The Global Talent Visa is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of 'academia or research', 'arts and culture' or 'digital technology' who wish to work in the UK. It replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent/Promise) Visa route on 20th February 2020.
The Global Talent Visa has a number of benefits over the Skilled Worker Visa. You can:
- change or stop doing your job without permission from the Home Office as the visa is not sponsored by the University
- choose how long your visa is for, up to 5 years
- be an employee, self-employed and a director of a company
- bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- apply with no language or minimum salary eligibility requirements
- renew your visa as many times as you like if you meet the eligibility criteria for extending your stay
- apply for fast-track settlement in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Remain) if you’ve lived in the UK for 3 years (as opposed to the standard 5 years) and meet the other eligibility requirements - any time you spend outside the UK doing research counts towards this time
- apply for most benefits (‘public funds’), or the State Pension
- work as a sportsperson
Two-stage application process
The application for a Global Talent Visa is a two-stage process:
Stage 1: Endorsement Application - when you submit your endorsement application, the Home Office will send it to be reviewed by a UK organisation ('endorsing body') with expertise in your field. How you apply depends on which of the endorsement routes you follow in the section below.
You will usually get a decision about your endorsement within:
- 1 week, if you have an eligible academic or research job, individual fellowship or research grant - this is called ‘fast track’ endorsement
- 5 weeks, if you are having your application peer reviewed
Stage 2: Visa Application
You will usually get a decision about your visa within:
You may be able to pay for a faster decision. How you do this depends on whether you are applying from outside the UK or inside the UK.
You can apply for the Global Talent Visa at the same time as you apply for endorsement, or after you have the endorsement confirmed. If your permission to stay in the UK is about to expire, applying for the visa will extend it until you have been given a decision. If you apply for both at the same time and your endorsement is subsequently refused, your visa application will be rejected, but the visa application fee will be reimbursed to you, minus £25.
The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you travel.
There are four routes for eligible academics and researchers to obtain endorsement for a Global Talent Visa:
Academic and research appointments – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have accepted a position at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute with responsibility either for academic, research or innovation leadership and development, or for directing or leading an individual or team in a research or innovation project or programme of work.
Typical roles eligible under this route include but are not limited to Professor, Associate Professor (Reader or Senior Lecturer) or Senior Group Leader. Please note, this route is not intended for postdoctoral researchers as it is unlikely they will meet the criteria above as their primary role is to conduct and not lead research. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. Full details of the endorsement and application process for this route can be found here
Individual fellowships – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months. Full details of the endorsement and application process for this route can be found here
Endorsed funders – fast-track endorsement for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI. In order to be eligible, researchers must be hosted or employed by an eligible institution approved by UKRI. Full details of the endorsement and application process for this route can be found here
Peer review – standard endorsement for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society. Full details of the endorsement and application process for this route can be found here
You will need to pay £623, which is payable in two parts (if you're applying based on an endorsement):
- £456 for the endorsement fee; and
- £167 for the visa fee
If you’re applying based on an eligible award, you’ll pay the full £623 when you apply for the visa.
Your partner and children must pay the visa fee of £623 if they want to apply to travel with you or join you later in the UK.
You may also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
In addition to the cost of the endorsement and visa application, you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. The exact amount you will have to pay will depend on how much leave you are granted. Full details on the costs of the IHS can be found here.
If applying online, the IHS will need to be paid at the same time as your visa application. This will ensure that you have full access to the National Health Service (NHS).
The IHS will cost an additional £624 per person per year that your visa is valid. Children aged under 18 pay a reduced fee of £470.
Support with immigration expenses
The University provides the following support for staff to help with the cost of immigration expenses:
These support options are subject to eligibility criteria and they are only accessible once you have started your employment with the University.
If you are applying from outside the UK as the main applicant, you will need to apply for your visa before your partner and children can make their own separate applications as they will need your Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN). You will be able to find this information on emails and letters from the Home Office about your visa application.
If you are applying from inside the UK, you can apply for your partner or child’s visa at the same time as you apply to extend or switch your own visa. This includes children who were born or have turned 18 during your stay.
If you cannot apply at the same time, your partner or child can apply to extend or switch their visas at a later date. This must be before their current visa expires.
After you apply
You will receive a letter or an email from the Home Office with the result of your visa application and this will explain what you need to do next.
If your application is successful, you will be given either:
- a sticker (called a vignette) that goes in your passport if you gave your biometric information at a visa application centre;
- access to view your immigration status information online if you used the smartphone app to prove your identity.
The vignette or online immigration status information will show:
- what you have been granted (for example, a Global Talent Visa)
- the dates your visa is valid (start date and end date)
- the conditions of your visa
You must enter the UK before your vignette expires otherwise you will need to apply and pay for another one. In making your travel plans, you should aim to arrive in the UK prior to your start date at the University.
If you get a vignette and you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months, you have to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) either before the vignette sticker expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later. You can choose where to collect your BRP from during your application. Typically, for most new starters at the University this will be the central Post Office in Bath.
Right to work check
You will need to provide your BRP to your HR Recruitment Co-ordinator as soon as you receive it so that they can carry out the right to work check with you. This right to work check must be carried out prior to work commencing. If you have not yet collected your BRP before your first day, you can start work on the basis of your vignette as long as it is still valid. You must then obtain your BRP from your designated collection point as soon as possible and provide this to your HR Recruitment Co-ordinator.
If you get access to your immigration status information online, you will need to share this information with your HR Recruitment Co-ordinator so that they can carry out a right to work check with you prior to work commencing.
Application refusals or problems with your BRP
If your visa application is refused, you will receive a letter or an email explaining why it has been refused.
You must let your HR Recruitment Co-ordinator know immediately if your application is refused.
Your passport will be returned if it was kept as part of your application and your refusal letter will explain if you have the right to either an Administrative Review or an Immigration Decision Appeal.
Similarly, if there is a problem with your BRP, it is lost or stolen, or you need to replace your BRP, you should read this guidance and contact UKVI immediately.
Switch to the Global Talent Visa
You may be apply to switch to a Global Talent Visa from within the UK, as long as you do not hold permission to stay in the UK under one of the following visa routes:
- Short-term Student
- Parent of a Child Student
- Seasonal Worker
- Domestic Worker