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Changes to the Global Talent Visa Route

The Global Talent route is for people aged 18 or over in the field of science, engineering, social sciences, humanities and medicine, digital technologyarts and culture, film and television, fashion and architecture who can show they have exceptional talent or exceptional promise.  Changes to the Global Talent route came into effect on 1 December 2020. 

Global Talent Visa Application Process

The application process for a Global Talent visa will continue to be a two-stage process. The first stage is an application for endorsement, whilst the second stage is an application for entry clearance or permission to stay.

Under the previous rules, the requirements below were set out under Appendix W. The requirements for a Global Talent visa are now set out under the new Appendix Global Talent in the Immigration Rules. 

Stage 1 – Global Talent Visa Endorsement  

The requirements for global talent endorsement are largely the same for endorsements in all areas. The main changes are set out below.

For those applying for science, engineering, humanities and medicine fields endorsement, the criteria for consideration of senior appointments has been revised, so that the route caters for emerging leaders as well as those at a more advanced stage of their career.  In the previous Appendix W, academic or research roles were specifically defined as “senior academic or research positions” meaning “a Professor, Associate Professor, Reader, or equivalent position such as Senior Group Leader, at a UK Higher Education Institution or Research Institute.” 

Appendix Global Talent no longer contains this definition.  Applicants for academic and research positions at an approved UK higher education institution (HEI) or research institute must:

  • “have responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership and development; or;
  • direct or lead an individual or team in:
  • a research project or programme of work; or
  • an innovation project or programme of work”

The main change for Tech Nation applications is the Eligibility Criteria. Applicants must demonstrate that they are leaders or potential leaders in the digital technology sector. The Key and Qualifying criteria have been updated to remove the terms ‘key’ and ‘qualifying’ criteria. Instead, a simpler set of mandatory and optional criteria  have been introduced. Additionally, the previous Qualifying Criteria regarding Continuous Learning has been removed.

Stage 2 – Entry Clearance or Permission to Stay as a Global Talent Migrant

The application forms for Stage 2 differ depending on your circumstances. The route is now open to EEA nationals. An EEA national with a chipped passport can either apply to enter the Global Talent route using the UK Immigration: ID Check app (when available); or an online form. There are two online forms available; one for applicants outside of the UK applying for entry clearance and one for applicants inside of the UK applying for permission to stay.

Under the previous rules only those in the following categories could switch into the Global Talent route from within the UK: 

  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker), sponsored in the Government Authorised Exchange sub-category in an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers
  • Start-up migrant
  • Innovator

The new rules offer a more flexible approach.  A person applying for permission to stay on the basis of Global Talent must be in the UK and must not have, or have last been granted, permission as: 

  • A Visitor; or
  • A Short-term Student; or
  • A Parent of a Child Student; or
  • A Seasonal Worker; or
  • A domestic worker in a private household; or
  • Outside the Immigration Rules.

If you hold leave in any of the above categories then you will be required to leave the UK and submit a the Stage 2 application for the Global Talent visa from your home country.

Global Talent Visa Conditions of Stay 

If your application for Global Talent leave is granted, permission will be granted for the period of years you request, up to a maximum of 5 years on each application. There is no limit on the total period of permission that may be granted on the Global Talent route.

The grant will be subject to all the following conditions:

  • No access to public funds; and
  • Work (including self-employment and voluntary work) permitted except for employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); and
  • Study is permitted, subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS; and
  • If Part 10 applies the applicant will be required to register with the police.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance with a Global Talent Visa application, contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.


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