In this article, I’m going to discuss the UK Global Talent Visa and how to apply for it. The Global Talent Visa has replaced the Exceptional Talent Visa and applications for the new visa which opened on the 20th February 2020. The UK government describes the visa as being for ‘talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK.’
As with the Global Talent Visa, there are two types: ‘Talent’ applicants who are “already leaders in their respective field” and “‘promise’ applicants” who “have shown the potential to become leaders in their field” – but more on that below.
While the number of Exceptional Talent visas was capped at 2000 per year, there are no limits on the number of applicants for the Global Talent visa. Moreover, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will take a major role in administering the new visa programme for researchers and specialists in an effort to encourage more top science talent to the UK.
Although new specific provisions have been made for the science and research sector, the Global Talent category is also open to applicants within the digital technology sector and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture).
Here are some key features of the Global Talent visa:
- A visa holder doesn’t need to have a job before arriving in the UK.
- They can move freely between organisations, locations, jobs and roles.
- No minimum salary is needed to be eligible.
- Unlike the UK startup and investor visas, no minimum maintenance funds are required.
- Applicants can choose how long they wanted to apply to come to the UK for, from a minimum of one to year a maximum of five years. The visa can be further extended as long as the holder meets certain requirements.
- Subject to eligibility requirements, dependents have full access to the labour market
- Applicants can apply without having to pass an official English Test Qualification, although having sufficient knowledge of the English language may be a requirement of the organisation that hosts or employs them.
- Visa holders for science, engineering, humanities and medicine will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after 3 years regardless of whether the applicant is granted the visa under the ‘promise’ criteria, the ‘talent’ criteria or the new endorsed funder option. Under the old exceptional talent visa, ‘exceptional promise’ holders had to wait 5 years before they were eligible for settlement.
- However, note that the qualifying period to apply for settlement under the “promise” criteria for digital technology and arts and culture applicants will remain as 5 years. I’ll talk more about residency below.
Requirements:[Here are the general requirements for all applicants [plus W3 and W4 of Appendix W)]] All applicants need to be endorsed by an official endorsing body, but there are different routes to get this endorsement. Applicants apply first to the Home Office, but the applications are considered by the specialist endorsing body. The endorsing body then makes the decision on whether to endorse you and then tell the Home Office their decision. Below are the general conditions for application from the Immigration Rules, Appendix W:
W7.1 Endorsement (assessment by endorsing body)
(a) Applications for endorsement must be made to the Home Office but are considered by the endorsing body. Applicants should not contact the endorsing bodydirectly following the submission of their application.
(b) In all cases the endorsing body will advise the Home Office whether or not it endorses the applicant. If the applicant is not considered by the endorsing body to have met the endorsement requirement set out in these Rules, or sufficiently demonstrated that their presence in the UK will contribute to the advancement of their sector, the application will not be endorsed.
(c) If successful, the decision maker will provide the applicant with a dated endorsement letter.
W7.2 Initial Application Criteria (assessed by the Home Office)
The applicant must meet all of the following:
(i) They have been endorsed in this category by a Global Talent endorsing body named in Part W7.
(ii) The date of application for entry clearance or leave to remain must be no later than 3 months after the date of issue on the endorsement letter.
(iii) The endorsement must not have been withdrawn by the endorsing body.
W7.4 Endorsement Criteria (General evidential requirements)
Evidence required to demonstrate the applicant meets the endorsing body criteria must be submitted as part of the endorsement application. To allow the applicants skills and experience to be accurately assessed, the endorsing body require specific forms of evidence set out in W7.5 to W7.7. Our course with example documents will help you to achieve this.
(a) Where an applicant is required to provide a documentation from a third party, the documentation must:
(i) be dated
(ii) show the organisation logo and registered address, if written on behalf of a third party organisation
(iii) be signed by the third party, or an individual authorised by a third party organisation to respond on its behalf
(iv) be typed, not hand-written
(v) contain full contact details, including telephone number and email address, of the third party to allow the document to be verified if required
(b) Evidence submitted for endorsement cannot include objects, Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) or Compact Discs (CDs), digital files or documents that only show web links. If an applicant wishes to use the content of a webpage as part of their supporting documents, they must provide a printed copy of the page which clearly shows the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the page.
(c) Documents must be written in English or Welsh, or accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified if required.
(d) The endorsing body will independently assess whether the evidence provided appropriately and adequately supports the applicant’s claim that they meet the relevant criteria.
(e) Where these Rules require applicants to provide a letter of recommendation from a UK based individual or UK organisation, or to hold a UK based research fellowship, specified evidence from the Isle of Man is also acceptable.
(f) Where these Rules require applicants to provide a letter of recommendation, this letter must:
(i) specifically refer to and support the Global Talent application, not be a general, all-purpose letter
(ii) be a maximum length of 3 single sides of A4 paper, excluding the authors credentials and/or curriculum vitae.
(g) Where an applicant is required to provide a curriculum vitae, the curriculum vitae must be a maximum length of 3 single sides of A4 paper.