Overview of The Global Talent Visa
The Global Talent visa is for talented leaders or potential leaders in the fields of:
- academia or research
- arts and culture
- digital technology
The Global Talent Visa replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa on 20 February 2020. Those who currently hold a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa can remain on their current permission whilst it remains valid and can either extend their visa or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, under the Global Talent visa route once eligible.
Please note that the information on the following pages is in relation to Global Talent Visa applications as an academic or researcher only.
If you require information on applying as a leader in the fields of arts and culture, or digital technology, please see the following pages for further information:
Arts and Culture: https://www.gov.uk/global-talent-arts-culture
Digital Technology: https://www.gov.uk/global-talent-digital-technology
Benefits of the Global Talent Visa
The Global Talent visa does not require sponsorship by an employer, and offers a number of benefits:
- No language* or minimum salary eligibility requirements.
- Not tied to a specific role or employer: you can be an employee, self-employed and a director of a company
- You can choose how long your visa is for (up to 5 years) and renew this as long as you continue to meet the criteria
- As an academic or researcher applying under the Fast-track routes, you may be eligible for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) after 3 years if you meet the eligibility requirements
- Your eligible dependants can join you in the UK
*Note: Although no language requirement applies for the Global Talent Visa, please note that you will be required to evidence your knowledge of English if applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the future.
One Visa, four routes
There are 4 routes within the Global Talent Visa category for eligible academics and researchers. Each route has very specific eligibility requirements and you must carefully check which route best applies to your circumstances.
1. Academic and Research appointments route (Fast-track)
This route is for those who have accepted an eligible role, at an approved institution, with responsibility for 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.
What is an eligible role for the purposes of this route?
To be eligible, the following must be a significant function of the role you have been offered:
- Directing or leading an individual or team in a research or innovation project, or programme of work. This is generally for roles where the job holder acts independently in initiating, planning and managing a research or innovation project or programme of work without supervision. Please note that this route is therefore unlikely to be suitable for entry level postdoctoral research positions.
- Being responsible for academic, research or innovation leadership and development. This is generally for individuals in leadership roles at a departmental, faculty or institutional level, and duties will typically include strategy development and overseeing the management of staff and resources.
Further information on eligibility can be found on The Royal Society website.
If eligible under this route, you will be required to submit a Statement of Guarantee from the employing institution with your endorsement application. This letter will confirm that you have been recruited in line with the required criteria. The Statement of Guarantee will need to confirm the following information:
- the job was advertised and an open competition was held, or where it was not, an explanation as to why; and
- the applicant has accepted the job offer; and
- the job title and department in which the applicant will be based; and
- at least 2 references were received; and
- at least 3 academic representatives from the employing institution were on the interview panel; and
- at least 1 expert in the applicant’s field was on the interview panel, or at least 1 relevant expert, independent of the employing institution, was consulted before the job offer was made.
- An official Job Description must be attached with Statement of Guarantee.
2. Individual fellowships route (Fast-track)
This route is 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 5 years.
The list of eligible individual fellowships can be found here: https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/global-talent-visa/route-2-individual-fellowships/
3. Endorsed Funders route (Fast-track)
This route is for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI.
The list of endorsed funders can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukri-endorsement-endorsed-funders-global-talent-visa/uk-research-and-innovation-endorsed-funders
The grant or award must be worth a minimum of £30,000 and cover a minimum period of 2 years. There must also be at least 1 year remaining on the employment contract or hosting agreement at the time of application.
Furthermore, an applicant must also meet one of the following requirements:
1. Direct independently, or under the supervision of a Principle Investigator, a unique research or innovation project and meet all the following requirements:
(i) they must have a PhD qualification or equivalent research experience (including industrial or clinical research); and
(ii) they must actively participate in a relevant field in a University, research institute or industry; and
(iii) they must have their name or post listed on the grant or award as the Principle or co-investigator, Researcher Co-investigator, Post-doctoral researcher or Research Assistant, or an equivalent position acceptable to UKRI;
2. Make critical contributions to research by providing core technical or domain excellence or in developing new technologies and methodologies and meet both the following requirements:
(i) they must have a UK bachelor’s degree or equivalent overseas research degree or equivalent research experience (including industrial or clinical research); and
(ii) they must have research experience within a University, Research Institute or Industry.
Eligible applicants will be required to submit a Statement of Guarantee from the employing/host institution confirming that the following requirements have been met:
- the applicant is essential to the execution of the grant or award; and
- at least 50% of the applicant’s time will be spent working on the grant or award by the endorsed funder (Principal investigators and co-investigators can aggregate time spent on multiple eligible awards or grants to demonstrate this requirement); and
- the applicant has accepted the job offer or hosting agreement; and
- the job title and department in which the applicant will be based; and
- details of the robust recruitment process where the applicant was not named on the grant application
4. Peer review route (Standard)
If you are not eligible for one of the Fast-track routes, you may be able to apply for a Global Talent Visa under the standard endorsement process for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society. As this is not a Fast-track route, the endorsement stage of the application can take between 5 to 8 weeks.
The full requirements and criteria, including information on how to apply are available here: https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/global-talent-visa/route-4-peer-review/
Statement of Guarantee
If you are applying for endorsement under the Academic and Research appointments route, or the Endorsed Funders route, you will be required to submit a Statement of Guarantee from the Director of HR or equivalent.
Your University of Glasgow recruitment contact will be able to provide further information on how to obtain the Statement of Guarantee if you are eligible for the abovementioned two routes.
‘Super Fast-track’ – Exemption from Stage 1 endorsement process
Holders of certain prestigious prizes can apply for a visa without going through the initial endorsement stage. The list of eligible awards and further information is available on GOV.UK.
Applicants who hold one of the prestigious prizes in the list are eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa without the need to obtain an endorsement. These prizes have been identified by the relevant Global Talent endorsing bodies as demonstrating exceptional talent.
- Arts and culture: International Dublin Literary Award, Booker Prize
- Digital Technology: Turing Award (ACM)
- Science/Engineering, humanities and medicine: James Watt International Medal (Institution of Mechanical Engineering)
- Nobel Prize, Tony Award, Academy Awards, BAFTA
It is possible to switch into the Global Talent Visa from within the UK provided you meet all the requirements of the Global Talent visa route.
You will not be able to switch into the Global Talent Visa route however if you have permission in one of the following categories:
- as a Visitor; or
- as a Short-term student; or
- as a Parent of a Child Student; or
- as a Seasonal Worker; or
- as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or
- outside the Immigration Rules.
Students - Financial Sponsorship by a Government of International Scholarship Agency
Students who were financially sponsored in the 12 months before the date of the visa application, for the purpose of their studies, by a government or international scholarship agency, must obtain and submit written consent of that sponsor with the visa application. Financial sponsorship in this context means an award which covers both fees and living costs for study in the UK.