The new Global Talent visa category is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK.
The Global Talent Visa will replace the existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category.
‘Talented’ applicants are already leaders in their respective field, while ‘promising’ applicants have shown the potential to become leaders in their field.
The Global Talent Visa is a step toward fulfilling the Government’s intention to develop a new fast-track immigration offer for the brightest and best within the science and research sector, to ensure the UK is the most attractive country to live in and develop new ideas – which also recognises the importance of science and research to the modern industrial strategy and the Government’s stated objectives to increase GDP to 2.4% by 2027. These changes represent the first phase of reforms to achieve these objectives.
In addition to the science and research sector, the Global Talent category is also open to talented and promising applicants within the digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) sectors.
Global Talent applicants must hold an endorsement from an organisation engaged by the Home Office to develop sector specific criteria and consider individual applications on its behalf. The existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) endorsing bodies (the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Tech Nation and Arts Council England) will be joined by UK Research and Innovation
(UKRI) under the new Global Talent category.
UKRI will consider applications from applicants operating in the scientific community who will be hosted or employed at a UK research organisation recognised by UKRI. Applicants must provide critical contributions to work supported by a substantial research grant or award from a specific endorsed funder.
Such endorsed funders are listed in Immigration Rules. The endorsed funder option will allow qualifying applicants to be fast tracked to the entry clearance/leave to remain application stage with minimal evidential requirements, where they meet the individual eligibility criteria. Unlike other endorsing bodies, in the first phase UKRI will not offer full peer review criteria for applicants who do not qualify for a fast track option. Applicants who do not qualify under this option may still qualify under different criteria within the Global Talent route relevant to science, engineering, humanities and medicine.
The changes significantly expand the number of fellowships that qualify for fast track consideration by the Royal Society, British Academy or Royal Academy of Engineering, allowing a larger number of applicants to qualify without the need for a full peer review.
Those endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities and medicine will be able to apply for settlement after 3 years regardless of whether they are granted under “promising” criteria, “talented” criteria or the new endorsed funder option.
The qualifying period to apply for settlement under “promising” criteria for digital technology and arts and culture applicants will, however, remain as 5 years [as was the case under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)].
Global Talent visa applicants who have been endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities and medicine who undertake research overseas directly related to their grant of leave, may do so without that absence being ‘counted’ when any application for settlement is assessed. Corresponding amendments are also being made to benefit partners who accompany them in these circumstances. This expands a similar exception for Tier 2 (General) PhD level applicants introduced in
Unlike its predecessor, the Global Talent category will not be subject to a cap on the number of applicants, ensuring migrants who can meet the qualifying criteria will be able to secure entry subject to successful visa checks.
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. This means that Global Talent applicants who only wish to come to the UK for 2 years in this category will not need to pay the maximum 5-year Immigration Health Surcharge payment.
Global Talent grant periods differ from those in place for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), where entry clearance applicants – those applying from outside the UK – were previously given an extra 4 months than those applying from within the UK. Previous changes to how the qualifying period for settlement is calculated make the additional 4-month period obsolete. Standardising grant periods simplifies the Immigration Rules and will additionally prevent Global Talent migrants from being liable for an
additional 6 months of Immigration Health Surcharge.
Although the Global Talent Visa differs from the much talked about Point Bases System, some of the provisions of the Points-Based System regarding evidential flexibility, switching categories, and the ability for dependants (partners and children under age 18) to apply will be applicable to Global Talent Scheme.
As highlighted above, the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category is being replaced by the new
Global Talent category.
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicants apply on the basis of endorsement letters from an endorsing body. These letters are valid for 3 months and may continue to be issued after 19 February 2020. Applicants with a valid Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) endorsement letter will be able to use this to apply for entry clearance or leave under the Global Talent category. The Global Talent category does not impose any
additional entry clearance or leave to remain requirements or conditions.
Applicants who already hold Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) leave and who wish to extend their leave, will be able to do so under the Global Talent category. As with initial applications, the extension requirements for Global Talent do not generally differ from Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent). The only exception to this is that the Rules do not specify exactly what documents must be supplied to demonstrate that an applicant
meets the criteria. This allows a wider range of evidence to be supplied.
Settlement applications from Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Migrants will continue to be accepted, without the need for applicants to first switch into the Global Talent route. We expect that the last Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) settlement application would be submitted in 2025, but these Rules do not impose a closure date for such applications
As with the exemption for Global Talent migrants, absences from the UK for research purposes related to the grant of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) leave will not be counted when considering a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) settlement application. This applies only where the applicant was endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities and medicine. As with Global Talent, this exemption extends to their dependants.
As an authorised leading British immigration law firm, 1st Citizen Lawyers regularly advice and represent clients in their visa, immigration and nationality applications to the UK Home Office. To get legal advice on UK Global Talent Visa or any other application, please book an online, phone, or office consultation.