The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa has been replaced by the UK Global Talent Visa. This is a way for scientists, researchers, and other qualified foreigners to live and work in the UK.
The route makes it faster to become a permanent resident, making it an attractive visa for eligible professionals. Find out what you need to know about the visa in this post.
What is a UK Global Talent Visa?
The UK Global Talent Visa is an exclusive immigrant visa for leaders or potential leaders in specific professional fields. These fields include digital technology, arts and culture, and academia or research.
You usually need to get an endorsement from an approved UK endorsing body to apply for this visa. You can only apply without an endorsement if you have an eligible award.
The procedure for applying for a UK Global Talent Visa is slightly different for the different eligible professional fields.
In many ways, the Global Talent Visa is one of the best routes to settling in the UK as a foreigner. The visa lasts for five years, after which you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Indefinite leave to remain is how you become a permanent resident in the UK. You may even be able to apply after residing three years in the country on a Global Talent visa. It depends on your professional field.
Eligibility Requirements for the UK Global Talent Visa
You can apply for the Global Talent Visa if you get an endorsement from an approved endorsing body or have an eligible award. The eligibility requirements depend on your professional field.
Academia or research
You can get an endorsement for the Global Talent Visa if you’re an academic or research leader in:
Furthermore, you must have an eligible job offer to work in your field or be part of an individual fellowship. In addition, you’re eligible if you have a grant worth £30,000 approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
You can check the list of eligible awards without any of the above. You can apply if you possess any award in the field.
Arts and Culture
The arts and culture category is the broadest of all. It accommodates a long list of arts and cultural fields, but the major ones include:
- combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre, or visual arts
- fashion design
- film and television, including animation, post-production, and visual effects
To qualify as an arts and culture leader, you must have been active for the past five years. You must have works performed, sold, or published internationally – in at least two countries.
Also, your works must have an “outstanding” rating by the UK Arts Council England judges, RIBA, British Fashion Council judges, or Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) – depending on your field.
Alternatively, you can apply if you own any award in the Global Talent: arts and culture prize list.
The digital technology field has four categories, and they include:
- financial technology (‘fintech’)
- cyber security
- artificial intelligence
You are eligible for endorsement via the digital technology field even if you have no job offer. Also, you qualify with a technical or business background.
You can check the list of tech roles eligible for the UK Global Talent Visa. Like the other fields, you can apply directly, without endorsement, if you have an eligible award.
However, the digital technology field accommodates only two awards – the ACM Prize in Computing Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Turing Award.
Global Talent Visa Required Documents
As you’d expect, the UK Global Talent Visa requires detailed documentation. The documents you need will depend on your field. Nevertheless, here’s a rundown of the essential documents you need:
- An international passport or any other valid travel document to prove your nationality and identity.
- Written permission from the awarding body if you apply directly with an award.
- Proof of your work as a leader or potential leader in your professional field.
- A letter from your employer if you need an eligible job offer.
- Fellowship award letter if you’re applying with an individual fellowship membership.
- Proof of grant worth £30,000 if you’re applying with UK Research and Innovation endorsement.
- Three letters of recommendation if you’re applying as a leader in arts and culture or digital technology.
- Up to ten pieces of evidence to prove your talent or promise if you’re applying as a leader in arts and culture.
- Your CV if you’re applying as a leader in digital technology.
As mentioned, the above is a rundown of the documents you’ll need to present. Due to the intricacy of the UK Global Talent Visa, most of the documents you’ll submit are subjective to your circumstance.
As a result, the UKVI may request more documents than what’s listed above. When applying for such a visa, you can hire the services of a skilled UK immigration lawyer to help you prepare your documentation.
Global Talent Visa Application Fees
The UK Global Talent Visa has two application stages. First, you apply for endorsement, and second, you apply for the visa itself. As a result, you pay two processing fees.
Application for endorsement costs £456 while applying for the visa itself costs £167. In total, you pay £623.
You have to pay the complete £623 if you’re applying with an eligible award, even though you won’t be applying for endorsement.
The processing fee is the same for any dependent you bring to the UK. Each person must pay £623 for their application.
Nevertheless, the UK Global Talent Visa doesn’t demand that you meet specific financial requirements before entering the UK.
The other fee you’ll pay for the visa is the healthcare surcharge. You and your dependents must pay £624 per year as long as you stay in the UK under the Global Talent Visa.
The healthcare surcharge is mandatory because you can’t access most public benefits like public funds in the UK. You only stop paying the surcharge when you become a UK permanent resident.
How To Apply For The UK Global Talent Visa
The Global Talent Visa application has two stages. The first stage is the application for endorsement, while the second is the application for the visa itself.
Application For Endorsement
How you apply for endorsement will depend on your professional field. Generally, you’ll apply with the UK Home Office, and they will send your application to the endorsing body for review.
It takes around two weeks for the endorsing body to review your application and give you a decision. The two weeks turnaround time is a fast track. It’s only available for applicants with a position in academia or research or if you have received a fellowship or a grant for your own research.
If not, you will have to wait for around five weeks as your application will be peer-reviewed. You can only proceed to apply for the Global Visa if you have a positive verdict on your endorsement application. Otherwise, your visa application will be void by default.
Application For The Visa
You can apply for the UK Global Talent visa within three months after receiving your endorsement. In addition, the organization endorsing you must not have withdrawn its approval.
The Global Talent Visa application is online, and you must have all your documents ready. You can apply for the visa even if you’re not in your home country. The UK Home Office will process your visa if you have legal permission to reside for at least six months in the country you’re applying from.
It’s also possible to apply for the Global Talent Visa at a visa application center. However, you must first check that the visa application center close to you accepts such applications – not all do.
If you’re in the UK, you’ll need to apply for a visa switch rather than a fresh visa application. Application for switching to a UK Global Talent Visa is the same as extending your visa validity upon expiring.
At the start of your application, you must prove your identity. You can submit your fingerprints and photograph (biometrics) or scan your ID with the UK Immigration ID Check app.
How you verify your identity will determine how you get your residence permit. For example, you get a biometric residence permit if you submit your fingerprints and photograph at a visa application center.
After completing the online application, you may need to attend an appointment. The visa application center (Embassy or Consulate) will retain your documents during this process. Not to worry, you’ll get them all back when the processing is completed.
You’ll get a verdict on your Global Talent Visa within three weeks after submitting your application. Sometimes, your application may take longer, especially if the visa application center needs to verify some of your supporting documents.
Furthermore, you may need to attend an interview where you’ll answer questions about your stance as a leader in your field. Ultimately, you’ll get a physical letter or an email about the verdict of your application. You’ll get instructions on what to do next in the letter or email.
Duration of the Global Talent Visa
The UK Global Talent Visa lasts for up to five years. Interestingly, it doesn’t have any stay limit, which means you can stay as long as you want in the UK on a Global Talent Visa. You only need to apply for an extension when it expires.
You apply for an extension of 1 – 5 years – depending on what you want. However, you may not need to apply for an extension when your visa expires. The Global Talent Visa counts as residency, so you can simply apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Depending on your professional field, you can apply after three or five years.
UK Global Talent Visa Extension
You can usually apply to extend your stay in the UK if your endorsement or award is still valid. You must be able to provide proof, such as payslips, that you earned money in your professional field during your time in the United Kingdom.
To extend a Global Talent visa from within or outside the United Kingdom, you must pay a £623 processing fee. The UK Global Talent Visa extension application takes around eight weeks to process. You can get a faster decision if you pay for priority or super-priority processing.
If they are eligible, your partner and children can apply to join you or to remain in the UK as your dependants. The following family members are eligible:
- Your spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner
- Your child under the age of 18
- Your child over the age of 18 who is currently residing in the UK as your dependent
When applying, you will be required to provide evidence of your relationship. For your partner, you must be able to provide proof that you either: are in a recognized civil partnership or marriage or have lived together for at least two years.
If your child is older than 16, you must prove that they reside with you, are not married, in a civil partnership, or supporting any children.
Each dependent must pay the £623 application fee and healthcare surcharge. They can apply from outside or inside the UK. If they apply from inside the UK, they’ll be switching visa status.
Your dependents can also extend their stay with you when their visa expires.
The UK Global Talent Visa is undoubtedly ideal for non-British nationals who want to immigrate to the UK to work or find employment in particular industries. Hopefully, this guide will make your application easier.