The Global Talent visa to UK is available to special applicants who are pioneers in the areas of academia, the arts, or technology (digital). Also known as the exceptional talent visa to UK, the UK Global Talent visa can be your pathway to legal British immigration. Today’s blog will therefore provide an overview of the UK Global visa application process. See if you can apply for a Global Talent visa by learning about the Global Talent visa for UK eligibility. If you meet the criteria, you can read more about the Global Talent visa requirements, and find other critical information about this visa, including the process for switching Into the Global Talent route. Those who are already on the Global Talent visa to UK can learn more about the Global Talent visa extension process, while those who wish to stay indefinitely in the UK can learn whether it’s possible to use Global Talent for ILR to achieve Indefinite Leave to Remain in the country. All this—and much more—below!
Global Talent visa to UK
- The Global Talent visa to UK is available to outstanding applicants (hence why it’s often referred to as the exceptional talent visa for UK).
- The Global Talent visa for UK eligibility exclusively applies to applicants who are considered at the top of their fields in culture and the arts, academia and research, or digital tech.
- To be considered a leader in one of these respective areas (and therefore eligible for a Global Talent visa) you must either win an eligible UK award or be endorsed by a valid UK entity.
- The list of eligible global talent awards includes such famous prizes as the Oscar, Bafta, Fields Medal, and Noble Prize (for a complete list of eligible awards and categories, contact us).
- Because of the difficulty of obtaining such a competitive and highly prized award, many Global Talent visa seekers tend to pursue the endorsement route to the Global Talent visa. The process of applying for and receiving an endorsement varies depending on the which area you are applying in (arts, academic, etc.). For example, if you seek an endorsement as a research leader, your endorsement application process will be determined by external factors such as whether you received an employment offer to work in UK in your respective area. Alternatively, the endorsement application process is different for those applying for employment in architecture vs for those seeking employment in the film industry (even if both categories fall under the general “arts and culture” field.
Global Talent visa requirements
- In addition to fulfilling the above endorsement/prize requirements, applicants for the Global Talent visa must be 18 (or older) and also submit a number of required documents, including a passport, and take a tuberculosis test (depending on what country they are coming from).
Benefits of the Global Talent visa
- Global Talent visa holders can live, work, and study in the UK throughout their visa validity period.
- Applicants who receive the Global Talent visa can remain in the UK for a maximum of five years, at which point they will have to extend their visa (you are not restricted in the number of times you can apply to extend the Global Talent visa, provided you continue to meet the original eligibility requirements). In addition to having unlimited extension opportunities, visa holders can also apply for Global Talent ILR (i.e. Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK in as few as three years.
- Global Talent visa holders can also apply to bring their family with them (“family” in this case includes eligible dependents, meaning children and valid partners) provided each would-be dependent meets the requirements.
Apply for a Global Talent visa
- The UK Global Visa application process is almost entirely online, although you must be outside of the country in order to apply (if you are already in the country, you can only apply to switch into the UK Global Talent Visa category or extend a current one). Depending on the situation, an applicant can possibly apply in person at a visa application center.
- As previously mentioned, applicants who have not already received an award granting them eligibility to apply for the Global Talent visa will have apply to for an endorsement as a condition of (and therefore prior to) applying for their Global Talent visa. The endorsement application process is therefore entirely separate from the application process for the Global Talent visa (and thus for some applicants should be considered their first step toward applying for a Global Talent visa). You are required to proceed with your Global Talent visa application process no later than three months after obtaining your endorsement. Please note that applicants who obtain and then lose an endorsement will have their Global Talent visa application rejected.
- Once an applicant has received either an endorsement or a reward, they should gather their required documents and pay the £608 visa fee, which is inclusive of both the endorsement application price (£456) and the cost of Global Talent visa (£152); other costs (such as those pertaining to biometric visa collection) might also apply. Finally, they will apply through an online visa portal (unless they seek (and are able to) apply in person at a center.
- Once you have successfully submitted your application, you will have your biometric information (photo and fingerprints) collected (this will involve you visiting a visa application center in-person). Alternatively, you may be able to simply upload your biometric information via the UK immigration department’s official app (i.e. the UK: Immigration ID Check).
- Please note, applicants who are asked to go in person to a visa application center must sometimes journey abroad (i.e. to a country other than where they are currently staying) in order to access a center. Additionally, once arrived, they might be required to submit their passport (in addition to the other required materials that they submitted) in order for your application to be reviewed.
- Luckily, the timeline for decisions on Global Talent UK visas tends to be three weeks at minimum, so you ideally will not have to remain in a foreign country for long in the event that you have to travel to a center. Occasionally, however, the process can take longer depending on the nature of your application (and the nature of you as the applicant) and whether you are asked to fulfill further conditions (such as come in for an interview).
- To apply for the UK Global Talent visa, contact us here.
Switching into the Global Talent route
- If you are already in the UK on a valid visa, you can apply to switch into the Global Talent visa category, so long as meet the above eligibility requirements pertaining to awards and official endorsements.
- The application process for switching is virtually identical to the process to apply for the visa outright, aside from the fact that it usually takes longer to receive a decision (8 weeks verses 3) and that you can apply to switch from within the country. An exception to this rule is applicants who are already in the country on one of the below visa categories (or situations)— these people are ineligible to switch to the UK Global Talent visa from within the country (i.e. they must go abroad to switch):
- Student visa (short term)
- Domestic worker in a private household visa
- Seasonal worker visa
- Visit visa
- Parent of a Child Student visa
- Or those who:
- Have permission to stay outside the immigration rules
- Are on immigration bail
- Those who switch into the Global Talent visa category are able to decide the length of their Global Talent visa validity period (5 years per period). Additionally, those who switch are also eligible to apply for ILR.
- The cost to switch to the UK Global Talent visa is £608 (this price is inclusive of both the endorsement application price (£456) and the cost of Global Talent visa (£152). Please note that other costs (such as those pertaining to biometric visa collection) might also apply).
Global Talent visa extension
- Applicants can apply to extend their UK Global Talent visa in the event that they continue to retain their original endorsement or award (which serves as the basis of their original eligibility).
- You can apply for an extension to stay an addition 1 to 5 years in the country For example, if you only want to extend your visa for another two years, you can apply for a two year extension on top of whatever your original visa period was. However, you reserve the right to apply to extend your visa for another five years).
- The cost to extend your Global Talent visa to the UK is £608. Please note that other costs (such as those pertaining to biometric visa collection) might also apply).