Tier 1 Global Talent Visa

Global Talent Visa

The expansion of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route was introduced specifically to make provisions for the science and research sector. The route continues to be open to talented and promising applicants within the digital technology and arts and culture which includes those within film and television sectors as a Global Talent visa.

As well as now being open to those within the science and research sector, other changes being implemented for the new Global Talent route are as follows:

No cap: Unlike its predecessor, the Global Talent visa route has no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK, demonstrating the government’s commitment to supporting top talent. The 2000 annual limit which was imposed under the Exceptional Talent has been removed.

Choose the length of visa, up to 5 years: The visa under the Global Talent route is granted for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 years for applications made inside or outside the UK. 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. Previously applications made from outside the UK carried an additional 4 months leave, increasing the cost for applicants of certain charges such as the NHS surcharge. Previous changes to how the qualifying period for settlement is calculated made the additional 4-month period obsolete. 

The name: Although the word ‘exceptional’ has been dropped, the visa route continues to be for ‘highly-skilled’ entrepreneurs and employees. Just as previously, the Global Talent visa should not be considered for general employment.


Just as with the Exceptional Talent visa, applicants to the Global Talent visa must be endorsed by an organisation designated by the Home Office to develop sector-specific criteria and consider individual applications on its behalf. In each case you will need a substantial body of work and support from experts in your field. Once you have been endorsed, you will be able to apply for a Global Talent visa (Stage 2, immigration application).

You can be endorsed in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology, the arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture).  

The relevant Home Office approved endorsing bodies are:

  • The Royal Society – for natural and medical science applications
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering applications
  • The British Academy – for humanities and social science applications
  • Arts Council England – for arts, culture, fashion, architecture, film and television applications
  • Tech Nation– for digital technology applications
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – for science and research applications 

Global Talent Visa Application

The Exceptional Talent visa has now been replaced with the Global Talent visa. The requirements for the Global Talent visa are the same. Every year people from all over the world successfully get UK visa based on their exceptional talent and expertise in a particular field or industry. The Global Talent Visa is offered to facilitate people who are deemed to be leaders or emerging leaders within their respective fields.

Global Talent Visa - What You Need to Know

The first step in the process is for you to request a Unique Reference Number from the UK Border Agency. This request must state the appropriate Designated Competent Body to endorse the applicant.  Once you successfully get endorsed by any of the aforementioned bodies, you can submit your application for a Global Talent visa along with the following documents:

  • Current valid passport,
  • Passport-sized photograph,
  • Letter of endorsement from a designated body,
  • Medical test report for Tuberculosis (if applicable).

The validity of Global Talent visa is 5 years both for those applying from the outside UK and applicants applying from within the UK.

You can apply for a Global Talent visa if you work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed as:

  • a recognised leader (exceptional talent)
  • an emerging leader (exceptional promise)

Global Talent Migrant - Eligibility -Digital Technology

Global Talent criteria have been relaxed for tech start ups to enable the most bright and talented tech professionals to set up in the UK. The application will need to be endorsed initially by Tech Nation, a company that assists the Home Office in assessing applications from Tech specialists. The advantage of applying for a Global Talent visa is that it enables a non-EEA migrant to come to the UK and work either in an employed position (the job does not need to be on the Shortage of Occupations list and there are no salary restrictions) or be self-employed.  To qualify for a Global Talent visa you will need to be endorsed either as a leader in your field or demonstrate exceptional promise.

To get a Global Talent visa, you need to be endorsed as a leader (exceptional/global talent) or emerging leader (exceptional /global promise). If you qualify, the route allows you to work and change employers, or to be self-employed, without the need for further authorisation or to be sponsored for employment in a specific post.  There is no maximum limit on the time you can spend in the UK in this category however you may be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK after three (3) years of residence under the Global Talent route.

Global Talent application and COVID-19 Is your status/application affected?

The British government have taken a number of measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 disease. This may have affected your travel to and from the UK and in some cases even your immigration status if you are in the UK on an expiring visa and unable to leave because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

On 24 March 2020, the UK Government updated the immigration guidance for those affected by Coronavirus travel restrictions.

We advise all our clients that due to the situation changing rapidly, to please check the latest developments before travelling.

The guidance issued today, at the time of writing this, 24 March 2020, states that:

If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020

Your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). You must contact the Home Office with the relevant data and evidence as well as information about why you are unable to leave the UK. Anyone in this situation needs to contact the COVID-19 immigration team via the email address: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

IMPORTANT: Please take a cautious approach to the new coronavirus extension policy. If your leave to remain in the UK is about to expire it is important to note that providing the details requested by the Home Office does not extend leave under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971. This advice will be reviewed in line with any guidance received from the Home Office.

If your reasons are not accepted, you may become an overstayer. If your leave is about to expire and you wish to remain in the UK, you MUST submit an extension application (please see below for the possibility to switch in-country).

Those who contact the Home Office for the visa extension under the COVID-19 immigration guidance will be expected to return to their home countries as soon as possible once flight and border restrictions are lifted.

Stage 1, Endorsement applications are not immigration applications. Preparation of the evidence to be submitted in support of Stage 1, Endorsement application is not affected by the pandemic. You can use this time to make sure you have the required Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statement (if applicable) and other evidence in support of the application.

Applicants for Stage 2, Immigration Stage can benefit from the possibility to switch to this visa, in-country. This means that if otherwise required to leave the UK and apply from their country or origin or residence, it is now possible to submit the application without leaving the UK (please see below).

If you’re applying to stay in the UK long-term – switching in-country

During these unique circumstances you’ll be able to apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May. This includes applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

You’ll need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the UK application fee.

This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020 (under the previous guidance mostly affecting Chinese nationals and residents).

At Osbourne Pinner we fully understand that many businesses are adversely affected by the spread of the coronavirus. We would therefore reiterate that we continue to serve our clients. We provide legal advice and assistance on UK Visas and Immigration, as well as nationality matters.

We are therefore offering flexible payment plans to our clients. In light of the current circumstances we require only 40% of the agreed fixed fee to be paid in time of instructions which will enable us to start preparing your application.

Why use Osbourne Pinner for your Global Talent Visa?

  • Extraordinarily high success rate for Stage 1, endorsement & Stage 2 of immigration application.
  • We will assess your CV & LinkedIn profile during the free initial consultation to advise you fully on the eligibility requirements of the Stage 1, i.e. endorsement
  • We provide unsurpassed immigration services in an exceptionally professional and efficient manner.
  • Many applicants face difficulties in understanding the application process or providing the required documentation.
  • Our team can provide you with all the support and guidance you need to acquire With our experienced solicitors, who believe in generating positive results for our clients, you have a better chance of a successful application.

For a free confidential discussion about your immigration matter, call us on 0203 980 9348 or fill in the form for a call back.

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