UK GLOBAL TALENT VISA: FILM AND TELEVISION
The UK Global Talent visa route is open (from 20 February 2020) to talented individuals in the fields of film and television wishing to work in the UK. Applicants will be leaders in their field as determined by the Producers’ Alliance for Film and Television (PACT) acting on behalf of Arts Council England.
PACT, acting on behalf of Arts Council England, can endorse applications in the film, television, animation, post production and visual effects industries.
There is no cap on the number of applicants that can be endorsed in the Film and Television sub-category of the UK Global Talent route.
However, individuals who work in the film, television, animation, post production and visual effects industries will need to demonstrate ‘exceptional talent’. PACT does not endorse ‘exceptional promise’ applications.
Requirements for endorsement by PACT
The criteria for endorsement by PACT within the film, television, animation, postproduction and visual effects industries all essentially relate to recognition by awards. Applicants must be able to satisfy at least one of the following options:
Option 1: You have won, or within the last 10 years, have been nominated for, an Academy Award, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award (Film, Television, Television Crafts, Cymru, Scotland, Games awards only), a Golden Globe or an Emmy Award.
Option 2: You have, within the last 10 years, made a significant and direct contribution to winning or being nominated for, an Academy Award, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award (Film, Television, Television Crafts, Cymru, Scotland, Games awards only), a Golden Globe or an Emmy Award.
Option 3: You have, within the last 15 years, achieved a minimum of two nominations for an Academy Award, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award (Film, Television, Television Crafts, Cymru, Scotland, Games awards only), a Golden Globe or an Emmy Award.
Option 4: You can demonstrate notable industry recognition by providing evidence of both of the following:
- International distribution sales and recognition; and
- Having achieved one of the following combination of awards named on the PACT notable industry recognition awards list:
- Winning a minimum of 2 awards;
- Winning 1 award and having been nominated for another within the last 6 years;
- Having received 3 nominations in the last 6 years;
- Within the last 6 years, making a significant and direct contribution to winning 3 or being nominated for a minimum of 3 awards.
The list of potential awards for option 4 can be found here and is updated from time to time. There are almost 200 awards on this list so it is important to check thoroughly to see if you can meet the criteria. It is also notable that when you rely on these awards, you also need to show that your work has international distribution sales and recognition, so unlike applications under options 1, 2 and 3 above, having the awards alone is not enough.
Does PACT require referees?
You will need to provide PACT 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 PACT endorsement application to be decided?
PACT usually take between six and eight 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 PACT?
Once you have your PACT 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.
As you will have been endorsed as ‘exceptionally talented’, rather than ‘exceptionally promising’, you may be eligible to settle after just three years in the UK. However, there are residence requirements for settlement so in the event that you will need to travel often, you may wish to apply for a period of longer than the three years needed.
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 fields of film and television to prepare successful applications for endorsement by PACT and to work in the UK. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for individuals in the film and television industry 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.