement, this visa class is not an option.

There are four routes to endorsement:

  • A senior appointment at a UK higher education or research institution.
  • An individual fellowship at an approved organisation.
  • As an endorsed funder approved by UK Research and Innovation.
  • Full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society.

As endorsement is the first step on the path to being granted a Global Talent Visa, let’s start by taking a closer look at the relevant endorsing bodies to find out if this visa route could work for you.

The Royal Society

The Royal Society is the UK’s national independent science academy and a fellowship of 1,600 scientists from around the world. Its mission is to promote “excellence in science for the benefit of humanity.”

With origins that date back to 1660, The Royal Society runs a series of domestic and international programmes, as well as ongoing collaboration with scientists based overseas.

For applicants specialising in science and medicine, this is the organisation to approach for endorsement in a bid to be approved for a Global Talent Visa.

The Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering is the government-designated organisation that can endorse Global Talent Visa applicants in the field of engineering. The organisation was set up in 1976 and has a mission to establish the UK as a leading nation for engineering innovation and business.

The Academy has a strong focus on sustainability and strives for an inclusive economy through engineering. It also follows a set of values of progressive leadership, diversity, excellence, collaboration, creativity and innovation.

The British Academy

The British Academy is the leading organisation in the UK for humanities and social sciences, and reviews endorsement requests for Global Talent Visa applicants in those fields.

Set up in 1902, the Academy is a fellowship of approximately 1,300 UK and international academics. It also operates as a funding body, a forum for debate, and runs several prizes and medals each year in support of humanities and social sciences.

Tech Nation

The digital technology sector is booming and is expected to continue growing in the years to come. As the leading UK organisation for digital technology, applicants pursuing the Global Talent Visa in this field must apply for endorsement from Tech Nation.

Compared to the other long-established institutions in this article, Tech Nation is fairly young (set up in 2010) but has quickly become a leader in digital technology. It runs several growth programmes for entrepreneurs each year.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It’s responsible for investing money from the government and the National Lottery into arts and culture.

The organisation can also endorse Global Talent Visas in the field of arts and culture. However, because the sector is so diverse, applications from those in fashion, architecture or film and television, will be reviewed by the following organisations:

  • British Fashion Council
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT)

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

The advancement of science and innovation was a huge focus for the government when the Global Talent Visa was unveiled. This has particular relevance as the UK leaves the EU.

At the time of announcing the Research and Innovation route, Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke about the need for continued investment in scientific talent and cutting-edge research.

As a result, this Global Talent Visa category, endorsed by UKRI, offers an accelerated settlement process. This sends a clear message that the UK would like scientists and researchers to make the country their home.

Additionally, the UK government will invest £300 million in experimental and imaginative mathematical sciences research over the next five years.

How to apply for a Global Talent Visa

So, you’ve been endorsed by one of the organisations above as a global talent. What happens next?

The next step is to apply for approval from the Home Office as a leader (exceptional talent) or an emerging leader (exceptional promise) in your field of work.

It usually takes eight weeks for a decision on the endorsement application, but the process may be quicker for the following people:

  • Digital technology specialists on a UK accelerator programme.
  • Approved peer-reviewed fellowship.
  • Senior academic or academic researcher.
  • Hosted or employed in an approved UK research organisation.

Once the endorsement has been approved by the Home Office, you can then apply for the visa. This has to be done within three months of receiving the official endorsement.

If the application is successful, you will then be able to live and work in the UK for up to five years. Even better, the Global Talent Visa allows you to change jobs without telling the Home Office, leave the UK for travel, and bring family members with you.

There certainly are lots of benefits to being considered a global talent.



Article Created By Hayley Maguire

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