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Immigrate to the UK if you are talented: Guide to obtaining the Global Talent Visa 2024

Let’s begin with the obvious: if you’re gearing up to apply for this visa, take some time to skim through the comprehensive PDF guides on the Endorsing Bodies’ websites. These official resources provide the detailed ins and outs that no article can fully replicate.

But hey, if you’re just starting out on this journey and looking for an overview of this immigration route, you’re definitely in the right place. We’re here to guide you step by step, starting with the basics: What exactly is the Global Talent visa? How does it differ from Tier 1 Exceptional Talent? What’s needed to show you’re eligible, and more. This article brings something special to the table – we’ve gathered insights from Global Talent visa experts and summarised the key facts about each of the three fields (tech, arts and science) to give you a clearer picture. Let’s get started!

Global Talent visa gives talented, proactive people an amazing opportunity to move to the UK and – most importantly – do whatever you wish in the country! That includes the freedom of being employed by any company without needing to be sponsored for a work permit, the ability to change employers without any restrictions, permission to give paid consultations or even start your own business. Let’s dive into the requirements and hacks for getting the Global Talent visa (ex Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa).

Basics: What is a Global Talent visa?

In short, the Global Talent visa allows you to move to England and work for an existing company or start your own project. It aims to attract the right talent to the UK in the fields of digital technology, art and science. You can live in London, Edinburgh, Manchester or practically anywhere else in the country. 

Until 2020, this immigration route was called Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. With Brexit and the subsequent changes to the immigration policies, this visa route essentially got a new life – now there is no cap in terms of how many Global Talent permits can be granted each year, and some of the other requirements have been waived.  

The Global Talent Visa is issued for either 3 or 5 years. Once it expires, you can apply for a permanent residence permit (ILR – Indefinite Leave to Remain). After one year on the ILR, you can apply for British citizenship.

Endorsing Bodies and Sectors:

  • Tech Nation: Digital technology (tech and non-tech/business disciplines).
  • Royal Society: Science and medicine.
  • Royal Academy of Engineering: Engineering.
  • British Academy: Humanities.
  • UK Research and Innovation: Science and research.
  • Arts Council: Arts and culture.

You don’t necessarily need a Nobel Prize to secure this visa. However nailing your self-presentation is crucial.

Max Kharchenko

Chief Product Owner, our client and a Global Talent visa holder

Basics: Who can obtain the Global Talent Visa?

You are eligible for applying if you have been actively building your career and sharing knowledge in one of the three areas: 

  • arts and culture
  • digital technology
  • academia or research 

You should be able to explain why your presence in the UK would be beneficial to the local economy, and how you wish to make the most out of your potential and grow in your chosen field.

We can help with your Global Talent document pack

Drawing on our experience as a Global Talent consultancy, we’ve developed a simple assessment to help you figure out if you meet the criteria. Take a spin through our free assessment tool now and receive instant results (no need to provide your email). Dive in and let’s get started!

Basics: What are the categories of the Tier 1 Global Talent Visa?

The visa is divided into two categories: “Exceptional Promise” and “Exceptional Talent”.

Promise suitable for those who are at the beginning of their professional or creative journey and have under 5 years of experience. In simple terms, there is no need to be the world’s biggest star in your field, and overall our stats indicate that Promise is indeed easier to get than Talent. However don’t let the requirements fool you: you still need to show quite a few achievements to be endorsed under this visa category. We’ll get to that in a second.

Talent is a category where demonstrating outstanding professional achievements is vital. Generally those who apply under this category need to have worked in their professional field for over 5 years. The benefit of this category is that you only get granted a visa for 3 years, after which you can apply to ILR. That’s one of the quickest ways of getting a permanent residency and citizenship in the UK! Whilst in the case of Promise, you will need to wait for 2 years longer before applying for your ILR, and only get your citizenship after living in the country for a total of 6 years. 

Another thing to note is that even if you applied for an endorsement under Promise but the endorsing body believes that you have achieved enough to be a Talent, you’ll be granted a Talent. So overall applying under Promise is a somewhat safer option if your experience in the field doesn’t massively exceed 5 years in total so far. Here’s a quote by our client to help you get a better understanding of it.

I was applying to Tech Nation for the Global Talent visa endorsement as a performance marketer for tech startups. Even though I’ve worked in marketing for nearly 9 years, only the past 4.5 of them have been specifically within the area of performance marketing and digital technology, whilst the first few years I was mainly just writing copies for marketing comms. So when choosing between the Talent and Promise categories, Promise was more suitable for me – and way more realistic in terms of requirements!

Luma Manina

Our performance marketer and a Global Talent visa holder

Of course, every story is unique, and Global Talent is a relatively new UK visa category, so the rules change from time to time.

Intermediate: Applying for the Global Talent Visa. Where do I start?

Let’s start with the good news: knowledge of English is optional. You don’t need to go through any interviews or pass an exam. In fact, we know of some cases when an arts person was granted a Global Talent visa with an A2/B1 level of English! Also, you don’t need any proof of income. 

The main steps of the application process are as follows:

1. Stage 1: Apply for endorsement. In other words, you need to get an approval from your endorsing body – there are 6 of them depending on which field you’re in. The endorsing body will assess your awards and achievements based on the documents you provide and send you their decision via email. Stage 1 usually requires much more preparation than Stage 2 as you need to demonstrate a proven track record of success.

2. Stage 2: Submit your visa application to the Home Office. You won’t need to enclose all your documents again, just the approval email from your endorsing body is more than enough. The main purpose of Stage 2 is for the immigration officers to run the entry clearance checks on you (to ensure you’re not a criminal!), stamp the visa in your passport and issue a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which you will pick up upon moving to the UK.

3. Enter the UK and obtain your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card which will be your main ID document within the country.

As Global Talent visa consultants, we’ve noticed a big shift for digital tech applicants recently. The bar’s been raised like ten times higher in the past few months.

Just to give you the context, Tech Nation, the endorsing body for the tech field, initially said it’d shut its doors by March 31, 2023. But guess what? It didn’t close up after all and kept taking applications (probably because they couldn’t find a replacement in time). Our guess is, many people rushed to apply before the supposed shutdown. So, from April 2023, we’ve been hit with more rejections than ever before, and we’ve had to fight them all with appeals. Other endorsing bodies also upped their game, but not as drastically as Tech Nation.

Our advice? Get ready way more seriously and thoroughly than you might’ve thought just a bit back.

Elizaveta Morjan

EP Advisory’s CEO and the expert behind our Global Talent visa packages

Intermediate: Who can apply for the Global Talent Visa?

It would be quite hard to list every single profession that is eligible for the Global Talent visa – there are many examples of this visa obtained by marketers, HRs and other related job titles rather than specifically arts and tech specialists and scientists. To give you a rough idea of who can apply under this visa route, here are some of the occupations:

Arts and Culture
Event managers & Producers
Architects
Artists
Designers
Dancers
Musicians
Theatre professionals
Film professionals
Writers
Photographers

Digital technology
Fintech professionals
Cybersecurity professionals
Artificial intelligence professionals
Gaming industry professionals
Developers
Data analysts
Marketers, HRs, and other business professionals working within the technology fields

Academia and research
Researchers
Those working in the medical field
Engineers
Social science professionals

Experience-Based Categories:

  • Over 5 years of experience in a field qualifies for the ‘Talent’ category.
  • Under 5 years of experience falls under the ‘Promise’ category.
  • Career changes are accounted for; only years in the relevant field are considered.

We can help with your Global Talent document pack

Find out more about out services for those who wish to immigrate to the UK under this visa route. With an exceptional success rate of 93%, we know all about the requirements for the Global Talent visa.

Global Talent visa approved endorsements

TECH nation

Eligible Disciplines:

Add screenshot from Tech Nation website of all eligible disciptines:
https://stagetechn.wpengine.com/visa-tech-nation-visa-guide/#typical-applicants

Non-technical roles are also eligible for the Global Talent Visa. Among the examples given were roles in growth marketing, sales, and product management. Specifically, “Venture Capital partners and Senior analysts” have also successfully gained endorsements through us.

This reference indicates that individuals working in venture capital, including partners and senior analysts, can be considered for the Global Talent Visa under certain conditions, likely related to their contributions to the tech sector or their specific expertise in digital business environments.

Employers:

  • Importance of working in a product-led digital business.
  • Examples of eligible companies: Amazon, Spotify, Yandex, smaller tech start-ups.
  • Exception for niche technical expertise, like AI in heavy industries.

Referees:

  1. Must be direct supervisors who can comment on your work, cannot be a colleague at the same level or a subordinate. For entrepreneurs, it can be investors or advisors (higher in the rank, ideally NOT co-founders or Heads/CEOs of their businesses).
  2. Strong LinkedIn profiles – Tech Nation will check those of your referees.
  3. Using Global Talent Visa holders as referees is a good strategy.

For Tech Nation, there is no requirement to have a UK-based referees. So they can be from your come country or elsewhere in the world. We have successful cases when all 3 referees were from the applicant’s home country. 

Elizaveta Morjan

EP Advisory’s CEO and the expert behind our Global Talent visa packages

When it comes to selecting your referees, try choosing those who:

  • are or were your direct bosses who can confirm your; achievements/experience written in your CV;
  • have strong experience working for tech companies (avoid people who have background of working for consulting, outsourcing companies, agencies and other non-tech businesses, e.g. PepsiCo, Bosch, etc.);
  • have a good LinkedIn profile (all sections filled, recent activity, etc.);
  • have a Global Talent visa already;
  • are based outside your country of origin or not the same nationality as you.

We recommend for you to include here as many potential referees as possible.

What a client needs to upload, when applying for Tech Nation endorsement

When applying for Tech Nation endorsement, a client needs to upload 15 documents. 3 Letters of Recommendation, 1 CV, 1 Personal Statement + 10 Evidence pieces (3 A4 pages each). 

10 Evidence pieces go towards Optional criteria. Each of evidence pieces should be on 3 A4 pages. There are 4 optional criteria and to get the endorsement you need to satisfy 2 of them.

Optional Criteria 1 (OC1) a proven track record for innovation as a founder or senior executive of a product-led digital technology company or as an employee working on a new digital field or concept; 

  • Common, need to show innovation (e.g. new product feature, new product development, new market, new marketing strategy, etc); its common to include press releases about those innovations in the media.

Yuri (Front-End Developer): Created a price match feature for a booking platform, an innovation that received media attention.

Optional Criteria 2 (OC2)proof of recognition for work beyond the applicant’s occupation that contributes to the advancement of the field;

  • Hard to prove but possible, need lots of conference speaking or media recognition or courses or official mentorship programme participations, etc. General rule – at least 5-7 articles in the media, podcasts, YouTube videos (not your own channel, but elsewhere), conferenc speaking, panel discussions, judge appointments, etc.

Mentorship has to be part of an organised/structured programme with selection process, you cannot mentor one start-up or a group of people and include this as evidence for activities beyond occupation.

When we feel there is not enough of evidence for OC2, but the client has some media recognition or training, we would use those documents for mandatory criteria.

Elizaveta Morjan

EP Advisory’s CEO and the expert behind our Global Talent visa packages

Optional Criteria 3 (OC3) they have made significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder, senior executive or employee of a product-led digital technology company; 

  • Common, need to show quantifying achievements here related to your field (revenue generated, app downloads, fundraising, team growth, increase in website visitors, etc)

Optional Criteria 4 (OC4) they have demonstrated exceptional ability in the field by academic contributions, through research published or endorsed by an expert.

  • Only had a couple of people applying with OC4, those were people with patents, trademarkers, IP property, scientific articles published, etc.

Mandatory Criteria for Route 4. All boxes should be ticked:

  • The applicant must be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry.
  • The applicant must have a PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial or clinical research).
  • The applicant must provide a letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK supporting the Global Talent application.
  • Be a member of their professional society/body/association in the field of their research (have an active membership, ideally in EU or the UK).

The applicant must meet 1 or more of the following Qualifying Criteria.

Qualifying criteria:

  • Scientific publications (does the person have Google Scholar and/or ResearchGate account – can Google it). The good minimum of English publications is around 10. Ideally, thise 10 publication will be in the past 5 years, but if they are older, it is okay too.
  • Patents.
  • Prizes or awards.
  • Funding/grants (have they secured significant funding for their work in the past 10 years? If so, do they have a proof (usually, its a publicly available information; they need to have their name mentioned (sometimes, the grant went to someone else and they were just supporting the research -> this wouldn’t work).
  • Media recognition (conference speeches, articles (non-scientific) about their research or themselves/their career/their stories).
  • Innovation (we had clients from academia who also work in the industry (oil & gas) and they have created innovative solutions based on their research for large corporations or start-ups).

Adela (Biopolymer Specialist): Based in Russia, specialises in biopolymers. Demonstrates the diverse range of eligible fields and backgrounds, including PhD (from Russia), active research position, scientific publication, Biopolymer society membership, media recognition, etc.

Igor (Surgeon): In addition to PhD, research etc. had industry innovative experience – developed non-invasive heart treatment methods, showcasing the application of innovation in medical fields.

Intermediate: Who is not allowed to apply for the Global Talent visa?

Before diving in, let’s get one thing straight: applying for this visa is a smart move only if you tick all the boxes for your field and have the documents outlined in the guidelines.

Below is some additional information on the disciplines within science, tech and arts that are ineligible for the Global Talent visa.

Science applicants, make sure to consult the full list of eligible disciplines. If your job isn’t there, unfortunately, it’s better to explore another immigration route, like the Skilled Worker visa or a Student visa for a funded PhD programme.

Tech and digital applicants can refer to these guidelines:

Eligible: Technical applicants (e.g., programmers) from non-technical organizations.
Eligible: Non-technical applicants (e.g., business roles) from technical organizations.
Ineligible: Non-technical applicants from non-technical organizations.

Tech Nation’s examples of off-limits fields include:

  • Service Delivery, Outsourcing, Consultancy (technical or management), ERP Consultancy, Systems Admin, and related fields.
  • Corporate roles or experience of managing large corporate teams.
  • Junior investors/analysts. These roles need a solid investment track record at a senior level and aren’t fit for Global Promise.
  • Business skills apply to in-house work within product-led digital technology companies, not tech-enabled or service companies like agencies, outsourcers, marketing firms, etc.

Generally speaking, Tech Nation wants to see applicants from “product-led digital technology companies”. It could be any online platform or an app but shouldn’t be a consultancy.

Big non-tech corporations are not usually very welcome by the endorsing committee either, but there are some exceptions. For instance, one of our successful clients was an AI specialist working at an oil and gas company. He did get an endorsement because his experience was very niche and highly relevant to the UK’s economy – developing AI in such a complex industry! If you wrap it up properly, especially if you have some research publications and articles on the subject, you can get it. 

Elizaveta Morjan

EP Advisory’s CEO and the expert behind our Global Talent visa packages

For arts & culture applicants, Arts Council provides a comprehensive list of the no-go jobs. Take a look:

  • Hair styling
  • Makeup for fashion
  • Fashion stylists
  • Nail art
  • Health and beauty
  • Editorial and fashion photography
  • Commercial photography
  • Photography, videos, CGI, design, and illustration for marketing campaigns, advertising, branding, or corporate events
  • Art and creative direction for marketing campaigns, advertising, or branding
  • Modeling
  • Written and photographic journalism
  • Investigative journalism
  • Long-form journalism
  • General writing about the arts
  • Researchers
  • Education – teachers and lecturers
  • Music education or any artistic education in higher or further education
  • Conference programming
  • Consultancy
  • Marketing
  • Historians
  • Art historians
  • Design and manufacturing of functional items such as textiles or furniture
  • Non-creative roles in museums and galleries, like front of house or administration
  • Design work outside the Visual Arts context, e.g., graphic design, product design, industrial design, promotional work, advertising, commercial design, branding, visual identity, craft design, service design, typography
  • Technical, scientific, medical, architectural, or fashion illustration
  • Factual podcasts
  • Radio DJs
  • Competitive dance / Dancesport
  • Digital content creators, like YouTube channels and Instagram influencers/models
  • Art dealers/collectors
  • Art critics
  • Instrument makers
  • Toy makers
  • Tattoo artists
  • Professional wrestling

Intermediate: Which documents are required?

How to get a Global Talent visa? At the first stage of application, you are required to put together a pack of documents that you submit to the endorsing body in your field. Scroll down if you want to see some notes specifically for your field: technology, arts or academia. 

In most cases, 3 references and 10 supporting documents are required. The academia and research application pack slightly differs: science applicants are normally required to provide a CV and 1 letter signed by a member of the science community. 

More about the documents required for the Tier 1 Global Talent Visa:

1. A CV that shows you have been active in your professional field for the last 5 years.

  • Start by searching your name in Google. Endorsing bodies do Google search on all potential visa applicants.
  • Update your Linkedin profile and make your other social media pages look a bit more professional just in case.
  • It is not necessary that your education is relevant to your chosen field. It will be enough if you are working and growing within the profession.
  • You don’t have to hold a senior position in the company. What matters is your contribution to the business.

2. Personal statement. This is your chance to explain in detail how you qualify for the eligibility criteria and how you would benefit the UK’s economy if you get the Global Talent visa.

3. Three letters of recommendation. Each of the three fields has slightly different requirements. Let’s look at recommendation letters required for arts and culture as an example:

  • The first letter is from an organisation that fits your professional field and is UK based. This is something that many candidates who have not yet lived in the UK struggle with. Our legal partners at “Sterling Law” can help with this.
  • The second letter is from an organisation that may be based outside the UK. In this letter we advise that you write about how the recommending expert met you and what it was exactly that you did at that company.
  • The third letter is from an organisation or an individual who has a solid reputation and track record in your professional field.

The endorsing bodies may contact you to clarify some details, so make sure to include all your valid contact information.

The most difficult stage of the process for me was to prepare letters of recommendation from the experts in the field. These people are extremely busy and you have to adjust to their schedules. I had to do the editing at night and on holidays to meet the set deadlines.

Vitaly Markov

Data Engineer

4. Additional pieces of evidence (normally up to 10 files) – anything that demonstrates your exceptional talent or a promise to become a leader in your field. Feel free to show achievements outside your main professional activity.

  • Awards or nominations
  • Additional recommendation letters
  • Lectures or articles hosted or written by you
  • Interviews with you or any publications about you (Some blogs might not be accepted – for instance, Medium or VC.ru are not generally accepted as evidence)
  • Exhibitions and portfolios. Mention any exhibitions or publications with your name on them
  • Employment contracts or financial statements
  • Mentoring experience and speaking engagements (especially for digital technology applicants)

Basically, any documents that show you are an expert in your field and that your potential will be useful to the UK.

In some cases (e.g. for science applicants) you may need to send hard copies of the documents at a later stage. For digital technology applicants, e-copies of all documents will suffice. 

Consider the case of a young musician applying from Moscow. Her standout card was being selected, along with her band, for a British TV program focusing on musicians. While they didn’t make it to the final round, the commission was still impressed by the achievement. Adding to this, her music was chosen to be played in public spaces designated by the Moscow City Hall. These two facts illustrated her visibility and recognition in her home country as well as in the UK – a solid foundation for meeting the Exceptional Promise criteria.

Elizaveta Morjan

EP Advisory’s CEO and the expert behind our Global Talent visa packages

Advanced: Key facts for each field: technology, arts, and science 🔥

Once again, if you’re about to apply for this visa, we recommend you to look for the guidelines issued by the endorsement body in your field and take some time to read them thoroughly. These official resources provide the detailed ins and outs that no article can fully replicate.

Below we have listed the key things that you should know about this visa, based on our experience of applying for our clients in each field.

Prestigious prizes – Arts and Science mainly

Good news! If you’ve been awarded one of these prestigious prizes, you’re in for a smooth ride. You can apply for a Global Talent visa without needing an endorsement. These prizes have been handpicked by the experts in the field as clear indicators of exceptional talent.

Here are some examples to give you a rough understanding of the type and level or prizes:

Arts and culture prizes

  • Grammy Award
  • Tchaikovsky Prize
  • Tony Award

Film and television prizes

  • BAFTA
  • Golden Globes

Science, engineering, humanities, social science and medicine prizes

  • Benjamin Franklin Medal
  • Kyoto Prize
  • Nobel Prize

These are only examples. Please find the full list of accepted prizes here.

Tech Nation – Digital Technology

Here’s what you need to know when applying through Tech Nation:

Impressive Track Record: Make sure to showcase your impact internationally, the importance of your work, and your career history.

Strong Recommendations: Get strong letters of recommendation and evidence to back your application. These letters should be written by recognised experts who know your work well. They can even talk about their own experience to show they know their stuff. It is important that your recommendation letters are not all written in the same style or signed on the same date.

Benefit to UK: Explain how you can help the digital tech sector in the UK. If you are already involved in it at some level (such as mentoring, lecturing, via public speaking etc), that’s even better.

Different Factors: Think about your education, salary, and the reputation of the company you’re associated with, and show your potential.

Past Success: Your past successes, achievements, and experiences are important. The evidence may include screenshots of the internal systems (e.g. CRM with the number of clients or any other platform that proves the results you’re claiming to have achieved).

Technical Experts: Highlight your knowledge of the latest technologies and technical systems. This can be emphasised in your personal statement, in the recommendation letters as well as by screenshots or other proofs of implementation of such innovations.

Business Applicants: Show your investment in commercial ventures or your expertise in digital products. This could be demonstrated by screenshots or exported overview of annual reports or startup accelerators’ letters etc.

Personal Statement: Write a strong statement that explains your impact on the UK’s digital tech industry.

CV Highlights: Summarise your career and important works within three A4 pages.

Art Council – Arts & Culture

CV Requirements

  • A CV is needed to gauge your career stage and visa suitability.
  • Without a satisfactory CV, even meeting other criteria won’t secure endorsement.
  • Include your full artistic career and education details; it doesn’t replace evidence.
  • Online CV links/screenshots won’t work; upload a condensed document.

Supporting Evidence: What You Need to Know

  • Types of Evidence: You need to provide up to 10 pieces of evidence across media recognition, international awards, and proof of appearances.
  • Evidence Format: Each document should be within two A4 pages. Avoid physical objects and digital files.
  • Media Recognition: At least two examples of detailed critiques or reviews from credible critics in established media outlets, focusing on your work’s quality.
  • International Awards: Show evidence of winning recognised arts and culture awards within the last five years.
  • Proof of Appearances: Evidence of your involvement in professional artistic programs in two countries in the last five years.
  • Translation: Any non-English evidence needs certified translations.
  • Exceptional Promise Criteria: Similar to Exceptional Talent, but with a focus on national or international media recognition.
  • Degrees and Awards: Degrees, student awards, and grants aren’t accepted.
  • Social Media: Evidence from blogs or social media isn’t accepted.
  • Collaborations: You can provide evidence related to your contribution to the work of another individual or group.

Letters of Support

Diverse Validation: Gather proof from well-known organisations that highlight your impact in your specific field. One from a UK-based organisation and another from a national/international cultural group.

Respected Individual Endorsement: Secure a third letter from either another cultural organisation or a respected individual expert in your field.

Credibility of Endorsers: Ensure that the letters are signed by senior figures within the organisations. These individuals should be able to vouch for your excellence, and including their CV or biography can add weight to your application.

Art Council & RIBA – Architecture

Supporting Evidence for Architecture Applicants

Exceptional Talent:

  • Show 2+ recent instances of international recognition from architecture sources.
  • Prove you’ve won awards or been really important internationally.
  • Show your work published or exhibited internationally.

Exceptional Promise:

  • Show 2+ recent instances of media recognition in the UK or globally.
  • Prove awards or significant contributions in national or international architecture.
  • Show work you’ve had exhibited or published internationally in the last 3 years.

Accepted Awards

For example, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, RIBA International Prize, Pritzker Prize, Venice Biennale of Architecture Award, World Architecture Festival Award or another relevant major award.

Letters of Support

Varied Support: Get letters from respected organisations that show your influence in your field. Have one letter from a UK-based organisation and another from a national or international cultural group.

Expert Endorsement: Get a third letter from another cultural group or an expert in your field.

Proof of Expertise: Make sure the letters are from important people who can vouch for you, and they should include their career history too.

Art Council & Pact – Film & Television

Eligibility and Supporting Evidence – Film, Television, Animation, Post-Production, Visual Effects Applicants:

  • Apply under Exceptional Talent only, no Exceptional Promise.
  • Producers Alliance for Film and TV (Pact) assesses Exceptional Talent applications.
  • Show that you’ve won or been nominated for major awards (Oscars, BAFTAs, etc.).
  • If you don’t have awards, prove your contributions to the industry. Demonstrate recognition through distribution sales, awards, or nominations.
  • Show your role. Explain your part in group projects or collaborations.
  • Notable Industry Recognition Awards needed for films with theatrical release.

Letters of Support

Varied Support: Get letters from respected organisations that show your influence in your field. Have one letter from a UK-based organisation and another from a national or international cultural group.

Expert Endorsement: Get a third letter from another cultural group or an expert in your field.

Proof of Expertise: Make sure the letters are from important people who can vouch for you, and they should include their career history too.

Arts Council – Fashion Design

Supporting Evidence

  • Exceptional Talent:
    • Display 2+ recent examples of significant international media recognition, excluding events and advertisements.
    • Prove wins, significant contributions, or nominations for international awards within the past 5 years.
    • Provide evidence of catwalk shows, presentations, exhibitions, or international distribution and sales of collections.
  • Exceptional Promise:
    • Submit 2+ recent examples of recognition from UK or international media.
    • Show support and sponsorship from relevant institutions in the last 5 years.
    • Offer proof of orders received from luxury retailers, industry recognition, or exceptional graduating collections.

Letters of Support

Triple Approval: Get letters of support from three well-known organisations that prove your expertise in fashion. One of these should be from the UK if you’re aiming for Exceptional Talent.

Important Roles: The letters should be from high-up people like CEOs or Fashion Directors who can endorse your impact.

The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy – Science and engineering

The endorsement body is allocated based on your field: The British Academy reviews applications from the humanities and social sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering covers engineering, and the Royal Society covers the natural and medical sciences.

Mandatory Criteria:

  • Active researcher in relevant field (academia, industry, research institute).
  • Holds PhD or equivalent research experience.
  • Personal recommendation letter from eminent UK resident.
  • Meets at least 1 Qualifying Criteria.

Four routes for academia and research applicants:

  1. Academic and Research Appointments Route
    • Fast-track endorsement for those with eligible positions at UK higher education institutions or research institutes.
    • Responsibilities include academic, research, innovation leadership, or directing research projects.
    • Roles like Vice-Chancellor, Dean, Research Institute Director, qualify.
    • Eligibility based on significant academic, research, or innovation responsibilities.
    • Endorsing institutions require job description and statement of guarantee.
    • Timeline: 14 working days for initial assessment.
  2. Individual Fellowships Route
    • Fast-track endorsement for recipients of approved individual fellowships within the last 5 years.
    • Fellowships from British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, and Royal Society qualify.
    • Award letter to contain name, start date, duration, and fellowship details.
    • Fellowship award letter should include name, start date, and duration.
    • Timeline: 14 working days for initial assessment.
  3. Endorsed Funders Route
    • Fast-track endorsement for researchers named in approved grant applications by endorsed funders.
    • Researchers hosted or employed by UKRI-approved institutions qualify.
    • Diverse fields eligible: researchers from various disciplines eligible.
    • Timeline: 14 working days for initial assessment.
  4. Peer Review Route
    • Standard endorsement for applicants submitting applications for full peer review.
    • Eligibility based on exceptional talent or promise in research or innovation.
    • Two expert recommendation letters required, one of which must assess applicant’s reputation.
    • Eminent individual and expert in applicant’s field write letters.
    • Timeline: up to 8 weeks for initial assessment.

Experts evaluate: 

  • Career history, international standing, publications, prizes, funding, impact.
  • Strength of personal recommendation letter.
  • Potential benefits to UK research and society.
  • Prestigious prizes, funding secured, leadership in field.

Submission details

  • Hard copy to Home Office after online form.
  • False evidence leads to application rejection.
  • English translations for non-English documents.
moving to the UK on a long term visa or brp

Advanced: Global Talent visa fees. How much does it cost to apply for the Global Talent Visa?

Stage 1. Submission of application to the UK endorsing bodies: £456. Please note that this amount will not be refunded if the application is unsuccessful.

Stage 2. Submission of the approved application for visa obtainment purposes: £152 + £624 for each year of basic health insurance (health surcharge).

For instance, if you are applying for a 3 year visa, £456 + £152 + £624*3 = £2,480.

The Global Talent visa fees are one of the key reasons for doubts when considering applying for this immigration route. You can end up paying nearly £3,500 in one go, that’s over four thousand Euros! However, the vast majority of rejections so far have happened at the first stage of the application process. So even if you are not granted an endorsement, it’s just the £456 you may be losing, and not the entire visa fee with the healthcare surcharge.

Pricing for the visa

Fees

It costs £716 to apply.

If you’re applying based on an endorsement, you’ll pay the £716 in two parts:

  • £524 when you apply for the endorsement
  • £192 when you apply for the visa itself

If you’re applying based on an eligible award, you’ll pay the full £716 when you apply for the visa.

If you’re including your partner or children in your application, they’ll each need to pay £716.

Healthcare surcharge

  • The UK Parliament approved a law increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fees, which will go into effect on February 6, 2024.
  • The annual IHS fees for adult applicants will increase to GBP 1,035 per person – a 66% increase from the current GBP 624.

We can help with your Global Talent document pack

Find out more about out services for those who wish to immigrate to the UK under this visa route. With an exceptional success rate of 93%, we know all about the requirements for the Global Talent visa.

Advanced: What are the reasons for the Global Talent visa refusal?

There are a few typical reasons the Global Talent visa may be rejected:

  • Incomplete set of documents. If the endorsing body does not see the required minimum of the documents, they may refuse without any explanation.
  • Inaccuracies in the documents or incorrect document identification.
  • Not enough information is provided.
  • Not enough evidence of your talent or contribution (Significant Contribution).
  • There is not a strong enough link to the UK. It may seem to the experts that your plans can be implemented in any country and you do not need to be in the UK at all.

You can apply for a visa refusal review. You can re-apply for the Global Talent visa within 28 days of getting a decision.

In 2023, Tech Nation issued more refusals than ever before. When justifying their decision, they often say that they’re looking for applicants that are the top 1% of the cohort. They also notice and downgrade you if your letters of support were written in the same style or signed on the same date. If you received a refusal, please remember that it’s not about you personally – the bar has been raised for everyone! It’s definitely worth submitting an appeal as we’ve seen some really positive outcomes of that.

Elizaveta Morjan

EP Advisory’s CEO and the expert behind our Global Talent visa packages

Advanced: How long will it take to get a Global Talent visa?

  • Surprisingly, the most time-consuming part of the process is usually the prep work. Even though it might seem like a couple of weeks’ task, writing all the recommendation letters and the personal statement tends to take around 2–3 months based on our clients’ and friends’ experience. 
  • Stage 1 (with an endorsement body) takes up to 8 weeks.  
  • Take into account the expiry date of your approval from the endorsing bodies. If you are successful at the first stage, you will receive a letter with a deadline of 3 months. During this period you will have to apply for the next stage of the UK Talent visa. 
  • Stage 2 (with the Home Office) usually takes 3 weeks if you apply from outside the country or 8 weeks if you switch to this visa route within the country. However, the UK government recently announced that the period of consideration of outside-the-country applications had been temporarily extended from 3 to 6 weeks

In total, your application might take anything from under 2 month in an absolutely perfect scenario to as long as half a year if the circumstances aren’t that ideal. Plan your application in advance – this will save you a lot of effort and last-minute stress!

Advanced: How we can help you

We work closely with our legal partners at Sterling Law to maintain the excellent success rate for our clients (93%). We take over document writing whilst Sterling Law check everything from the legal perspective, put their stamp of approval and submit the application for you. 

There are three types of services depending on how much support you need:

60-min consultation: Get personalised guidance with a 60-minute consultation from our expert career consultant. We’ll assess your case, offer feedback on your chances, and help you plan evidence collection. We’ll dive into your CV, LinkedIn, and more to uncover ways to enhance your application. Expect advice on awards, mentorship, and outside achievements too.

PRO package: Experience a range of services in one package – an assessment of your case, consultation, and hands-on document support. We’ll craft your CV, LinkedIn, and an outstanding personal statement. Our expert letters of support (3-5, as needed) will be signed by your referees. We guide you through evidence preparation and offer a document review before submission. Count on us for a draft of your Stage 1 application too.

FULL SUPPORT package: Dive into comprehensive assistance – from start to finish. Begin with our assessment and consultation. Let us create your CV, LinkedIn, personal statement, and reference letters. We’ll handcraft all evidence pieces, assemble your documents, and submit your applications for both stages. In case of a refusal, our legal team’s expertise will guide you toward turning it around.

Read more about our services here. If you’re interested in the Global Talent visa, try our short test and find out if you are eligible.

FAQs about Global Talent (ex Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa)

How can you help me get the Global Talent visa?

Looking to secure your Global Talent visa and make the move to the UK? Here’s a snapshot of how we can help:

Share your background and skills with us, and if your prospects look promising, we’ll arrange a free call to discuss further. If you’re ready to proceed, we’ll guide you through an efficient onboarding process and then collaborate with you on assembling a compelling case.

We will handle the intricacies of crafting your CV, personal statement, and references, ensuring they shine. Our partners at Sterling Law will review your final documents, bolstering your case’s strength. Once that’s sorted, they’ll draft and submit your application, leaving you just one step away from your UK venture.

And in case of any outcome, whether it’s approval or rejection, we’re here for you. Should you need to appeal an unlikely denial or explore alternative routes, our expertise is at your service. If you’re aiming to land a job in the UK, our career consultancy services can further guide you. Your Global Talent journey starts here!

Who endorses the application?

There are six government-approved endorsing bodies depending on your field:

  1. Arts Council England, for arts and culture (with the help of Pact for film applicants and RIBA for architecture);
  2. Tech Nation, for digital technology;
  3. The Royal Society, for science and medicine;
  4. The Royal Academy of Engineering, for engineering;
  5. The British Academy, for humanities;
  6. UK Research and Innovation, for science and research.

Has it become easier to apply for the Global Talent visa in England after Brexit?

Yes, from 1 December 2020 the UK Government has relaxed the immigration rules and introduced new immigration categories that enable talent migration.

  • The changes affect those planning to switch to Global Talent from another visa category. For example, students who have completed their studies in England can switch to the Global Talent Visa. 
  • The changes also apply to those working in digital: the categories of documents that professionals must provide (Mandatory documents) have changed.
  • There may be further changes. This type of visa is relatively new and the rules change from time to time.

Is Britain still welcoming expats? Is Tech Nation still endorsing applicants?

Absolutely, Britain remains a welcoming destination for expats. While there was a temporary panic regarding digital technology applications and endorsements due to Tech Nation’s change in operations, the endorsement process continues. The government confirmed that Tech Nation will oversee Global Talent visa applications until a replacement is found, ensuring minimal disruption. So, if you’re a tech enthusiast eyeing the UK, rest assured that the pathway is still open.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that various categories within the Global Talent visa program are thriving. For instance, the arts and creative industries are experiencing significant growth. Last year saw a doubling in the number of arts and creative industry professionals gaining Global Talent Visas. This trend showcases the UK’s commitment to welcoming international talents across diverse fields, regardless of political climate.

Remember, application requirements and decision-making factors do evolve frequently. A few months back, crafting an impeccable Personal Statement held high significance for digital technology applicants (Tech Nation). However, the current landscape places less emphasis on personal statements and leans more towards the significance of esteemed referees. This is where we come in – to provide steady guidance through the latest alterations and newly introduced criteria for the Global Talent visa as they unfold.

What is Global Talent visa in the UK?

The Global Talent visa is a UK immigration category for talented and promising individuals across various sectors, such as sciences, engineering, tech, arts and others, who wish to work in the UK. This visa is not ‘sponsored’ by an employer or a partner, and so it gives you maximum flexibility and freedom. You can live and work in the UK with no restrictions along with the option to settle in the UK within 3 or 5 years.

To be considered for entry under the Global Talent visa, applicants seek endorsement from one of six endorsing bodies engaged by the UK Home Office. These endorsing bodies are industry-specific, and so they can determine whether you have proven to be talented and recognised for what you do.

  • There is no English language or financial requirement for this visa.
  • The first stage of your application is obtaining endorsement (receiving approval of the “talent” from a recognised endorsing body). You should normally receive your endorsement decision within 8 weeks, and then you can apply for a visa (Stage 2 of your application).
  • The endorsement (Stage 1) is granted for a period of 3 or 5 years (depending on whether the applicant qualifies for Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise).
  • The visa (Stage 2 is granted for a period of 1 to 5 years (the applicant gets to choose).

We have an article explaining this visa in more detail.

Who is eligible to get Global Talent visa in the UK?

Applicants across various industries are welcome to apply. It includes scientists, engineers, research professionals, artists, tech professionals, dancers, singers, etc. On top of those obvious directions, we have experience in helping marketing, HR, and project management professionals get this visa.

To be considered for the Global Talent visa in the UK, you must obtain an endorsement from one of six approved by the Home Office endorsing bodies (Tech Nation, the Royal Society, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Academy or Arts Council England). This is called Stage 1 application.

Each endorsing body has its own criteria when assessing the case, however, there are generally have two types of applications applying for the global talent visa:

  • Exceptional Talent – individuals who have already demonstrated that they have made a significant contribution as a leader to their field; and
  • Exceptional Promise – individuals who may be at an early stage in their careers (under 5 years of experience) and have already shown the potential to make significant contributions as a future leader in their field

‘Promise’ applicants are likely to be in the earlier stages in their career, with roughly 5 years or less relevant experience and are more likely to be able to demonstrate that they have the potential to be a leader but have yet to develop a proven track record.

If you have more than 5 years’ experience you are more likely to apply under ‘Talent’ unless there has been a recent and significant shift in the direction of your career.

What to do if you are not 'talented' enough yet?

Consider the following:

  • How could you prove international recognition? Any awards, competitions, media platforms or projects in other countries that you can be involved in?
  • How can you generate more publicity for yourself? It’s impossible to get a Global Talent visa without any articles or interviews with you.
  • Is there anything that could make your ties with the UK stronger? Like taking part in a UK-based exhibition or helping a UK-founded startup.
  • We know it’s a long shot for many! But it there a chance of you applying for one of the prestigious awards on the gov.uk list? It contains awards in science and arts, from BAFTA to L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science.

Digital technology applicants:

  • If you are a technical applicant, then you have to prove your technical expertise with the latest technologies in building, using, deploying or exploiting a technology stack and building technical infrastructure; or
  • If you are a business applicant (e.g. a startup founder or a performance marketer at a tech company), then you have to prove commercial investment or product expertise in building digital products or leading investments in significant digital product businesses.

Science and engineering applicants:

  • The applicant must be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry.
  • The applicant must have a PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial or clinical research).
  • Any prestigious prizes or awards would give you advantage. The endorsement body will also take into consideration if the applicant has secured significant funding for their work in the past 10 years.

Arts applicants:

  • Focus on getting some proof of appearances, publications, exhibitions or distribution of your work.
  • Any international awards could also give you a huge benefit.

Can I bring my spouse, children and dependents?

Yes you can! The UK Global Talent visa enables you to take your family members with you. Your extended family doesn’t count though. So you can bring your spouse or unmarried partner (if you have been in a serious relationship for at least two years, for instance you can show that you’ve been paying bills and rent together etc.) and any children under 18 years old.

The visa application process for them will be similar to your Stage 2 application, meaning that your loved ones will have to apply directly to the Home Office. They will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for each year that they’re planning to stay in the UK. 

How many of the visas are available?

The Global Talent visa route doesn’t limit the number of applicants. For a ballpark figure, 2,560 visas were granted in this category in 2022.

Previously, before 2020, when this visa was known as the ‘Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa’, there was a cap of 2,000 applicants (though it was never reached).

Do I have to work on the Global Talent visa?

No, you don’t! You will have the freedom to decide: find a job, launch your own business or provide paid consultations.

Just remember, when applying for settlement after 3 or 5 years, you’ll need to demonstrate ongoing engagement in the same field. For instance, you could use your employment contract as proof that you’re still in digital technologies—or any evidence that aligns with the area you received your Global Talent endorsement for.

Can I apply for Global Talent visa while in the UK?

In most cases, yes.

For example, if you are currently on a Skilled Worker visa, you can switch to the Global Talent route (given that you comply with the requirements). If you’re currently in the UK on a Student visa, you must have completed your course (or studied for a PhD for at least 24 months).

Ukranian citizens who came to the UK under one of the UK Home Office Schemes in 2022-2023 should also have no problem switching to this visa.

However, there are some visas that are not eligible for such switch:

  • visit visa
  • short-term student visa
  • Parent of a Child Student visa
  • seasonal worker visa
  • domestic worker / private household visa

Do I have to re-apply to extend my stay in the UK?

No, you normally don’t have to re-apply for both stages. Some people prefer to get the Global Talent visa (ex Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa) for 1 or 2 years initially even if their endorsement covers 3 or 5 years. When the 1-year period finishes, you can extend your visa by submitting the documents for Stage 2 bypassing Stage 1. Learn more about extending your visa here.

Are there any drawbacks to the UK Global Talent visa?

The main downside is that applicants shoulder the administrative burden.

Another disadvantage of UK visas compared to certain European countries is the relatively high fees. For instance, if you are applying for a family of three – you as the main applicant under Exceptional Promise (5-year visa), along with your spouse and one child – the total cost would be approximately £10,460. This breaks down to £1869 for all three visa applications, £6240 for you and your spouse’s IHS (health surcharge), and £2350 for your child’s IHS.

Also, for certain endorsement routes, there’s no guaranteed outcome (especially peer review). Also, be prepared for the time it might take to get your endorsement application ready.

Is there an English language requirement? Do I need an IELTS for the Global Talent visa?

No, there is no language requirement for this visa. You do not need to pass any IELTS or PTE exams. 

How do you write CVs and LinkedIn profiles for Global Talent?

Our Global Talent packages include a perfect CV & LinkedIn profile. This service is performed in 4 stages:

1. CV formatting

We change the layout of your resume according to what employers want to see using our template that captures the best practice and years of our consultants’ experience.

2. Writing the compelling content

Wondering who actually writes the CV? We do. But to get from a blank page to a finalised document, we need your input and answers to our questions about your experience. First, we define your responsibilities and achievements, find correct job titles in English/German, highlight key competencies and add keywords to resonate with an employer in seconds. It then takes 2-3 rounds of iterations to produce a compelling CV.

3. Proofreading

Our native proofreaders check your CV for errors – your CV has to be mistake-free. We then send you the final version in a word doc format so you can adjust it to any relevant roles. Our clients often say, “I cannot believe that my experience and achievements sound so impressive!”

4. LinkedIn profile optimisation notes

Based on the proofread resume, we send you instructions on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile in English. The instructions cover every little detail, from URL and overall settings to every section of your profile. Once you have updated your LinkedIn profile, we will look through it again to make sure you did everything correctly and provide further improvement recommendations when needed.

Alternatively, you could give us temporary access to your LinkedIn account, and we’ll update everything for you.

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