Global Talent visa (formerly Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa)

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category is now closed to new applicants.

The government have introduced a rebranded and expanded version of the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, called the Global Talent visa. This new route is open to applicants from the 20th February 2020.

The Tier 1 Global Talent visa offers a flexible immigration route to the UK for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology, arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture). Applicants will be leaders in their field or have the potential to be, as determined by an endorsing body. This category may lead to settlement in the UK.

This visa means applicants:

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Can move freely between organisations, locations, jobs and roles

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Do not have to receive a minimum salary to be eligible

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Can take on activities that are more difficult to undertake on other visas, such as collaborating with businesses

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Can apply for settlement once they have been in the UK for 3 years. Researchers who spend time outside of the UK for research purposes will not be penalised for this

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Can apply without having to pass an official English language test, although having sufficient knowledge of the English language may be a requirement of the organisation that hosts or employs them

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Can be accompanied by family members; if they meet the relevant requirements.

Specific requirements:

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Endorsement (assessment by endorsing body)

You can apply for a Global Talent visa if you work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed:

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As a recognised leader (exceptional talent)

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As an emerging leader (exceptional promise)

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Under the UK Research and Innovation endorsed funder option

Applications for endorsement must be made to the Home Office but are considered by the endorsing body. Applicants should not contact the endorsing body directly following the submission of their application.

The endorsing body will advise the Home Office whether it endorses the applicant.

If successful, the applicant will be provided with a dated endorsement letter. The holder must then apply for entry clearance or leave to remain no later than 3 months after the date of issue on the endorsement letter.

Endorsement criteria – general evidential requirements

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Evidence required to demonstrate the applicant meets the endorsing body criteria. This must be in a specific format: documentation from a third-party organisation must be dated, written on headed paper, signed by the third party, typed, not hand-written, contain full contact details, including phone number and email address

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A letter of recommendation from a UK based individual or UK organisation or to hold a research fellowship where required by the rules

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A curriculum vitae of 3 single sides of A4 paper where required.

Extension and settlement criteria

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The applicant must meet both of the following:

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Must have earnt money in the UK during their last grant of leave and the earnings must be linked to the expert field which led to their initial endorsement

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Must not have had their endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body

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Evidence to show that the applicant’s earnings are from an independent source and are verifiable by the decision maker

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Applicant must not obtain a new endorsement or contact the endorsing body to check the status of their endorsement.

You can apply for settlement once you have been in the UK for:

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3 years with an exceptional talent visa

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3 years with an exceptional talent endorsement in science

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3 years with an endorsement under the UKRI endorsed funder scheme

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5 years with an exceptional promise endorsement in either arts and culture or digital

Additional requirements for certain sectors

There are some common requirements for arts and culture, film and television, architecture and fashion industry applicants, such as:

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Must be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been published, performed, presented, distributed or exhibited internationally;

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Must show regular activity of being engaged professionally as a practitioner in their field within the last 5 years or 10 years for applicants applying for endorsement by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT)

For Digital Technology applicants, the endorsing body is Tech Nation. There are different requirements for exceptional talent and exceptional promise.

For Science, engineering, humanities and medicine, applicants must be active researchers in academic, industry or government research institutions in a range of disciplines in the areas of science, engineering, humanities and medicine. The criteria applicants must meet depend on whether they are applying on the fast track or full peer review route.

In regard to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa

Extension applications

Applicants who have been endorsed by an endorsing body but are yet to obtain leave to enter or leave to remain and applicants who wish to extend Tier 1 Exceptional Talent leave may apply under the rules for the Global Talent category.

Settlement

Those who have entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant may still apply for indefinite leave to remain when they qualify.

For applicants with leave as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrant endorsed by the Royal Society, the British Academy of Engineering and their PBS dependants, any absence from the UK for the purposes of research activities overseas shall not count towards the 180 days, if it occurred while they held this leave.

Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain: 

After a continuous period of 3 years lawfully in the UK if their last endorsement was:

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Under the endorsing body’s criteria for “exceptional talent”

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Under the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering or the British Academy criteria for “exceptional promise”

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The applicant has sufficient knowledge of the English language (an English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above)

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The applicant has passed the Life in the UK test

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During their most recent period of leave the applicant has earned money in the UK as a result of employment or self-employment in their expert field

After a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK if their last endorsement was:

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Under Arts Council England or Tech Nation criteria for “exceptional promise”

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The applicant has sufficient knowledge of the English language (an English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above)

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The applicant has passed the Life in the UK test

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