Personal Immigration
Business Immigration

Arts & Culture Global Talent Visa Endorsement: Exceptional Talent or Promise?

Making an application for endorsement is the necessary first-step in an application for a Global Talent Visa in the field of arts and culture. 

There are two pathways to endorsement: exceptional talent and exceptional promise. Before you apply for endorsement, you have to decide which of the routes best suits you. 

The purpose of this guide is to help you decide whether you should apply for endorsement as an exceptional talent or exceptional promise candidate. It will discuss the different requirements of the two routes, and the evidence you will need to provide if applying in either talent or promise. 

Global Talent Visa (Arts and Culture) 

The Global Talent visa is available for professional artists and artistic practitioners who wish to live and work in the UK, and benefit from and contribute to UK cultural life. 

As outlined in a previous blog post, making a Global Talent Visa application is a two-stage process; you must apply for, and be successfully granted, endorsement from an appropriate endorsing body before you can apply for a visa. 

What Are the Two Routes to Global Talent Arts & Culture Endorsement?   

Arts Council England is the relevant endorsing body for applications in the field of arts and culture. It assesses applications from professionals who work in the combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre, museums and galleries, and the visual arts. 

When applying for endorsement, an applicant must satisfy the Arts Council that they are recognised as someone with exceptional promise or exceptional talent in their chosen arts-related field. These are the two, distinct routes to endorsement. 

Exceptional talent is for candidates who already have a substantial track record of working in professional artistic contexts. They should be widely recognised as being a current leader or expert in their specialist area of practice. 

Exceptional promise is for candidates who are at an early stage of their career, and are developing a track record of working in professional artistic contexts. They should be recognised as having the potential to become a future world leader or expert in their specialist area of practice. 

For both routes, applicants must be professionally engaged in producing ‘outstanding performed, presented, distributed or internationally exhibited work’ and have been professionally engaged in their field in the last 5 years. 

The two pathways are intended for people with  different levels of experience. When you make your application for endorsement, you will need to decide whether you can demonstrate you are either a leader or future leader in your field. This will depend on your individual circumstances, the length of your career, your achievements, and what evidence you have available to you. 

Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise: What Evidence Do You Need to Provide in an Application for Endorsement?

In all applications for endorsement (talent and promise) you must provide the following: 

  1. Three letters of support; 
  2. 10 individual pieces of supporting evidence; and 
  3. An artistic CV or resume; 

You can learn more about the requirements for the letters of support and artistic CV or resume here.  

Applicants must provide 10 pieces of supporting evidence across at least two of the three following categories: media recognition, international awards, and proof of appearances

The supporting evidence you are allowed to provide differs slightly, depending on whether you are applying as an exceptional talent or exceptional promise candidate. Understanding what you will need to provide in your application should help you decide whether talent or promise is best for you. 

Media Recognition 

In promise and talent, you must provide at least two examples of significant media recognition. In the talent route, this must be international media recognition from at least two countries. If applying in the promise route, the two examples you provide can be from national or international media, and only need to be from at least one country

For both routes, the evidence must come from reputable media sources. It is worth noting that blogs are not acceptable evidence in the talent route, but can be acceptable in a promise application, provided they are written by credible arts and culture critics, and are sufficiently well-established.  

International Awards 

For exceptional talent, you must provide evidence of winning at least one recognised arts and culture award. The award should acknowledge your status as a leader in your specialist field. 

The bar is slightly lower for a promise application – you need only have been nominated (or won) an arts and culture award for excellence. A key difference between the routes is that full scholarships or fellowships are acceptable in the promise, but not the talent route. The scholarship must have been awarded in recognition of your artistic talent. 

Proof of Appearances 

In an application for exceptional talent, you must provide evidence of your participation in professional artistic ‘programs of work’ in at least two countries. For exceptional promise, you are only required to provide evidence of your work from one country

In line with the assumption that those applying in the talent route will be further along in their careers, candidates for exceptional talent cannot provide evidence of work created as part of an academic programme. This includes graduate showcases, or even work produced as part of a Master’s degree or PhD. 

The same does not apply in the promise route – you can rely on work you created or performed as part of your academic studies. For both routes, evidence from social media is not acceptable, but  (as before) blogs can be acceptable in the promise route.  

What Happens if I Apply in the Wrong Route?

It is important you consider which route is most appropriate for you. Since 2023, Arts Council England has required applicants to share an artistic resume or CV as part of their application. The purpose of the CV is to help them understand what stage you are at in your career. If they feel you have applied in the wrong route, they can assess your application in the route they think is more appropriate. Applying in the wrong route can jeopardise your application, as it is unlikely that an application prepared with one route in mind will satisfy the criteria of another route. 

Contact our Immigration Barristers

Our Immigration Barristers can advise you on whether you should apply for endorsement as a candidate with exceptional talent or exceptional promise. For expert advice and assistance on preparing an application for endorsement to Arts Council England, contact our Immigration Barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below. 


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

    Attach a file if it supports your enquiry. Only .doc or .pdf files.


    Expert advice & representation from immigration barristers that you can rely on.

    Google+ - Five Stars

    Read the 600+ five out of five star Google reviews of our immigration barristers.