If you are a leader or potential leader in digital technology, arts and culture, or academia and research, then you may be eligible for the Global Talent visa, one of the UK’s most highly prized and advantageous visa routes. Every year, hundreds of applicants make successful Global Talent applications and move to the UK to start their dream business or establish themselves in their individual fields of expertise.
A Global Talent visa offers many benefits designed to encourage talented and promising individuals to move to the UK. These include lower visa fees, faster pathways to settlement in the UK and greater flexibility when it comes to employment and self-employment.
At Thorntons, our specialist immigration lawyers can support you with all aspects of obtaining a Global Talent visa. We can guide you through the process of applying for a Global Talent visa, and advise on your route to settling and gaining citizenship in the UK.
There are two groups of individuals who qualify for the Global Talent visa: eligible prize winners and endorsees.
Eligible prize winners: These are holders of internationally prestigious prizes, including the Booker Prize, Grammy Awards and Olivier Awards. A full list is available at Prestigious Prizes.
This is obviously a very exclusive category, but do not let this put you off as the vast majority of Global Talent visa holders are endorsees.
Endorsees: If you are applying as an endorsee, you will go through a two-stage process. The first stage will entail obtaining an endorsement from a recognised endorsing body. The second stage will involve applying for the visa.
The current endorsing body for the digital technology route is Tech Nation. If you have a track-record of technical or business skills in the digital technology sector, including subsectors such as AI, cyber and Fintech, you could be eligible to be endorsed as either a leader, or emerging or potential leader in this industry.
Highly-skilled technical roles which qualify for endorsement include DevOps engineers, SysOps engineers, AI or Natural Language experts, and experienced Mobile App, game or UX/UI designers. Non-technical roles include those with experience of leading substantial venture capital investment (minimum £25 million) and individuals with C-suite corporate experience, such as CEO, CFO and COO.
The endorsing body for the arts and culture sector is Arts Council England. Depending on your field, your application may be passed to the British Fashion Council, the Royal Institute of British Architects, or the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television for consideration.
The eligibility criteria will depend on the field in which you work. Eligible fields include combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre, visual arts, architecture, fashion design, and film and television.
The process for applying for endorsement in academia or research depends on the type of opportunity you have secured in the UK. The process varies according to whether you have an eligible job offer as an academic or researcher, an individual fellowship, a research grant that is approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), or are getting your application peer reviewed.
Depending on your field, you will need to apply to the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society, or UK Research and Innovation (if applying under the Endorsed Funder route).
Yes. You need to make a successful application for endorsement before applying for a Global Talent Visa unless you have received an eligible award.
No. The endorsement application is not a visa application, and a refusal will not have any impact on your immigration record. If your initial endorsement application is refused, you can request that the endorsing body review their decision. Our specialist team can support you with a review application.
You can live and work in the UK for up to five years at a time. However, many Global Talent visa holders qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after three years. This applies to those on the Global Talent route who are eligible prize winners, are endorsed as a recognised leader (‘exceptional talent’) by Arts Council England or Tech Nation, and all those who are endorsed by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society, or UK Research and Innovation.
All other Global Talent visa holders can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years of living the UK.
Yes. Your partner and children can apply for visas as your dependants.
You can apply for Global Talent Visa yourself, or a representative or agent can apply for you. The process is as follows:
- First, the application has to be filed online on the UK Government website.
- Next, you will have to supply all supporting documents before your biometric appointment.
- You will then be asked to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and digital photograph) at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
If you are applying from outside the UK, the process is slightly different.
We can guide you through the process or act as your representative during the Global Talent Visa application process.
Decision timing: You will usually get a decision on your application within three weeks if you are outside the UK or eight weeks if you are inside the UK, although some applications can take longer. The process for obtaining an endorsement is variable depending on the body you are applying to.
The visa fee for a Global Talent application is £623.
If you are applying based on an endorsement, you will pay the £623 in two parts:
- £456 when you apply for the endorsement
- £167 when you apply for the visa itself
If you are applying based on an eligible award, you will pay the full £623 when you apply for the visa. In addition to the application fee, you will need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge. This is usually £624 per year of the visa.
Costs are current as of June 2023. You can find up-to-date application costs on the UK Government website.
Consultation Service Package
With our consultation service, you will receive an advice session lasting up to one hour with an immigration specialist for a fixed fee. At the session, we will discuss the requirements for the Global Talent visa including the evidential requirements, assess your eligibility, answer any questions you have on the process, and provide a follow-up summary email. You can then choose to either submit the application yourself or instruct us to support you further through our end-to-end representation service package.
Our initial fixed fee consultation costs £350 plus VAT. If you are based overseas, then you may not be charged VAT. If you choose to use our full representation service within three months of the initial consultation package, then we will discount 50% of the cost of the initial consultation service from the cost of future work instructed under the Representative Service Package.
Representative Service Package
We will take care of all aspects of the application process for you and act as named legal representative on your application. This service includes preparation of an application package, uploading all of your documents and keeping you updated at all stages of the process. We will also review your endorsement application if you wish.
Where possible, we offer our representation service on a fixed fee basis tailored to your circumstances. However, due to the complex nature of immigration, it is not possible to offer a fixed fee in every case. We will discuss whether your case is suitable for a fixed fee after our consultation.
We offer in-person consultations with immigration specialists at our Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, or via a video call if you prefer. To arrange a consultation, please call 03330 430350 or complete our enquiry form.