UK GLOBAL TALENT VISA: ARTS AND CULTURE
The UK Global Talent visa route is open 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.
UK Global Talent Visa Arts and Culture Requirements
In order to qualify for a UK Global Talent visa in the Arts and Culture field, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are aged 18 or over;
- You have been issued with an endorsement letter by Arts Council England or have been awarded a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes;
- Your application does not fall under the general grounds for refusal;
- You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Requirements for Endorsement by Arts Council England
In order to qualify for an Arts and Culture endorsement by Arts Council England you will need to be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been 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 on the basis of Exceptional Talent) or a developing track record in one or more countries (if applying on the basis of Exceptional Promise).
Evidence Required for Endorsement by Arts Council England
Your application for an Arts and Culture endorsement by Arts Council England will need to include 3 letters of recommendation.
Two letters of recommendation will need to be from well-established arts and culture organisations acknowledged as experts in your field and at least one of these organisations will need to be based in the UK.
The third letter of recommendation will need to be from another well-established arts and culture organisation, or an individual, with recognised expertise in your field.
Exceptional Talent Applicants in the Field of Arts and Culture
If you are seeking to evidence exceptional talent in the field of Arts and Culture, you will need to provide at least two of the following:
Media Recognition: evidence from at least 2 countries (which can include your country of residence) of 2 or more examples of significant media recognition for your work as an individual or as a named member of a group (such as an internationally recognised orchestra or dance troupe); or
Awards: evidence of winning, or significantly contributing to winning, an international award for excellence; or
Performances, publications or exhibitions: evidence from at least 2 countries (which can include your country of residence) of proof of appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions considered internationally significant in your field, or evidence of extensive international distribution and audiences for your work as an individual or as a named member of a group.
Exceptional Promise Applicants in the Field of Arts and Culture
If you are seeking to evidence exceptional promise in the field of Arts and Culture, you will need to provide at least 2 of the following:
Media Recognition: evidence from at least 1 country (which can include your country of residence) of at least 2 examples of recent media recognition for your work as an individual, as a named member of a group or as a contributor; or
Awards: evidence of winning, or significantly contributing to winning, or significantly contributing to being nominated or shortlisted for, or being nominated or shortlisted for, an international award for excellence; or
Performances, publications or exhibitions: evidence from at least 1 country (which can include your country of residence) of proof of appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions recognised in your field, or evidence of international distribution and audiences for your work as an individual, as a named member of a group or as a contributor.
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.
Arts Council England Endorsement Application Decision Times
Arts Council England usually take between six and eight weeks in total from submission to make a decision on an endorsement application.
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.
- Global Talent Visa: Frequently Asked Questions
- Immigration Rule changes for the Creative Sector
- Changes to the Global Talent Route in October 2021
UK Global Talent Visa Application Following Endorsement
Once you have received 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.
An application to switch into the Global Talent route may be made from within the UK provided you do not currently have, or were not last granted, permission to stay as a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic worker in a private household or outside the Immigration Rules.
If you hold, or were last granted, leave in any of the above categories then you will be required to leave the UK and submit your application for a Global Talent visa from your home country.
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.
Global Talent Arts and Culture Prestigious Prizes Route
If you have won a qualifying prestigious award, you will be able to fast-track the endorsement application and instead proceed directly to making a single visa application.
The list of prestigious prizes is set out in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes. This list is kept under review and updated from time-to-time.
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 field which led to your initial Global Talent endorsement (if your initial application was granted using an endorsement) or a field related to the subject matter of your prize (if your initial application was granted using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes).
You will need to provide evidence from an independent source that is verifiable by the Home Office.
If your initial application was granted using an endorsement you must also not have had your endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body and the endorsing body must continue to be approved by the Home Office.
The Home Office will also check your character and immigration history to check that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds.
Applications for settlement for Global Talent visa holders
If you 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 then you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of 3 years in the UK if:
- You were endorsed by the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or UKRI; or
- You were endorsed under the exceptional talent criteria by Arts Council England or Tech Nation; or
- You were granted your initial application using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes.
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)), Skilled Worker, T2 Minister of Religion, T2 Sportsperson or Scale-up.
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.