The Global Talent route replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) and Tier 1 (Exceptional Promise) visas in early 2020 and enables the most highly skilled individuals to enter the UK without a job offer if they are endorsed by a recognised UK body, as approved by the Home Office.
This visa route is available for academics and researchers who are recognised as leaders or potential leading talent in the fields of science, engineering and the arts. The Global Talent visa is a non-sponsored route and provides many benefits including greater flexibility to move freely between organisations, lower costs than applying for a Skilled Worker visa and a choice of how long you want to apply for and a route to settlement after 3 years (for the main applicant only) or after 5 years if you are endorsed as 'Exceptional Promise'. Other benefits include no salary threshold or language eligibility.
Please note, following the UKVI implementation of the new Immigration Points Based System, this route is now open to all non-UK/Irish nationals.
The application involves a two-stage process:
- Stage 1: Endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsing body in order to demonstrate to the Home Office that they are a leader or potential leader in their field of expertise (the University can provide a Statement of Guarantee)
- Stage 2: Visa application and Home Office final immigration decision
There are four different routes to apply for a Global Talent visa. Please see below further information on each route.
This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society and the job offer must be from an approved UK HEI or Research Institute.
The individual must have responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership and development or directing/leading an individual or team in a research or innovation project or programme of work.
For this route the individual will require a statement of guarantee from the Director of HR Services. This letter will confirm that certain recruitment processes have taken place and the level of the role to support the application.
Usually, an individual would consider this route if they had a job offer from the University which is at Reader level or above, or can clearly evidence their role responsibility meets the above criteria.
To request a letter to support your application please contact:
- New starters: A member of the Recruitment Team
- Existing member of staff switching to the Global Talent route: Your Senior HR Officer within the HR Partnering Team.
The Individual Fellowships route is a fast-track route for individuals who have been awarded a fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
To check which fellowships are eligible please click here.
During the endorsement application process the individual will need to provide a copy of the fellowship award letter.
The Endorsed Funders route is a fast-track route for individuals named on a grant application from an endorsed funder approved by the UKRI.
The grant must have been awarded by an organisation on the list of endorsed funders.
The individual applying for endorsement via this route must:
- have at least 1 year left on the employment contract or hosting agreement
- spend at least half of the time working on the grant
- be working on a grant worth at least £30,000 that covers at least 2 years
- have either a one-off grant or award or a ‘renewable’ award with regular peer review
In addition the individual must also either:
- be named on the research grant application
- have their job title on the research grant application and show that they were recruited in a fair process
If the applicant is a principal investigator or co-investigator, they can work on more than one grant, so long as in total they make up at least half of their time.
During the endorsement process, the applicant must provide evidence of their grant or award and in addition to this, a letter from the Director of HR Services.
To request a letter to support the application please contact:
- New starters: A member of the Recruitment Team
- Existing member of staff switching to the Global Talent route: Your Senior HR Officer within the Partnering Team.
If an individual is not eligible under the fast track routes, they may be eligible through the standard route requiring the individual to submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society. The individual will not need to have a job offer to apply through this route.
For this route individuals can choose to be considered under two options and would need to meet specific criteria to be eligible.
- Exception Talent (leader)
- Exceptional Promise (potential leader)
If the individual receives an endorsement from the designated approved body, the stage 1 application will be approved by the Home Office and they will receive an e-mail from the Home Office with a copy of the endorsement letter which will be required for the stage 2 visa application.
Dependents can apply for visas at the same time or can wait until the main applicant has entered the UK to work.
Individuals must apply for stage 2 within three months of gaining the endorsement or the immigration application will be refused, and they will need to re-apply for endorsement. The applicant should get a decision on the visa application within 8 weeks if applying inside the UK or 3 weeks if applying from outside the UK.
Please note that there are application fees attached to each stage and individuals will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and may require a tuberculosis (TB) test. Further information is available on the UKVI website.
There is no minimum salary for the Global Talent visa.
The UKVI provide advice on whether you or the role may be suitable for endorsement.
This is dependent on the route you choose, for the fast-track routes, decisions can be as quick as one week and up to 3 weeks. For the standard peer review route, the endorsement stage 1 application process can take up to 8 weeks. Following the endorsement process, stage 2 of the application process will need to be processed and this can take up to 3 weeks if you’re applying from outside the UK, and up to 8 weeks if you’re applying from within the UK.
It is advisable that you look at all the endorsement routes before making your application and seeing which one is most suitable and you meet the criteria for. The UKVI website and Royal Society have detailed information on all routes to assist you with making a decision. The Recruitment and Immigration Team can offer advice on questions relating to the process of the Global Talent route but cannot provide adviceon the best option for an individual. If an individual is in any doubt regarding their eligibility and the content of their visa application, it is recommended they seek independent legal advice as any rejection of your application could result in the loss of any visa application fees. UKVI have some guidance on locating an Immigration Adviser. Alternatively, the Royal Society may be able to answer any specific questions.