Global Talent Visa for Humanities

The Global Talent Visa is a fast-track entry route to the UK, with a special category for the humanities sector.

Humanities and social sciences play a big role in academia in the UK and courses are widely studied at universities around the country.

In fact, the University of Oxford regularly hits the top spot in best university polls for arts and humanities degree programmes. This makes it a sought-after institution for career academics.

So, if you’re involved in humanities or social sciences overseas and you want to work in the UK, then the Global Talent Visa might be for you.

But what exactly is it?

The Global Talent Visa replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in February 2020. It’s aimed at attracting top talent in the following fields:

Basically, it’s a pathway to immigration for people considered as a leader or an emerging leader in their field.

Sounds good? Let’s find out more.

How to apply for a Global Talent Visa

The application process for all fields involves two steps.

First, you need to be endorsed by a government-designated endorsing body that is relevant to your specific industry or line of work. Without the official endorsement, you cannot apply for the Global Talent Visa, so it’s a crucial first step.

There are four ways to be endorsed:

  • 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 (UKRI)
  • Full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society

Then there are two different types of endorsement:

  • As a leader (exceptional talent)
  • As an emerging leader (exceptional promise)

For the field of humanities, the government-designated endorsing body is The British Academy. This is explained in more detail below.

What is The British Academy?

The British Academy is the leading organisation in the UK for humanities and social sciences.

The Academy has been running since 1902 and is a fellowship of approximately 1,300 UK and international academics. It also operates as a funding body and a forum for debate, as well as handing out several prizes each year.

According to the Academy’s website, it’s purpose is to “deepen understanding of people, societies and cultures, enabling everyone to learn, progress and prosper.”

That should give some indication into what the organisation looks for in Global Talent Visa candidates. However, The British Academy can only endorse an application. The final decision on the visa lies with the Home Office.

Application next steps

The next step involves applying for endorsement approval from the Home Office. The fee for the approval application is £456.

Most applicants receive a decision within eight weeks, but it 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

If the endorsement is approved by the Home Office, you can then move onto the visa application. This has to be done within three months.

The fee for the visa application is £152, or £97 if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia. Most people get a decision within three weeks.

You can submit both the endorsement and the visa application at the same time. However, if the endorsement is rejected, the visa application will also be denied. For this reason, it’s better to wait for the endorsement approval before submitting the visa application.

Living and working in the UK

If the visa is approved, you will be able to live and work in the UK for up to five years.

During that time, you can change jobs without applying for permission from the Home Office, as well as leave the UK for travel. You can even bring family members with you.

If you enjoy living in the UK and want to make it permanent, there is even the option to apply for settlement.

You can apply for settlement:

  • After three years if you have an exceptional talent visa
  • After three years with an endorsement by the UKRI endorsed funder scheme

So, if you’re a leader or an emerging leader in humanities, you could move to the UK with a Global Talent Visa.

After all, social sciences and humanities is all about people. And what better way to study people than from the perspective of living in a different culture.


Article Created By Hayley Maguire

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