UK GLOBAL TALENT VISA: ARCHITECTURE
The UK Global Talent visa route is open (from 20 February 2020) to talented and promising individuals in the field of architecture wishing to work in the UK. Applicants will be leaders in their field, or have the potential to be leaders, as determined by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) acting on behalf of Arts Council England.
There is no cap on the number of applicants that can be endorsed in the Architecture sub-category of the UK Global Talent route.
Requirements for architecture endorsement by RIBA
In order to qualify for endorsement by the Royal Institute of British Architects you will need to be professionally engaged as an architect producing work of outstanding quality which has been published, presented or exhibited internationally.
You must have been regularly engaged as a professional architect in the last 5 years and be able to show a substantial track record in more than one country (if applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or a developing track record in one or more countries (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).
RIBA will consider up to 10 documents which relate to media recognition, award nominations, publications or exhibitions which occurred in the 5 years before the date of application.
At least two of the below three criteria must be met:
If applying on the basis of Exceptional Talent in the field of architecture, you will need at least 2 examples of recent significant international media recognition, from at least two countries, one of which must be your country of residence. The media recognition may be online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from high profile national publications or broadcasting companies or international periodicals or journals. The media recognition must relate to your own work in the field of architecture.
If applying on the basis of Exceptional Promise, the Royal Institute of British Architects will look for at least 2 examples of recent UK or international media recognition for your work in the field of architecture. The media recognition may be online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from national or international publications or broadcasting companies. It only needs to be from at least one country, which can be your country of residence.
Exceptional Talent applicants in the architecture sub-category of the Global Talent route can provide evidence that they have won, or been nominated/shortlisted for, or made a significant and direct contribution to winning at least 1 international award for excellence in architecture.
Exceptional Promise applicants can provide proof of having, within the last 5 years, won, or been nominated/shortlisted for, or made a significant and direct contribution to winning, being nominated or being shortlisted for, at least 1 international or national award for excellence in architecture.
Examples of suitable awards of excellence include the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the RIBA International Prize, the Pritzker Prize, the Venice Biennale of Architecture Award, the World Architecture Festival Award, the RIBA Silver or Bronze Medals (international student awards) and the AIA Young Architects Awards.
Publications or exhibitions
Both Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise applicants can provide the Royal Institute of British Architects with proof of having work published or exhibited in contexts which are recognised as internationally significant in the field of architecture.
For those applying in the Exceptional Talent category, the proof must come from at least 1 country other than your country of residence and must demonstrate a minimum of 2 publications or exhibitions of your work.
For those applying in the Exceptional Promise category, the work must have been published or exhibited in the last 3 years and the proof can come from from at least 1 country, which can be your country of residence and must demonstrate a minimum of 2 publications or exhibitions your work.
Examples of publications or exhibitions which are recognised as internationally significant in the field of architecture include monographs published by recognised international publishing houses, exhibitions at international exhibitions/festivals such as the Venice Biennale of Architecture and World Festival of Architecture, or in international galleries with curated architecture exhibitions, such as the RIBA Gallery, Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Does RIBA require referees for architecture endorsements?
You will need to provide RIBA with three letters of recommendation in support of your application.
One letter must come from a UK based organisation, institution or company, which is well-established nationally and/or internationally and widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in your specialist field.
The second letter must also be from an organisation, institution or company, which is well established nationally and/or internationally and widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in your specialist field. However, this second organisation may be based in the UK or overseas.
The third letter can be a further letter from an organisation, institution or company (UK or overseas based) which is well established nationally and/or internationally and widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in your specialist field, or it can come from an eminent individual with internationally recognised expertise in your specialist field.
The letters should come from a senior member of the organisation who is familiar with your work and able to comment on your achievements. They will need to detail your achievements in your specialist field and how, in their opinion, you have demonstrated that you are, or have the potential to become, a leader in your field.
How long will it take for my RIBA endorsement application to be decided?
RIBA usually takes 4 weeks in total from submission to make a decision on endorsement.
How do I make a UK Global Talent visa application if I am endorsed by RIBA in the field of architecture?
Once you have your Royal Institute of British Architects endorsement, you will have a period of three months from the date of the endorsement letter to make your application to enter or remain in the UK in the Global Talent category.
You can only make your application from within the UK if you were last granted leave under Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) (sponsored in the Government Authorised Exchange subcategory in an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers) of the points-based system or under the Start-up or Innovator categories.
Anyone who does not have leave in the UK, will need to ensure that they are abroad when they make their Global Talent visa application. However, the application can be made from anywhere in the world, so you do not necessarily have to travel to your home country to make the application.
In addition to showing that you have been endorsed, the Home Office will assess your character and immigration history to ensure that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
There is no maintenance or English language requirement in the Global Talent visa category.
Leave will be granted for the period that you request (in full year periods) up to five years. The amount of time that you request makes no difference to the application but will affect the amount that you need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge.
How our immigration barristers can help your UK Global Talent visa application
Our immigration barristers have a wide range of experience assisting professionals in the field of architecture to prepare successful applications for endorsement by RIBA and to work in the UK. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for architects and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to clients as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Applications for extension of stay for Global Talent visa holders
In order to qualify for an extension of stay on the Global Talent route you will need to have earned money in the UK during your last grant of leave.
These earnings will need to have been linked to the expert field which led to your initial endorsement.
You will need to provide evidence from an independent source that is verifiable by the Home Office.
You must also not have had your endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body.
Applications for settlement for Global Talent visa holders
Global Talent migrants who continue to satisfy the requirements for an extension of stay set out above and demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of 3 years in the UK if their last endorsement was given:
- under the “exceptional talent” criteria for any endorsing body;
- under the “exceptional promise” criteria for the endorsing bodies for science, engineering, humanities and medicine.
- under the UKRI “endorsed funder” fast track criteria.
If you were last endorsed under the “exceptional promise” criteria for Arts Council England or Tech Nation you will need to spend a continuous period of 5 years in the UK before being eligible to apply for settlement.
The relevant continuous period can include time spent in the following immigration categories: Global Talent, Innovator, Tier 1 (excluding Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Post-Study Work)), Tier 2 (excluding as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)).
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the Global Talent category you will need to have spent not more than 180 days outside the UK during any rolling 12 month during the continuous period of leave relied upon.
Global Talent migrants who hold leave following an endorsement by one of the endorsing bodies for science, engineering, humanities and medicine and who have undertaken research overseas directly related to their grant of leave, will not have such absences counted when they apply for settlement. Partners of Global Talent migrants will be treated in the same way.
Fresh applications, Endorsement reviews and Judicial reviews for Global Talent migrants
If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Global Talent migrant has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If you believe that an error has been made in a decision on your endorsement, we can assist you in applying for an endorsement review.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.