UK GLOBAL TALENT VISA: SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, HUMANITIES AND MEDICINE
The UK Global Talent visa route is open to talented and promising individuals who are active researchers in academic, industry or government research institutions, in a range of disciplines in the areas of science, engineering, humanities and medicine.
Applicants will be leaders in their field, or have the potential to be leaders, as determined by The Royal Society (for natural and medical science applications), The Royal Academy of Engineering (for engineering applications), The British Academy (for humanities and social science applications) or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (for science and research applications).
There is no cap on the number of applicants that can be endorsed in the Science, Engineering, Humanities and Medicine sub-category of the Global Talent route.
Requirements for endorsement by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering, The British Academy and UK Research and Innovation
The criteria you will need to meet for endorsement depend on whether you are applying on the basis of fast track or full peer review.
Fast Track Endorsement Criteria
In order to satisfy the fast track endorsement criteria, you will need to satisfy at least one of the following three options:
Option 1: You hold, or have held within the 12 months before the date of application, a specific peer-reviewed research fellowship or award named on the list published by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy.
In order to be endorsed on the basis of a specified peer-reviewed research fellowship or award, you will need to provide written confirmation of the fellowship or award from the body that issued it.
Option 2: You have been appointed to an eligible senior academic or research position at an approved UK Higher Education Institution or research institute named on the list published by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy.
In order to be endorsed on the basis of an appointment to an eligible senior academic or research position, you will have accepted a job offer of an eligible senior academic or research position at an eligible senior academic or research position at the employing institution. The job will need to have been advertised and an open competition held for the position, or, where there was not an open competition, there will need to be an explanation for that decision which the endorsing body considers reasonable. The appointment will also need to have been made following an interview at which 4 senior academic representatives from the employing institution were present and upon receipt of 3 references. At least one senior external expert in a relevant field, who was not employed by the employing institution, must have been consulted during the recruitment process.
Option 3: You will be hosted or employed in a UKRI-approved UK research organisation and will provide critical contributions to work supported by a substantial research grant or award from an endorsed funder named on the list published by UKRI.
In order to be endorsed on the basis of being hosted or employed by a UKRI-approved UK research organisation you will need to be an academic, researcher, scientist, research engineer or other skilled research technology/methodology specialist.
You will have accepted a job offer or hosting agreement of a UKRI-approved UK research organisation.
You will have received a grant or award worth at least £30,000 from the endorsed funder covering a minimum period of 2 years.
Your presence in the UKRI-approved UK research organisation must be essential to the execution of the grant or award.
You will spend at least 50% of your time on the grant or award from the endorsed funder and the work must either be funded by a one-off grant or award that has been won in open competition or must be attributed to a large institutional, renewable award that is subject to periodic, robust peer review.
You will either independently direct, or direct under the supervision of a Principal Investigator, a unique research or innovation project or make critical contributions to research through the provision of core technical or domain excellence, or in developing new technologies and methodologies.
Full Peer Review Endorsement Criteria
Full peer review applications are considered by either The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy. UKRI do not consider full peer review applications.
In order to be endorsed on the basis of “Exceptional Talent” you will need to be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry. You will also have a PhD or equivalent research experience and be able to provide a letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK supporting your Global Talent application.
In order to qualify for endorsement on the basis of “Exceptional Talent” you will also need to either be a member of your national academy or a foreign member of academies of other countries (in particular any of the UK national academies), or have been awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize or be able to provide a letter of recommendation from a senior member of a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field.
In order to be endorsed on the basis of “Exceptional Promise” you will need to be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry. You will also need to have a PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial research) and be at an early stage in your career.
You must have been awarded, hold, or have held in the past 5 years, a prestigious UK based Research Fellowship, or an international Fellowship or advanced research post judged by the endorsing bodies to be of equivalent standing.
You will also be able to provide a letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK supporting your Global Talent application.
What factors will the endorsing body take into consideration when considering an endorsement application?
When assessing applicants within the Science, Engineering, Humanities and Medicine fields, the endorsing body will take into account the following factors:
- Your track record/career history (including your international standing, the significance of your publications, prizes and research funding awarded, patents, and the impact of past innovation activity, in a company, academia or as an individual)
- The strength of the supporting statements in the letter of personal recommendation, and evidence in relation to qualifying criteria, including a written recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field (if relevant)
- The expected benefits of your presence in the UK in terms of the contribution to UK research excellence and to wider society, including potential economic benefits from exploitation of intellectual capital.
For “Exceptional Talent” endorsements, the endorsing body will also consider whether you are the winner of a prestigious prize or award, whether you have secured significant funding for your work in the past 10 years and whether you are regarded as a leader in your field.
For “Exceptional Promise” endorsements, the endorsing body will also consider whether you have provided evidence sufficient to demonstrate that you have the potential to be a future leader in your field, the level of additional funding secured during, or following tenure of, a relevant fellowship, whether you can provide evidence of a relevant prize or award for early career researchers and the significance of your contribution to your field relative to your career stage.
How do I make a visa application if my endorsement application is successful?
Once you have your 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 UK 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 researchers in academic, industry or government research institutions to work in the UK. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for individuals in Science, Engineering, Humanities and Medicine 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.
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.