The Global Talent Visa replaced the Tier 1 (Exception Talent) visa on 20 February 2020. It is a UK immigration category aimed towards talented and promising individuals in specific sectors, wishing to work in the UK.
The Global Talent visa offers the following:
- Allows successful applicants to work in the UK for up to five years without a sponsor or entry requirements such as language tests and minimum salary thresholds which apply to other UK immigration categories.
- Benefits including being able to change roles and employ organisations without permission from the Home Office, enter self-employment, set up a spin-out company, and earn additional income from consultancy or other sources which may or may not relate to the field of research in which the applicant was endorsed.
- No cap on the number of visas granted under this visa category and applicants can choose the length of their visa, initially up to five years with the option to renew multiple times.
- Considerable advantages for individuals, their partners and their dependants wishing to establish a long-term connection to the UK, including a fast-track to settlement after three years for the main applicant.
- Allows successful applicants to undertake research overseas without this counting towards the maximum time period allowed for absences in the context of applications for settlement.
There are two stages to applying for the Global Talent Visa; the endorsement application explained below and the immigration application. These applications are made directly to the Home Office, the application form can be found here.
There are four routes for eligible academics and researchers to obtain endorsement for a Global Talent visa. These include:
- Senior appointments – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have accepted a job as a Professor, Associate Professor, Reader, or equivalent position such as Senior Group Leader, at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute, provided certain recruitment requirements are met. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society.
- Individual fellowships – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.
- Endorsed funders – fast-track endorsement for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI. Guidance on who is classified as an endorsed funder can be found here. In order to be eligible, researchers must be hosted or employed by eligible institutions named in Annex 2 of the Immigration Rules found here.
- Peer review – standard endorsement for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.
You can use a valid endorsement given under the old Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa rules to apply for a Global Talent visa. You will not need to get a new endorsement under the Global Talent visa rules.