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The Global Talent Visa, which replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa, was introduced in 2020 with the aim of making it easier for overseas nationals considered to be leaders or potential leaders in certain fields to come to the UK. These fields include academia or research, arts and culture, and digital technology. According to a recent analysis commissioned by the Home Office, over half of all Global Talent visa applications are made from within the UK (54%), and the vast majority are submitted by those with ‘exceptional promise’ (58%) (compared to 24% with ‘exceptional talent’). In this article, we will take a closer look at the eligibility criteria, how to gain endorsement and the conditions and benefits of the Global Talent visa

Am I eligible Global Talent visa?

The first point to bear in mind is that you do not need a job offer to secure a UK Global Talent visa. To qualify for a Global Talent visa, you will need to gain endorsement as a potential leader or leader in either:

  • academia or research: in science, medicine, engineering, or humanities
  • arts and culture: in combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre or visual arts, architecture, fashion design, and film and television (including animation, post-production, and visual effects), or
  • digital technology: in any area, but this may include financial technology (‘fintech’), gaming, cyber security, and artificial intelligence.

It may also be possible to apply for a Global Talent visa if you have an eligible award in your respective field. If you have an eligible award, such as a BAFTA, Fashion Award, or Nobel Prize, you do not need to be endorsed to apply for a Global Talent visa.

The exact criteria you will need to meet to be considered a leader or potential leader depends on your field and the endorsing body you apply to.

How do I gain endorsement for the Global Talent visa?

To gain endorsement for a Global Talent visa, the first step is to find out which endorsing body can consider your application. There are several approved endorsing bodies representing different industry sectors and geographical areas in the UK. For example, the endorsing body that currently handles endorsement applications in the area of digital technology is Tech Nation. Once you have identified the most appropriate endorsing body, we recommend speaking with them to confirm your suitability. It is also advisable to review the criteria to be considered a leader or potential leader in your specific field and check that you have the necessary evidence to prove you meet each of these.

What are the conditions and benefits of a Global Talent visa?

The Global Talent visa offers considerable advantages to holders. As mentioned above, Global Talent applicants do not need to secure a job before coming to the UK. If approved, overseas nationals with a Global Talent visa can stay for up to 5 years initially and further extend their stay as many times as they wish. Alternatively, they can apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) after just 3 years (this is 5 years for most visas). It is also possible to work and change jobs/employers without gaining permission, run a company, be self-employed, bring immediate family members, and travel freely.

Wrapping up

The Global Talent visa offers tangible benefits over other immigration routes, such as the Skilled Worker visa. For many, the ability to gain accelerated settlement in the UK coupled with the freedom to work in any role and for whom they wish is a real drawcard of the Global Talent visa.

Garth Coates is a leading niche immigration firm based in the heart of London, specialising in all forms of personal and business immigration, including visas, global mobility, sponsorship and compliance, settlement, and citizenship. To discuss your Global Talent visa application, please contact one of our friendly and approachable immigration Solicitors on Tel: +44 (0)20 7799 1600 or by completing our online contact form.

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