Global Talent Visa

Global Talent Visa

Without needing a job offer, individuals in the sciences, engineering, technology, arts, and humanities who are established or in the early stages of their careers are eligible to apply for the UK’s Global Talent visa.

Compared to other UK work visas, it is a more flexible immigration option because it does not call for employer sponsorship and does not impose limitations on the kind of job you can undertake in your industry.

For those who qualify, the Global Talent visa also enables a fast-tracked immigration process to the UK. You can be qualified for UK settlement after three years if you meet the requirements as a competent individual. After five years, you might qualify if you’re thought of as a promising talent. You can become a naturalized British citizen by settling in a new country.

What is the Global Talent visa?
The Global Talent route was created to entice talented and promising people in the fields of science, digital technology, and the arts and culture to work in the UK when it replaces the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa in 2020.
Under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, the requirements are noticeably less stringent than those of previous work visas.

A number of eligibility requirements must be met by applicants, and they almost always need to be endorsed. However, if you have won a prize from one of the Home Office’s eligible prize lists, you are exempt from this need and can apply for the visa right away.

Global Talent visa holders do not have to find a job to be eligible, and you have the option to take up paid employment, to work for yourself as self-employed or to become a director of a company, although any work should be within the field for which you have been endorsed. Studying is also permitted, subject to the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) conditions.

There is no minimum salary threshold or English language test for the Global Talent route, although the endorsing body may impose its own language requirement.

If you are employed and then subsequently change employers or jobs, you will not need to notify the Home Office (unlike under the skilled worker visa).

Qualifying dependent’s can accompany Global Talent participants, and it is possible to apply from within the UK by switching from other UK visa categories.

It is also a relatively flexible route for visa holders. Applicants can apply for visas of between one year and five years, in full-year increments. This means that while it is possible to apply to extend the visa, in most cases the individual will become eligible for UK indefinite leave to remain after a single period of leave, i.e. after 3 years if exceptional talent, and after 5 years if a promising talent.

Who is eligible for the Global Talent category?
The Global Talent route is open both to established talent – individuals who can demonstrate they are already leaders in their respective field – as well as applicants showing ‘promise’ and potential to become leaders in their field.

Professionals will be able to apply from fields including:

  • Science
  • Research
  • Digital technology
  • Arts and culture, including film and television, fashion design and architecture
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Medicine

Global Talent visa applicants must first obtain endorsement from one of six Home Office-approved endorsing bodies, before making the visa application, unless they have been awarded a prestigious prize, as listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes, which is considered as showing exceptional talent and therefore endorsement does not need to be sought.

If applying based on endorsement
For most applicants, the application process for the Global Talent visa is in two stages. Without a prize as listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes, first, you apply to be endorsed by an approved body. Only with endorsement can you proceed to apply for the actual visa from the Home Office.

How do you get endorsed for the Global Talent visa?
The endorsing bodies are charged with assessing applications from individuals within their respective professional fields, and developing and applying sector-specific criteria and evidential requirements for applications. The relevant endorsing bodies will then make an endorsement decision based on your profile and the evidence you provide.

The five Global Talent visa endorsing bodies are:

  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Royal Society
  • The British Academy
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Arts Council England

This list of endorsing bodies is subject to ongoing review.

Each body has its own endorsement criteria and process, based in large on the following:

  • Exceptional Talent criteria: to assess individuals who can evidence they have already made a significant contribution as a leader to their field.
  • Exceptional Promise criteria: for applicants at an early stage in their careers who have shown the potential for being a future leader and making significant contributions in their field.

There are four routes to endorsement under the Global Talent category applicable to different roles:

  • Peer review – endorsement of applications by The British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering or The Royal Society.
  • Senior appointments – endorsement for applicants with a job offer as a professor, associate professor, reader, senior group leader or equivalent at any UK higher education institution or eligible research institute, by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and The Royal Society.
  • Fellowships – endorsement for those with an individual fellowship (either current or held within the last 12 months), on the list approved by The British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society.
  • Endorsed funders – a new visa route for researchers who make critical contributions to work supported by grant funding from a recognized funder. Qualifying applicants will be fast tracked to the Home Office visa application stage with minimal evidential requirements, where they meet the individual eligibility criteria. UKRI will be responsible for assessing endorsed funded applications.

Global Talent visa requirements: architecture
Applications will be evaluated to see if they are industry leaders or have the potential to be leaders in their professions by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on behalf of Arts Council England.

The maximum number of candidates who can be supported under the Architecture subcategory of the Global Talent route is unrestricted.

You must be professionally employed as an architect and produce great work that has been published, presented, or exhibited overseas in order to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects’ endorsement.

If you are applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria, you must have had regular employment as a professional architect for the previous five years. If you are applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria, you must be able to demonstrate a growing track record in one or more countries.

Global Talent visa requirements: science, engineering, humanities & medicine
Under the subcategory of Science, Engineering, Humanities, and Medicine of the Global Talent Pathway, there is no cap on the number of applicants that may be endorsed.

The British Academy, the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society (for applications in engineering), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), or the British Academy will judge whether applicants are leaders in their fields or have the potential to be leaders for science and research applications.

Whether you are applying under the Fast Track or Full Peer Review criteria will determine what requirements you must fulfil for endorsement.

Global Talent visa requirements: arts & culture
Arts Council England evaluates applications in the combined arts, dance, literature, music, drama, and visual arts, including those made by people who work in galleries and museums in an artistic capacity. Candidates must be leaders in their fields or have the potential to be leaders.

There is no cap on how many applicants can receive funding through the Global Talent route’s Arts & Culture subcategory.

In order to be qualified for an Arts and Culture endorsement from Arts Council England, you must be professionally producing extraordinary work that has been performed, presented, distributed, or displayed abroad.

If you are applying on the basis of exceptional talent, you must have continuously worked as a professional practitioner in your field for the previous five years. If you are applying on the basis of exceptional promise, you must be able to show that you have either established or promising international credentials.

Global Talent visa requirements: fashion
The British Fashion Council (BFC), on behalf of Arts Council England, will consider whether applicants are leaders in their fields currently or have the potential to become leaders.
The British Fashion Council can endorse applications from people working in the fashion design sector who play key roles in the industry.
The number of candidates that can be endorsed under the Global Talent route’s fashion sector subcategory is unlimited.

If you are applying based on Appendix Global Talent Prestigious Prizes
A regulatory change that took effect in March 2021 allows Global Talent applicants who have won one of the above renowned awards to do so without needing an endorsement. The Global skill endorsing authorities have determined that these awards show remarkable skill.
People who have won one of the renowned awards listed in the Immigration Rules’ Appendix Global Talent: renowned Awards are also eligible to apply for Global Talent. The Global skill endorsing authorities have determined that these awards show remarkable skill.
If you are the named recipient of one of the qualifying prestigious prize, you would be eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa without the need to obtain endorsement.

How to apply
It is possible to apply for your visa before securing endorsement, however, should your endorsement not be approved, your visa application will also be refused.
If you have successfully been endorsed, you will receive an email from the Home Office with a copy of the endorsement letter, at which point you have three months to make your visa application.
If your application is refused, you may be able to request an endorsement review.
Global Talent visa applications can be made from either within the UK or outside.
If you are outside the UK, you can apply for ‘entry clearance’ at the nearest visa appointment center in your country of residence.
If you are in the UK, you can apply online to switch to the Global Talent visa if you currently hold lawful status under any of the following visa categories:

  • Start Up
  • Innovator
  • Tier 1
  • Skilled worker, Tier 2
  • Tier 5
  • Student, Tier 4, with the exception of Short Term Student Visa

Global Talent visa requirements
The application for endorsement must meet the standards for validity. Making sure you fill out the proper application form(s), pay the appropriate endorsement fee, and obtain endorsement from the appropriate body in the appropriate professional sector are all part of this.
Next, make sure the visa application is legitimate. The correct form must be used, along with payment of all applicable costs, including the Immigration Health Charge, submission of any requisite biometrics, and submission of any necessary supporting documentation, including an endorsement letter from an organisation recognized by the Home Office as an endorsing organisation.
You must satisfy the eligibility requirements and not be in violation of immigration rules or out on bail in order to qualify for a Global Talent visa.
Additionally, you will need to establish that you fit the eligibility conditions, i.e., that you are already at the highest level of international recognition as a leader in your specific profession or that you have already shown remarkable promise and are likely to become leaders in their industry.

Finally, you will have to prove you have attained the required 70 points.

Application type Global Talent visa: 70 points
Global talent visa application
  • You are not relying on an endorsement as you have been awarded a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes OR
  • You have been issued with an endorsement letter by an endorsing body AND at the time when making the application your endorsement is not older than 3 months AND your endorsement was not withdrawn by the endorsing body.
Global talent visa extension application
  • You have met the earned money requirement AND
  • If you were granted your initial application using an endorsement, has not had your endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body OR
  • If relying on a prize and not endorsement, your prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes must not have been withdrawn

Global Talent visa processing times
Visa processing times vary depending on where you are applying from. If you are applying from outside the UK, processing currently takes 3 months or more (at the time of writing), while applications from within the UK usually take 3 months.

How long does the Global Talent visa last?
Further flexibility is offered to applicants in respect of the duration of their grant of leave. Global Talent applicants can choose to apply for leave in whole year increments of up to five years. The benefit to applicants is that they will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge only for the period of leave they require.

Switching from Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
Existing Tier 1 Exceptional Talent leave holders will be able to apply to extend their visa under the Global Talent category.
Tier 1 Exceptional talent holders will be able to apply for UK settlement without having to switch to the Global Talent category. No deadline has been specified for settlement applications to be made.

Skilled Worker visa

For employees who do not currently reside in the UK, the Tier 2 (General) visa and the Skilled Worker visa are the primary entry points into the country. 

Understanding the eligibility and application requirements for the Skilled Worker visa will be vital to prevent problems or delays with the Home Office application, whether you are a business trying to hire a skilled worker from abroad or an individual asking for a sponsorship visa. Your application money will be forfeited if it is rejected. 

Because there is so much at risk for skilled workers and their sponsors, it is crucial that they get legal counsel to understand their alternatives for immigrating and to confirm that the skilled worker visa is the best option.

What is the Skilled Worker Visa?
Employers may hire non-UK residents for specific skilled positions using the Skilled Worker visa. 

People can apply for the visa if they earn 70 points by fulfilling criteria such receiving a qualifying work offer from a UK sponsor, being at a certain skill and pay level, and being fluent in English. 

The Skilled Worker visa makes provision for spouse, partners and dependent children to apply to join the main visa applicant in the UK and is also a route to settlement and Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

Requirements
The rules and requirements for the Skilled Worker visa route are set out in a new Appendix Skilled Worker. Under this route, applicants will need to accrue a total of 70 points to be eligible for a visa, including EEA nationals recruited from outside the UK after 1 January 2021 and who are not eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The applicable 70 points threshold for a Skilled Worker visa is made up of 50 points for mandatory or ‘non-tradeable’ criteria (ie; the job offer, speaking English and the requisite skill level for the job on offer), and 20 points for what’s classed as ‘tradeable’ criteria.

Skilled worker requirement 

Points 

Mandatory or tradeable?
A genuine job offer from a licensed sponsor 20 points            Mandatory
Speak English to the required standard 10 points Mandatory
Job offer is at a skill level of RQF3 or above 20 points Mandatory
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)                                      0 points Tradeable
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) 10 points Tradeable
Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) 20 points Tradeable
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee 20 points Tradeable
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job 10 points Tradeable
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job 20 points Tradeable

 

Certificate of sponsorship
A valid Certificate of Sponsorship, stating that the applicant and their role satisfy the sponsorship eligibility standards, must be provided by the worker’s UK sponsor before they may submit their visa application.

The Certificate of Sponsorship is a reference number that the applicant for a skilled worker visa must include in their Home Office application. A Certificate of Sponsorship can only be issued by licensed sponsors.

The defined Certificate of Sponsorship and the undefined Certificate of Sponsorship are the two types of certificates available today. Prior to December 1, 2020, these took the place of the previous restricted and unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship.

Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship are for either:

  • workers already in the UK with valid leave who are applying to switch into the skilled worker category from another immigration route, or
  • those applying under one of the other visa routes from within the UK or overseas.

Defined Certificate of Sponsorship are for out of country skilled worker visa applications.

Sponsors will need to apply for a defined CoS. This is a specific application to the Home Office, and details of the specific job and salary will need to be provided.

For undefined CoS, sponsors will either be asked to submit a request for a yearly allocation in advance of April, or they will be allocated a quantity automatically. It is also possible to apply for additional COS during the year. 

Minimum salary requirement
The Skilled Worker visa general minimum salary threshold is £25,600 per year, unless the ‘going rate’ for the role is higher.

In some cases, where the job on offer will pay less than the general salary threshold or specific salary requirement for that role – but no less than £20,480 – the applicant may still be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa by trading specific characteristics against a lower salary to attain the required number of points.

English language requirement
The required level of English is a minimum level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages scale for reading, writing, speaking and understanding English

How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa
The applicant must submit an online application along with all required supporting documents and the appropriate cost in order to be considered for a Skilled Worker visa. Additionally, they will be required to submit their biometric data to the visa processing facility in their area, whether it be abroad or in the UK.

Applications may be submitted up to three months before to the worker’s anticipated first day of employment in the UK, as shown on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

After receiving their certificate of sponsorship, the applicant has three months to submit an online application. Every certificate has a special reference number that must be used.

They will also be required to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to enrol their biometric information and to submit various documents in support. The necessary documentation will include:

  • A current passport or other travel document to prove they can travel
  • Expired passports or travel documents to show their travel history
  • Proof of their knowledge of English, where applicable
  • Proof of their personal savings, where applicable
  • Their tuberculosis test results if they are from a listed country
  • A criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, where they will be working in either the education, health or social care sector in the UK.

Skilled Worker visa processing times
Skilled worker visa applications generally take up to 8 weeks if applying from within the UK, or up to 3 weeks if the application is made from outside the UK.

How long does a Skilled Worker visa last?
The skilled worker visa is usually granted for up to 5 years. At this point, the visa holder would need to apply to extend the visa or on completing the 5 year residency requirement, they may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

There is no limit on the number of times you can extend the skilled worker visa, provided you continue to meet the visa requirements.

If the visa holder changes sponsor or jobs, they will need to apply for a new period of leave.

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