Visit the UK on a Global Talent Visa

If you are at least 18 years old and have a background as a leader (or potential leader) within research, academia, arts and culture, or digital technology, you may be eligible to visit the UK to work on a Global Talent visa for up to 5 years. 

The visa can be extended as many times as you like, providing that you extend it before it expires. 

In some cases, you might become eligible to settle in the UK indefinitely after just 3 years with the Global Talent visa, depending on your field of work. This will give you the right to live, work, and study for as long as you like and gives you permission to apply for public benefits that you are eligible for. 

To qualify to apply for the Global Talent visa, you will either need to have won an eligible award or received an endorsement by an organisation approved by the Home Office to prove that you are a leader (or potential leader) within your field.

Global Talent Visa requirements – academia and research

You can work in the UK in research or academia on a Global Talent visa if you are a leader (or potential leader) in one of the following fields:

  • science
  • medicine
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • social science

and meet one of the following requirements: 

  • have an eligible job offer as a researcher or academic
  • have an individual fellowship
  • have a research grant, approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • an eligible award

If you do not meet any of the above requirements, you may still apply by having your application peer-reviewed, but your application will take longer.

Global Talent Visa requirements – arts and culture

You can work in the UK in arts and culture on a Global Talent visa, if you are a leader (or potential leader) in one of the following fields:

  • combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre, or visual arts (including museums and galleries)
  • architecture
  • fashion design
  • film and television, including animation, post production and visual effects

Global Talent Visa requirements – digital technology

You can work in the UK in digital technology on a Global Talent visa, if you are a leader (or potential leader) in one of the following fields:

  • financial technology (‘fintech’)
  • gaming
  • cyber security
  • artificial intelligence

You don’t need a job offer from the UK to be approved for a visa in this sector, but you would usually have to have a background in one of the following technical or business skills:

Technical skills
  • Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning experts (AI, NLP, ML)
  • CTO or VP engineering experience managing teams of in-house employees at a growing digital business
  • Cybersecurity experts
  • DevOps / SysOps engineers
  • Experienced back end developers leading development of or contributing heavily to major new technologies or open source projects (for example, blockchain, Scala, Golang, Elasticsearch and so on)
  • Experienced data scientists/data engineers
  • Experienced front-end developers
  • Experienced Mobile App developers
  • Experienced UX/UI designers
  • Experienced video game developers
  • Hardware engineers
  • Operating systems engineers
  • Principal software engineers/developers
  • Virtual and augmented reality developers
Business skills
  • Experience as a commercial / business lead (P&L, growth, sales and distribution strategy) in a digital business
  • Experience as C Suite in a SMEs + (CEO, CMO, CIO) or head of operations for a digital business
  • Experienced and senior VC or PE analysts with track records of leading investments in digital businesses
  • Experience of expanding or growing a significant product-led digital technology business
  • Experience of leading substantial VC investment over £25m GBP
  • Experienced Product Manager
  • Performance marketing experts, performed in house for digital businesses
  • SaaS or enterprise sales leadership for digital services
  • Sector-specific experience for example, payment infrastructure in FinTech / international expansion in EdTech and so on.
  • Solution sales experts
  • Solution sales skills performed for a growing B2B digital business (i.e. not big-company experience)

Global Talent Visa application process

If you have received an eligible award, or have successfully applied for an endorsement and meet the requirements, you can apply for the Global Talent visa online.

If you have to apply for an endorsement prior to lodging your visa application, you usually receive the decision on the endorsement within 5-8 weeks.

When it’s time to lodge the application for the visa itself, you can expect to hear back from the Home Office within 3 weeks if you are applying from outside the UK and 8 weeks if you are applying inside the UK. 

You will need to supply the Home Office with certain documents to prove your eligibility. These include, but may not be limited to:

  • An official document showing your nationality and identity (e.g. a valid passport)
  • If you are from a country where you have to take a tuberculosis test, you will need to provide your (TB) test results
  • A certified translation of your documents if they are not in English or Welsh 
  • If you are from outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you will need to supply a blank page in your passport for this visa
  • If you have won an eligible award, you do not need to provide any evidence unless the information is not publicly available online

If you are not eligible for a Global Talent visa, you may be eligible to apply for another type of UK work visa, such as the Skilled Worker Visa.

Global Talent Visa costs

The application fee for a Global Talent visa is £716 (amount subject to change) if you are applying based on an eligible award. 

The fee will be divided into two parts if you are applying based on an endorsement: £524 when you apply for the endorsement and £192 when you apply for the visa itself.

If you intend to bring your partner and/or children on your Global Talent visa, each family member will also have to pay the full fee of £716. 

In addition to the visa fee, you will have to pay a healthcare surcharge for each person applying and for each year that the visa/s will be valid.

If you’re unsure if this visa is right for you or how to apply, or have any other questions, you can seek advice from one of our qualified migration experts.

Neveen Galal

Neveen is a UK Immigration Solicitor with over 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law. She represents corporate and individual clients seeking assistance with any visa category to the UK. Neveen is a graduate of Westminster University, from which she was awarded the 2021 Westminster Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.

Neveen’s rapid career trajectory saw her progress at pace from paralegal to Head of Department level, and then to earning a place on her firm’s Board of Directors by the age of 28. This achievement was recognised by Who’s Who placing her in their directory of ‘Britain’s Business Elite’ in 2008. Neveen then went on to establish her own boutique Immigration Law Firm in the City of London in 2015. She also co-founded the Hexagon Legal Network in 2017.

Neveen is passionate about all aspects of UK immigration law, and is committed to providing bespoke residence and citizenship solutions to citizens across the globe that wish to relocate to the UK. Neveen’s immigration advisory services are predominately geared towards highly skilled workers and companies wishing to have a UK presence, however she and her team of experienced immigration advisors can also assist with partner-based applications, student visas and all other personal and business immigration matters.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.