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Fast-Track Global Talent Visa Route Announced

The Home Office has today announced a new fast-track immigration route for people who have won top awards in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts, digital technology, dance, fashion, architecture and social sciences.

Winners of prestigious awards, including Nobel Prizes, Oscars and Golden Globes will be able to live and work in the UK more easily under reforms to the Global Talent route introduced by the Home Office.

Global Talent Visa Route

The Global Talent visa route is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, social sciences and humanities, digital technology, arts and culture, film and television, fashion and architecture wishing to work in the UK. 

The Global Talent category is not subject to a cap on the number of applicants, does not require a job offer and can lead to settlement in the UK.

Prior to today’s announcement, all applicants for a Global Talent visa had to first receive an endorsement from one of 6 Home Office-approved endorsing bodies, including the Arts Council and Royal Academy.  Each endorsing body has its own set of criteria and all applicants were required to provide a substantial body of work and support from experts in their field.  Once endorsed, applicants could then apply to the Home Office for a Global Talent visa.  

Fast-Track Global Talent Route

Changes to the Global Talent route mean that, from today, those who hold a qualifying prize can now follow a more streamlined process which omits the requirement to be endorsed.  Winners of prestigious prizes no longer need to apply to an endorsing body and can instead apply directly for a Fast-Track Global Talent visa.

List of Elite Award Winners

The Home Office has published a list of prize winners who are eligible to use the new Fast-Track Global Talent Route.  The list of elite awards includes:

  • Music: Brit Award – International Male/Female; Mobo – Best International Act; Grammys – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Film, TV and Theatre: Various Academy Award and Golden Globe categories; Bafta – Best Film Actress/Actor/Director; various Tony Awards and Olivier Awards
  • Arts & Literature: Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; Hugo Boss Prize; Nobel Prize – Literature
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths: Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Chemistry, Economic Science and Medicine; Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering; Fields Medal; Turing Award

Certain awards across dance, fashion, architecture, and social sciences are also included on the list, which it is understood will be kept under review.

A Fast-Track For Global Talent?

The first, and most obvious, point to note is that the vast majority of talented and promising individuals will not be eligible for the so-called Fast-Track Global Talent Route.  Only a very few individuals who are at the very pinnacle of their careers will qualify. Booker prize winner? Oscar winner in a supporting role? I’m afraid you’ll need to join the queue for an endorsement before you’ll be eligible for a Global Talent visa.

But, what of this queue?  The introduction of a so-called Fast-Track Global Talent Route might lead any leader or potential leader in their field to assume that applying for an endorsement is a lengthy process.  However, whilst endorsement applications must be prepared carefully, the reality is that most endorsement applications are decided in less than 30 days.

Richmond Chambers has assisted several talented and promising individuals to secure endorsements from Home Office approved endorsing bodies over the last 12 months. Our experience is that the Arts Council typically determines endorsement applications within about 1 week, whilst Tech Nation typically takes between 2 days and 1 month to make an endorsement decision.

Whilst it is right to say that prestigious award winners may therefore enjoy some advantage under the new fast-track scheme, that advantage may be counted in days rather than months.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance regarding an application for a Global Talent visa, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.


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