UK GLOBAL TALENT VISA: ARTS AND CULTURE
The UK Global Talent visa route is open (from 20 February 2020) to talented and promising individuals in the fields of arts and culture wishing to work in the UK. Applicants will be leaders in their field, or have the potential to be leaders, as determined by Arts Council England.
Arts Council England can endorse applications in the field of arts and culture, encompassing combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre, visual arts (including those working in an artistic context in galleries and museums).
There is no cap on the number of applicants that can be endorsed in the Arts and Culture sub-category of the UK Global Talent route.
Requirements for endorsement by Arts Council England
In order to qualify for endorsement by Arts Council England you will need to be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been published (other than exclusively in newspapers or magazines), performed, presented, distributed or exhibited internationally.
You must have been regularly engaged as a professional practitioner in your field within 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).
Arts Council England will consider up to 10 documents which relate to media recognition, an award nomination, appearance, performance or other event 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 arts and culture, 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. The media recognition must be for your own work as an individual and include a critique, review or evaluation of the quality of your artistic work.
If applying on the basis of Exceptional Promise, Arts Council England will be looking for at least 2 examples of recent UK or international media recognition, from one or more countries, one of which can 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. The media recognition can include your own work as an individual or as a contributor to work attributed to a group or other individual and must include a critique, review or evaluation of the quality of your artistic work.
Exceptional Talent applicants can provide evidence that they have won or made a significant and direct contribution to winning an international award for excellence or a domestic award in another country.
Exceptional Promise applicants can provide proof that they have won, been nominated/shortlisted for or made a significant and direct contribution to winning or having been nominated/shortlisted for an international or national award for excellence or a domestic award in another country.
Examples of suitable awards of excellence include the Booker Prize, a Grammy Award, or domestic awards in another country, for example a Tony Award.
Performances, publications or exhibitions
Both Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise applicants can provide Arts Council England with proof of appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions.
For those applying in the Exceptional Talent category, the evidence must come from at least 2 countries, one of which can be your country of residence. The appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions must either be recognised as internationally significant or there must be evidence of extensive international distribution and audiences for your work.
For those applying in the Exceptional Promise category, the proof can come from 1 or more countries, 1 of which can be your country of residence. The appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions must either be internationally recognised or there must be evidence of international distribution and audiences for your work.
Does Arts Council England require referees?
You will need to provide Arts Council England 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 Arts Council England endorsement application to be decided?
Arts Council England usually take between six and eight weeks in total from submission to make a decision on the endorsement. Once you have made your application, the Home Office will email you to confirm that the decision has been passed to Arts Council England for consideration. They will indicate at that stage that a decision should be made within 25 working days.
How do I make a visa application if my Arts Council England Endorsement is successful?
Once you have your Arts Council 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 combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts fields to prepare successful applications for endorsement by Arts Council England and to work in the UK. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for individuals in the arts and culture sector 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.