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UK Global Talent Visa

Unique Opportunities for Talented People from Academia, Arts and IT Fields Relocating to the UK to Work

What is UK Global Talent Visa For? 

A UK Global Talent visa is a new immigration category which was introduced on 20 February 2020 after Brexit to replace the Exceptional Talent visa. The UK government has made it clear that, even after leaving the European Union, they still want to attract foreign scientists, artists, actors and representatives of the digital industry. They can be either established leaders or potential leaders in their field. The practice of attracting best employees in the three key industries guarantees the UK a leading place for years to come. 

A person should have significant success in their field and be recognised abroad to apply for a UK Global Talent Visa, but they do not have to be a world known academic, developer, architect, or musician. Often, our clients, especially from IT or academia, underestimate their achievements and are surprised when Imperial & Legal recommends them to apply for this immigration category.

Who Сan Apply for Global Talent Visa to the UK?

It is possible to apply for a Global Talent visa if you are an established or potential leader in one of the following fields: 

  • Academia or research
  • Arts and culture
  • Digital technology.
There are no language or maintenance requirements for the UK Global Talent visa and you can do various projects at your own pace. You can also bring your family with you to the UK and, after a few years, get indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and British passport. Advisors at Imperial & Legal will help you achieve your goals.

Benefits of UK Global Talent Visa 

  1. The key benefit is that a talented applicant does not need to be tied to a specific job like a Skilled Worker Visa holder or to a business like a Start-up or Innovator visa holder. A UK Global Talent visa holder сan choose what they will do in the UK: work full-time for a company, change jobs, run their own business or be self-employed. You can devote all your time to your favourite business or combine it with studies or leisure activities. The main thing is that you must work in the field where you have been granted an endorsement, otherwise your Global Talent visa will not be extended.
  2. According to the Home Office requirements, one of the government endorsing bodies should approve an applicant for a UK Global Talent visa. However, once a visa is granted, you are not required to be in touch with your endorsing body; it is neither your employer, like for a Skilled Worker visa, nor endorser who you need to report to from time to time on your achievements, like for business visas. Moreover, you do not even have to worry about endorsement. There are several endorsing bodies which are approved by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to carry out the endorsement process in the specialist areas they are assigned to. 
  3. There are minimum requirements for a Global Talent visa. An applicant must be at least 18, have a clean criminal record, be of good health (applicants from some countries must be tested negative for tuberculosis and other dangerous infections).

In addition to the unique advantages listed above, Global Talent visa holders also benefit from standard terms and conditions of other long-stay visas:

  • Applying for your spouse /civil partner and minor children to join you in the UK;
  • Global Talent visa for the UK is valid for five years, with the possibility of renewal;
  • Opportunity to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or settlement, after either 3 years or 5 years of residence in the UK, depending on your status and field of activities.

Subcategories of UK Global Talent Visa

A UK Global Talent visa is divided into two subcategories: Exceptional Promise and Exceptional Talent. An applicant should decide in advance which category they belong to. Are they established leaders in their field or only potential leaders?

The Exceptional Promise category is for young, prospective specialists who do not have a lot of experience. It is not necessary to have a lot of professional achievements, but you should be able to prove that you have worked in your chosen field for at least 5 years.

The Exceptional Talent category is suitable for industry leaders – they must have been working in their area for a long time, have relevant achievements, awards and additional activity beyond their professional field. Such a person is generally not only active in their field, but also regularly contributes to international academic journals, teaches other professionals or successfully develops their own company. An applicant needs to provide less evidence of their talent.

Requirements for Global Talent Visa 

As has already been mentioned, the Home Office has minimal requirements for an applicant of a UK Global Talent visa: 

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have a clean criminal and immigration record
  • Be of good health (applicants from some countries must test negative for tuberculosis).

Requirements for obtaining a UK Global Talent visa include confirming your professional status, qualifications and skills. The application process for the Global Talent visa consists of two stages. At first, you will need to gather and translate documents providing evidence of skills in your chosen field and then apply for an endorsement letter from one of the endorsing bodies.

At least 10 pieces of evidence that are relevant to your field can be included in the standard package of evidence in order to obtain a Global Talent visa. They include:

  • International certificates and diplomas confirming your qualification
  • International awards
  • Publications in specialist and mainstream media outlets and blogs, especially in British and other English language sources, references to your articles in other research papers (citations), critical reviews
  • Good customer reviews, especially from the UK
  • Recordings and publications of your public talks at workshops, master classes, lectures, exhibitions, scientific and industry conferences
  • Evidence from exhibitions
  • Portfolio.

Who Can Provide Endorsement Letter for Global Talent Visa? 

Only government-authorised companies, councils, academies, communities, associations or professional groups can be endorsing bodies. A letter of endorsement by an endorsing body shows to the Home Office that your evidence has been reviewed and you have been considered a talented applicant for this immigration category.

If you can provide evidence of your outstanding professional skills, you will be issued with an endorsement letter in a short time with the help of Imperial & Legal advisors. Then you will have three months to apply for a Global Talent visa to the UK. However, there are exceptions when applicants may have their application for a Global Talent visa approved without an endorsement letter.

How Long Global Talent Visa Is Valid for and Obtaining ILR in the UK

A Global Talent visa for the UK is valid for five years, with the possibility of renewal. After five years, you will also be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain. 

If a Global Talent visa holder plans to settle in the UK, they can apply for ILR after 3-5 years (depending on the circumstances). Moreover, your spouse and children living in the UK can also apply for ILR.

Applicants can leave the UK but not more than for 180 days in any continuous 12-month period during validity of the visa. In addition, applicants must prove their knowledge of life in the UK and speak English to at least Level B1. Imperial & Legal specialists will not only make your application for ILR but also help you and your dependent family members prepare for necessary tests.

UK Citizenship and Passport 

All family members can apply for naturalisation (UK citizenship) one year after obtaining ILR on a Global Talent visa if all requirements are met. You must show to the Home Office that you have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days in the 5-year period prior to submitting your British citizenship application and 90 days in the last year.  

  • UK licensed advisors
  • Official client representative to the Home Office
  • Risk analysis of UK visa refusal
  • Listing and preparing necessary evidence, documents, cover letters 
  • Certified translation of documents 
  • Completing a visa application as per necessary requirements 
  • Legal support and assistance at all stages 

How Much Does Global Talent Visa Cost?

Costs of a Global Talent visa are split into 2 parts:

  • A government fee which can be paid fully or in two parts
  • Immigration Health Surcharge.

The government fee for a Global Talent visa is lower than that for other types of visas to the UK. It is only £608 per person: £456 must be paid at the application stage for a letter of endorsement and £152 for the visa application.

If you’re applying based on an eligible award, you don’t need a letter of endorsement but the one-off fee is £608. Dependent family members should also pay £608 per person. 

An application fee for nationals of 24 European countries is reduced by £55. A list of these countries can be found on the UK Skilled Worker Visa webpage.

All applicants of long-term visas valid for over six months must pay an immigration health surcharge. Payment of this fee allows immigrants in the UK to access most healthcare services with no further costs. The fee is £624 per year per person. It is paid in full when you apply for a UK Global Talent Visa.

As has already been mentioned, potential UK Global Talent visa holders do not know their true value. Many applicants are put off by the name of the visa and the complicated, multi-step procedure of obtaining it. However, Imperial & Legal advisors are convinced that, with the right approach, a talented applicant has a good chance of moving to the UK within 3-4 months after the first consultation. The standard procedure for obtaining a UK Global Talent visa consists of only four steps.


Contact Imperial & Legal

Timeframe: 1 day

Imperial & Legal specialists are licensed immigration advisors. A consultation can be held face-to-face in an office or remotely via an audio or video call via Zoom/Skype. During the consultation, your advisor will get to know your case, listen to your needs and answer all your questions about obtaining a UK Global Talent visa. Moreover, your advisor will help you decide which visa category you can apply for. As soon as a service agreement is signed, our experts will make a detailed plan and start working on your case. 

Prepare documents for getting a letter of endorsement

Timeframe: 5-8 weeks

Imperial & Legal immigration advisors act as your official representatives till you get a final decision from the Home Office. Our experts will prepare a list of documents that will be required from you to get a letter or endorsement, draft cover letters and prepare evidence of your skills and qualifications. After a review of these documents by a government endorsing body, the Home Office will send you a letter of endorsement if the decision is favourable.

Prepare and submit a visa application

Timeframe: 1 day

While preparing documents for a letter of endorsement, our advisors also prepare your visa application. Imperial & Legal specialists will arrange for certified translation of documents into English, prepare your application, fill in official online forms, pay a fee and submit the application a day after receiving a letter of endorsement. Then they will book an appointment at a UK visa application centre for you to submit biometric information and upload all the necessary documents. 

Obtain a visa and move to the UK

Timeframe: 3–8 weeks

You will get a decision on your Global Talent visa within 3 weeks if you apply outside the UK and within 8 weeks if you apply in the UK. As soon as your application is approved, you get your visa and can move to the UK.

Imperial & Legal offers a comprehensive assistance with all the matters related to relocating to another country, like searching for a comfortable flat or enrolling children into nurseries or schools.

Success Stories on UK Global Talent Visa

FAQ about UK Global Talent Visa

What is the Global Talent visa processing time?

On average, it takes from 3 to 6 months to obtain this visa category with our company. The actual timeframe depends on:

  • The time that you spend gathering evidence of your talent
  • Locations to apply for a UK Global Talent visa.

Frequently, our clients have enough reasons to be considered as established leaders in their field, but for various reasons they do not have relevant evidence of their skills. Imperial & Legal advisors will help you get your documents in order, translate and submit them to the Home Office for a government endorsing body to receive a letter of endorsement.

How long does it take for a UK Global Talent visa holder to get ILR in the UK?

How long you need to permanently reside in the UK to obtain ILR depends on two factors:

  1. Subcategory – holders of an Exceptional Promise visa need to wait until they complete 5-year continuous residence in the UK;
  2. Field of expertise. The UK values top-class academics, innovators and researchers. If you are an established leader with an Exceptional Talent visa in one of these fields, you should complete 3 years of continuous residence in the UK to obtain ILR. Established leaders in the fields of culture, arts and IT are eligible to apply for ILR after 5 years.

When is a letter of endorsement not required?

Recipients of certain prestigious prizes and awards listed on the UK government website can apply for a Global Talent visa without going through the initial endorsement stage. Both major international competitions and UK awards are valid. There are 147 nominations.

Prizes and awards  Nominations
Arts and culture40
Digital technology2
Fashion design industry3
Film and television32
Science, engineering, humanities and medicine68

What cannot Global Talent visa holders do in the UK?

Except for obvious things like breaking the law, it is not allowed to do the following:

  • Work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • Work as a professional sportsperson or coach, because there is a separate visa category for that
  • Apply for public funds.

The UK government rightly believes that you will dedicate your time to your talent. If not, you will not get your visa renewed.

What should I do if my Global Talent visa does not get endorsed?

If you do not get an endorsement, you may be able to apply for an endorsement review to the Home Office. You need to do so within 28 days after you get the decision.

The review procedure has its own specific requirements:

  1. You can appeal only once. If it is not satisfied in your favour, further appeals will not be considered
  2. A representative of the Home Office decides whether to review the refusal or your application or not
  3. If you are refused because there is not enough evidence of your talent, it is useless to submit the missing papers with your appeal. The reviewer will not consider them.

In fact, you have a chance of reviewing your application only if you are absolutely sure that you are right and have provided all the necessary documents to prove leadership in your field, but the Home Office or a government endorsing body has made a mistake. For example, a visa officer did not send some of your documents or a government endorsing body did not consider them carefully and rushed to make a decision.

Obtaining a UK Global Talent visa is a complex procedure that requires significant attention and a large amount of supporting documentation. If you apply for a Global Talent visa to the UK with the legal support of Imperial & Legal, the risk of refusal will be minimised.

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