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Applying for a UK Global Talent Visa

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. Applying for a UK Global Talent Visa

If you are a leader in either academia, research, arts and culture or digital technology, you can apply for a Global Talent visa

The U.K.’s Global Talent visa is tailored for talented individuals in the fields of science, engineering, technology, art and humanities and allows you to live in the country even without a job offer.

If you are a leader or a potential leader in either academia, research, arts and culture or digital technology and at least 18 years old, you can apply for a Global Talent visa to work in the U.K.

The visa enables eligible talented individuals to settle in the U.K. after only three years. If you are considered a promising talent, you may be eligible to settle after 5 years and with that you will be on the path to naturalise as a British citizen.

What is the Global Talent visa?

The Global Talent route replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa in 2020 and is designed to attract talented and promising professionals to work in the U.K. in the fields of science, digital technology as well as arts and culture.

The requirements of this visa are less extensive than those of other work visas under the U.K.’s new points-based immigration system.

Applicants must meet a number of eligibility requirements, and in most cases will need to be endorsed by an approved body. The endorsement isn’t necessary if they have an award from any of the Home Office’s eligible prize lists, in which case they can apply for the visa straight away.

Global Talent visa holders do not have to find a job to be eligible but have the option to take up paid employment, to be self-employed or become a director of a company, although any work should be within the field for which they have been endorsed for. Studying is also permitted, subject to the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) conditions.

There is no minimum salary threshold or English language test for the Global Talent route, although the endorsing body may impose its own language requirement.

If you are employed and then change employers or jobs, you will also not need to notify the Home Office, unlike under the skilled worker visa.

Qualifying dependants can accompany Global Talent participants, and it is possible to apply from within the U.K. by switching from other U.K. visa categories.

The Global Talent visa is also a fairly flexible route for visa holders. Applicants can apply for visas of between one year and five years, in full-year increments. This means that while it is possible to apply to extend the visa, in most cases the individual will become eligible for the U.K.’s indefinite leave to remain after a single period of leave, ie after three years if they are an exceptional talent, and after five years if they are a promising talent.

For Employers

For employers, the Global Talent route offers a flexible and less onerous alternative to hiring than through the Skilled Worker visa, since the Global Talent route does not require sponsorship by an employer and organisations hiring individuals under the Global Talent route will not have to pay the costs associated with sponsoring workers such as the Immigration Skills Charge.

This is the first of four articles on how to apply for a global talent visa.

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