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Settlement with the UK Global Talent Visa

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. Settlement with the UK Global Talent Visa

Depending on your category you can apply to settle in the U.K. in three years with the 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.

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.

Switching from a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa

Existing Tier 1 Exceptional Talent leave holders will be able to apply to extend their visa under the Global Talent category.

Tier 1 Exceptional talent holders will be able to apply for U.K. settlement without having to switch to the Global Talent category. No deadline has been specified for settlement applications to be made.

The Global Talent visa leads to settlement

Yes, Global Talent visa holders can become eligible to apply for U.K. ILR, provided they meet all the ILR requirements. You will not need to provide evidence of continued endorsement as part of your ILR application.

You will need to show you meet the residence requirement and that you have been earning money from work linked to your field of endorsement during your stay in the U.K. This does not mean you have to have been employed during your visa period; you will need to show you have earned money during this period but this could have been through self-employment. You also do not necessarily have to have worked for the full period of leave. You just need to show that you have earned money during this time.

Given the diversity of professions, work and working arrangements that Global Talent visa holders are allowed to undertake, the Home Office guidance allows considerable flexibility as to the supporting documentation required to prove earnings.

The guidance states “Applicants can provide any evidence as long as it is from an independent source which can be verified if required. The Global Talent website guidance gives a list of potential forms of evidence they may choose to provide, but this is not exhaustive.” Taking professional advice will help ensure you are submitting sufficient supporting evidence for your specific circumstances.

Knowledge of Life & Language

As there is no language requirement under the Global Talent route, you will need to meet the English language requirement as part of your ILR application. The required standard is speaking and listening to at least level B1 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

To prove your language ability, you must have either:

  • Passed an English language test from an approved English Language Test provider, or
  • Have a degree studied and awarded in the U.K., or
  • Have a degree taught overseas in English, certified by U.K. ENIC.

In addition, you will have to pass the Life in the U.K. test if you are aged between 18 and 64.

When can you apply for U.K. ILR?

Global Talent visa holders can become eligible to apply for U.K. settlement after either 3 or 5 years:

Applicants endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities and medicine granted under “promise” criteria, “talent” criteria or the new endorsed funder option are eligible to apply for U.K. settlement after 3 years.

Applicants endorsed for digital technology, arts and culture under the “promise” criteria are eligible for U.K. settlement after 5 years.

A further advantage of the Global Talent visa over other work visa categories is that time spent in the U.K. under certain other immigration categories can count towards your residence requirement for ILR.

If you have been in the U.K. with lawful status under any of the following visas, you are able to include that period of leave within your qualifying residence:

  • Any Tier 1 visa – except Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2 (General) or Skilled Worker
  • Scale-up Worker
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) or T2 Minister of Religion
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) or T2 Sportsperson
  • Innovator
  • Representative of an Overseas Business

Absence rules for ILR are less stringent than other visas

The rule when applying for U.K. ILR is that you cannot have spent more than 180 days outside the U.K. within any 12 months during the period of qualifying residence. However, if you have a Global Talent visa, time you’ve spent outside the U.K. doing work related to your job may not count towards this 180-day limit. This rule applies if you were endorsed by the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, British Academy or U.K. Research and Innovation. It also applies if you did not need an endorsement for your visa because you had won an eligible award in the fields of science, engineering, humanities or medicine.

Researchers endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities and medicine who spend time outside of the U.K. for research purposes will not be penalised in their settlement application for absences from the U.K. directly relating to their field of expertise.

Once endorsed, Global Talent visa holders would usually not need to reapply for endorsement as part of an extension or settlement application, provided the endorsement has not been withdrawn.

Key Considerations

Time to get a Global Talent visa If applying from within the U.K., you should get a decision within three weeks of submitting your documentation. If you are applying from outside the U.K., processing usually takes longer than three weeks.

Time to apply for the Global Talent visa Once endorsed, applicants have three months to apply to the Home Office for permission to enter the U.K. or remain under a new grant of leave.

Bringing dependants Global Talent applicants will be permitted to bring dependants who qualify under the U.K. immigration rules.

A job is not necessary for the Global Talent visa You do not necessarily need a job or to be sponsored by an employer to qualify for the Global Talent visa. You will, however, need to meet the criteria of the endorsing body relevant to your professional field to demonstrate your exceptional talent or promise.

The Global Talent visa opened in February 2020 as part of the U.K. Government's drive to attract global best talent to Britain.

You can work with a Global Talent visa With a Global Talent visa, you can work in the U.K. in the fields of arts, sciences or digital technology without having to be sponsored by an employer.

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

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