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Global Talent Visa - Peer Review Route

Understand the eligibility and application requirements of the Global Talent Visa - Peer Review Route.

Stage 1 - endorsement application

If you are not eligible for endorsement via the first three paths, you can still seek endorsement via the Royal Society / British Academy / Royal Academy of Engineering (as applicable), and they will undertake a peer review assessment of your career to determine eligibility for the Global Talent Visa.

You will need to meet the following mandatory criteria before your application is put forward for the peer review assessment.

Exceptional Promise (Potential Leader)

  • Have a PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial research);
  • Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation supporting the Global Talent application from an eminent person resident in the UK who is familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and is qualified to assess your claim that you have the potential to be a world leader in your field;
  • Be at an early stage in your career;
  • Have been awarded, hold or have held in the past five years, a prestigious UK-based Research Fellowship, or an international Fellowship or advanced research post judged by the competent body to be of equivalent standing.

Exceptional Talent (Leader)

  • Be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a University, research institute or within industry;
  • Have a PhD or equivalent research experience;
  • Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation supporting the Global Talent application from an eminent person resident in the UK who is familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and is qualified to assess your claim to be a world leader in your field;
  • Meet one of more of the following Qualifying Criteria:
    • Be a member of your national academy or a foreign member of academies or other countries (in particular any of the UK national academies);
    • Have been awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize;
    • Provide a written recommendation from a senior member of a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field.

Meeting the Qualifying Criteria does not necessarily mean that you will meet the endorsement criteria. Your application will be peer reviewed by experts in your field who will look at the strength of the evidence to determine whether your application demonstrates exceptional talent or exceptional promise. They will assess you solely on the evidence you provide as part of your application.

The peer review assessment will consider the following criteria:

For Exceptional Talent (Leader):

  • Whether you are the winner of a prestigious prize or award;
  • Whether you have secured significant funding for your work in the past ten years;
  • Whether you are regarded as a leader in your field.

For Exceptional Promise (Potential Leader):

  • Whether you have provided evidence sufficient to demonstrate that you have the potential to be a future leader in the field;
  • The level of additional funding secured during or following tenure of a relevant fellowship;
  • Whether you have provided evidence of a relevant prize or award for early career researchers;
  • The significance of your contribution to your field relative to your career stage.

For both Exceptional Talent (Leader) and Exceptional Promise (Potential Leader):

  • Your track record/career history (including your international standing, the significance of your publications, prizes and research funding awarded, patents, and the impact of past innovation activity, in a company, academia or as an individual);
  • The strength of the supporting statements in the letter of personal recommendation, and evidence in relation to qualifying criteria, including a written recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field (if relevant);
  • The expected benefits of your presence in the UK in terms of the contribution to UK research excellence and to wider society, including potential economic benefits from exploitation of intellectual capital.

For full details on what documentation you need to submit as part of your peer review endorsement application, please visit the Royal Society website. If you need a qualifying letter of personal recommendation for the Exceptional Talent (Leader) route, please contact the Staff Immigration Team.

As part of the online endorsement application, you will be asked to enter all your personal details. Once you complete those sections, you will be asked 'if you are applying under exceptional talent or exceptional promise criteria' in which case you need to select which category you fall under. You will then need to upload your relevant documentation (having referred to the Royal Society website) to complete your application. No other documents are required at this stage.

You should receive notification that your endorsement has been successful via email within approximately 4-8 weeks.

Once you receive your endorsement confirmation, you can then apply for your visa. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your endorsement letter.

Stage 2 - apply for entry clearance or permission

You must apply online for a Global Talent Visa. How you apply depends on whether you are:

After you apply

Please refer to our guidance on the Global Talent Visa for further details.