Global Talent UK Visa

Global Talent UK Visa Category will replace the existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category.

This new visa category has been enshrined into law by way of introducing the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules on 30 January 2020.

The new Global Talent category has been created for talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK, replacing the existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category.

When it will come into force

  • The new visa category provisions shall take effect on 20 February 2020.
  • If an application for endorsement, entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain has been made before 20 February 2020, such applications will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 19 February 2020.

Scope of application

  • The new visa category is designed for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK.
  • This category will replace the existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category.
  • Global Talent visa category is also open to talented and promising applicants within the digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) sectors.

Main features and requirements

  • Global Talent applicants must hold an endorsement from an organization engaged by the Home Office to develop sector-specific criteria and consider individual applications on its behalf.
  • The existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) endorsing bodies (the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Tech Nation and Arts Council England) will be joined by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the new Global Talent category.
  • Applicants must provide critical contributions to work supported by a substantial research grant or award from a specifically endorsed funder. Such endorsed funders are listed in Immigration Rules.
  • Applicants who do not qualify under this option may still qualify under different criteria within the Global Talent route relevant to science, engineering, humanities, and medicine.
  • Changes significantly expand the number of fellowships that qualify for fast track consideration by the Royal Society, British Academy or Royal Academy of Engineering, allowing a larger number of applicants to qualify without the need for a full peer review.
  • Applicants endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities, and medicine will be able to apply for settlement after 3 years regardless of whether the applicant is granted under “promise” criteria, “talent” criteria or the new endorsed funder option.
  • The qualifying period to apply for settlement under “promise” criteria for digital technology and arts and culture applicants will remain as 5 years (as was previously required under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)).
  • Global Talent applicants who have been endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities, and medicine who undertake research overseas directly related to their grant of leave, may do so without that absence being ‘counted’ when any application for settlement is assessed. Corresponding amendments are also being made to benefit partners who accompany them in these circumstances.
  • Global Talent category will not be subject to a cap on the number of applicants, ensuring migrants who can meet the qualifying criteria will be able to secure entry subject to successful visa checks.
  • Applicants will be able to choose how much leave, in whole years, up to a maximum of 5 years they wish to be granted in a single application. This means that Global Talent applicants who only wish to come to the UK for 2 years in this category will not need to pay the maximum 5-year Immigration Health Surcharge payment.
  • The new Global Talent category is set out in Appendix W to the Immigration Rules.
  • The category does not form part of the Points-Based System and does not include points-scoring tables.

What changes it will bring to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category is going to be replaced by the new Global Talent category.
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicants apply on the basis of endorsement letters from an endorsing body. These letters are valid for 3 months and may continue to be issued after 19 February 2020.
  • Applicants with a valid Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) endorsement letter will be able to use this to apply for entry clearance or leave under the Global Talent category. The Global Talent category does not impose any additional entry clearance or leave to remain requirements or conditions.
  • Applicants who already hold Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) leave and who wish to extend their leave, will be able to do so under the Global Talent category. As with initial applications, the extension requirements for Global Talent do not generally differ from Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent). The only exception to this is that the Rules do not specify exactly what documents must be supplied to demonstrate that an applicant meets the criteria. This allows a wider range of evidence to be supplied.
  • Settlement applications from Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Migrants will continue to be accepted, without the need for applicants to first switch into the Global Talent route.
  • It is expected that the last Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) settlement application would be submitted in 2025, but these Rules do not impose a closure date for such applications.
  • As with the exemption for Global Talent migrants, absences from the UK for research purposes related to the grant of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) leave will not be counted when considering a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) settlement application. This applies only where the applicant was endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities, and medicine.
  • As with the Global Talent visa, this exemption extends to their dependents.

What services can we offer?

  • We can advise and assist with both stages including an endorsement from the designated body and application for entry clearance once endorsement is granted.
  • We can advise on the procedure, requirements, and merits of making an application to the Home Office /a British Diplomatic post.
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making representations in support of their immigration matters.
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependant s to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can assist with the administrative review if the applicant`s entry clearance application is turned down for some reason.
  • We can advise in making permanent residence (ILR) applications for those who have already completed their three- or five-years residence period in the UK.

Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of the immigration matters of our clients. get in touch today on 0203 146 3549 / e:mail:


All our articles are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information provided.

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