Who Can Benefit from a UK Global Talent Visa and How to Become a UK Citizen with It?

Brexit has led to significant reforms in the British immigration legislation. One of the reasons why the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union was thought to be a refugee issue. In the foreigners’ eyes, the country just did not want to burden itself socially and financially.

To dispel such myths, the UK has made efforts to prove that qualified foreigners with good education and professional skills are always welcome. The government constantly tries to attract new talents from abroad by creating new visa routes and programs. This article will cover one of such visa categories.

What is UK Global Talent Visa?

UK Global Talent visa was introduced in 2020 to replace a UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. It is aimed for talented people who can make a significant contribution to British culture and science.

The UK is really interested in talented foreign specialists. That’s why, a UK Global Talent visa grants its applicants almost the same benefits as a UK Investor visa with investment exceeding £2,000,000. It does not entail the restrictions as most other visas. For example, a UK Skilled Worker visa is bound to your employer, so you cannot change the job without getting an approval from the Home Office. A UK Student visa is only for education, and UK family visas require a genuine partnership or marriage.

On the contrary, on a UK Global Talent visa, a person can study, work wherever they want, set up business or become a self-employed. Applicants can work in any sphere, not only in the one indicated in the visa application. For example, a designer can get interested in arts and turn into a renowned artist. A business analysist can become a developer or project manager and continue developing their skills as a different specialist.

There is only one requirement: you must have potential and be useful for the society. This is especially important if you want to extend your visa or naturalise.

Who Can Apply for a UK Global Talent Visa?

Everyone has a talent. You just need to find and demonstrate it. Almost any person who is really passionate about their job and want to create something new can get a UK Global Talent visa.

A UK Global Talent visa is issued for specialists from the following fields:

  1. Academia and research
    • Scientists and researchers;
    • Engineers;
    • Humanities scholars;
    • Medical specialists.
  2. Arts and culture
    • Musicians;
    • Dancers;
    • Film directors and anchors;
    • Actors;
    • Designers;
    • Architects;
    • Artists;
    • Photographers;
    • Writers.
  3. Digital technologies
    • FinTech experts;
    • IT security specialists;
    • AI experts;
    • Developers.

If you do not see your specialisation in the list, do not get disappointed. The list is not exhaustive. For example, if you are a marketing expert and thanks to you a certain IT product, scientific project or artist becomes a leader in a particular field, it can also win you a UK Global Talent visa. You must just prove the significance of your contribution.

You can perform some unique activity. In this case, you can also apply for a UK Global Talent visa.

A UK Global Talent visa is divided into two subcategories:

  • Exceptional promise;
  • Exceptional talent.

The Exceptional promise category is for young, prospective specialists with less than five years of experience. The Exceptional talent visa is suitable for renowned industry leaders.

An applicant for the Exceptional talent immigration route gets more chances to obtain a visa if they mentor young specialists and have some relevant awards and achievements. Here is a good analogue: to get enrolled into the Exceptional promise category, you are expected to be nominated for a professional award, while with the Exceptional talent category, you are expected to win. Still, there are no strict requirements, so you can express your talent in any possible way.

How Long Is a UK Global Talent Visa Valid for?

A UK Global Talent visa is issued for maximum of five years. It can be extended as many times as you want. You will be able to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in five or, in some cases, even in three years of stay in the country. If you have a PhD in natural science or humanities, you can apply for residence under an accelerated scheme. In five or six years of stay in the UK, you will be able to get a UK citizenship.

Can I Add My Family to My Application?

If you apply for a UK Global Talent visa, you can add dependants to your application. The UK respects family as a social institution, thus allowing foreigners to relocate with their family members. Your children, partner or spouse will get the same rights as you do. It is one of the major advantages of this immigration route. Your dependants will be able to study, work, run business etc. without any restrictions.

You can add the following family members to your application:

  • Your spouse or partner with whom you have been in relationship for at least two years;
  • Children who are less than 16 years old, including those that were born in the UK;
  • Children above 16 years old who are not married, do not have any source of income and depend on the main applicant.

All dependants get a UK Dependant visa. It is valid for the same period of time as a UK Global Talent visa.

If you want to add your partner to the application, you must prove that you have been living together and have common household. You can use community bills, rental documents, holiday tickets etc. to provide the required evidence.

Obtaining a UK Global Talent Visa

The standard procedure of obtaining a UK Global Talent visa consists of the following steps:

  1. Prepare your case
    This step is not officially recognised, but in reality, it takes most time and efforts. Depending on your expertise and talent, it may last from several days to several years.
    Costs are also difficult to assess. If you collect and prepare all the proofs of appearances by yourself, it will cost you nothing. However, in most cases, applicants prefer to contact professionals to avoid refusal. Immigration advisors know how to prepare and collect the required documents and fill in the application correctly.
  2. Get approval
    All the documents must be submitted to the relevant endorsement body. For example, if you are a project designer, your application will go to the Royal Institute of British Architects. Designers’ applications are assessed by the British Fashion Council while IT specialists’ – by TechNation.
    Application processing usually lasts for about six weeks and costs £456 (including insurance fee as of May 2022). An endorsement letter is valid for three months within which you must complete all the other application procedures.
  3. Obtain your UK Global Talent visa
    With an endorsement letter, you can apply for a UK Global Talent visa. It will take from three to eight weeks before you get your visa. An application fee amounts to £167. Each dependant will cost £623 (£456+£167).

Apart from an endorsement letter, you will have to submit the copy of your and your dependants’ travel passports as well as negative tuberculosis test. You will also need medical insurance that costs £624 for each applicant annually. Thus, if you apply for a UK Global Talent visa adding two dependants to your application and requesting five years of stay in the UK, you will have to pay £9360 for medical insurance (£624*3*5=£9360).

Proving Your Talent

The most difficult part in applying for a UK Global Talent visa is, perhaps, providing the required evidence that you have talent. You had better study the requirements beforehand and decide which achievements can be used for this purpose. If you lack proofs of appearances, try to be more professionally active. For example, you can organize your own exhibition, make a presentation for a significant conference, write an article for a scientific journal etc.

To prove your talent, you need the following:

  • One personal statement – you must explain why you want to relocate to the UK and what benefit you can bring to the country;
  • Three letters of support – confirmation from the leading industry experts that an applicant for a UK Global Talent visa really has talent and has demonstrated it while working on projects highly appraised by the professional community;
  • Up to ten proofs of appearances – most important professional achievements: awards, significant projects, patents etc.

Here is more detailed description of each point.

Personal Statement

In a personal statement, you must specify what you can do and why you want to relocate to the UK. It is better to present a detailed plan of what you are going to do if you get a UK visa.

You must indicate in the statement:

  • whether you already have any bounds with the UK;
  • why you want to develop your talent in the UK;
  • what you are going to work on if you get a UK Global Talent visa;
  • what economic, cultural and scientific benefits you can bring to the country.

There is no official template for a personal statement. You must just try to be as convincing as possible to get a UK Global Talent visa.

Letters of Support

It may be hard to obtain letters of support since you will have to ask almost complete strangers for this. An applicant can, of course, have contacts with the required people and even be on friendly terms with them. But it is an ideal and quite rare case. It often happens that an applicant needs to formally get acquainted with some CEOs to obtain a letter of support, and it may be challenging. However, it is one of the requirements.

You must get three letters of support:

  1. From a British organisation – it must confirm that your activity can be useful for the UK;
  2. From a foreign organisation – your achievements must be internationally recognised. You can even contact an organisation from your country, but it must be present on the international market;
  3. From a recognised industry leader – they must assess your skills and contribution to the relevant field.

Usually, applicants for a UK Global Talent visa write letters of support by themselves while endorsers only approve and sign them.

Endorsers are usually very busy. Of course, everything depends on a person, but CEOs that hardly know you will unlikely want to write a letter of support for you personally. During the meeting with them, you will discuss the points that need to be covered in the letter. The actual writing will be on you.

Though there is no official template for letters of support, there are still some set requirements. For example, you must start it in the following way: “Endorsement under the Global Talent category…”. An endorser will not bother themselves with all these peculiarities. It will again be your responsibility.

An applicant must carefully study all the requirements and sometimes even apply for professional assistance. Experts who work with such documents will check your draft and give you some advice on how to avoid application refusal due to some formal errors.

Each letter of support must state:

  • how an endorser got to know the applicant;
  • what professional skills an endorser sees in the applicant;
  • what contribution the applicant has made to the company where they worked or to the relevant field;
  • what plans the applicant has for the future.

Letters of support are accompanied by the applicant’s CV. It must demonstrate that the applicant has enough expertise and their recommendations are genuine.

Letters are printed on official papers with company logos and signed by endorsers manually.

Proof of Appearances

To demonstrate their talents and significance of their professional contribution, applicants can attach up to ten proofs of appearances to their visa application. They will depend on the field a person works in. For example, scientists can list their discoveries, artistic people – their exhibitions, shows or performances, IT specialists – interesting solutions they developed.

Diplomas and degrees are not usually mentioned since they do not prove directly that you have certain talents. However, if you teach at a university, take part in conferences, launch courses or has written a book, you can mention it as a proof of appearances.

What Should I Do If My Visa Application Is Refused?

Applicants often do not get endorsements from the relevant bodies. Applicant’s achievements can be considered insufficient or not so convincing.

In this case, you can ask the endorsement body about the reasons for refusal and correct the mistakes while re-applying. It will be treated as a new application attempt, so you will have to pay an application fee once again. Good news is that you can re-apply as many times, as you need.

You can also appeal the endorser’s decision if you are sure that you deserve an approval and there was a mistake while processing your application. Note that you will not be able to add any documents to your original package.

You should also keep in mind that you can contact experienced immigration advisors who will help you to detect and solve the problem.

A UK Global Talent visa is a great opportunity to start a new life in the UK, so if you are interested in this immigration route, you really should give it a try.

FAQ About UK Global Talent Visa

How long does it take to get a UK Global Talent visa?

A lot of time is initially spent on gathering evidence to prove your talent.

You must provide enough evidence of your uniqueness, which must be translated into English, properly arranged and presented.

Experienced immigration advisors can usually help you get the visa in 3-6 months. During this time, they prepare all the necessary documents, submit them to the Home Office and get an endorsement letter from an approved body.

Who needs an endorsement letter?

Your talent can be proved if you have won prestigious international awards. Moreover, the UK has regular competitions where talented people are awarded for their achievements.

There are 147 nominations in different areas, listed on the official web page.

That will be enough to prove your talent without an endorsement letter.

Can an approved body refuse to issue an endorsement letter?

They can. It is not an ideal outcome, but if you are 100% sure you are unique you still have chances.

According to the law, you may apply for an endorsement review within 28 days after you get the decision. You can only do it once.

The review will be done by immigration caseworkers. Unfortunately, if you are refused because there is not enough evidence of your talent, you will not be able to provide additional evidence.

There is a chance of your application being reviewed in your favour only if it was a caseworker error while processing your documents or a government-approved endorsing body did not assess your application properly.

We highly recommend contacting immigration advisors, as experience and expertise are required to collect and prepare numerous documents for a UK Global Talent visa application.

Related articles

How Can an IT Professional Relocate to the UK? Visas Leading to Indefinite Leave to Remain Under Review

A lot of IT professionals are thinking about obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Here are the visas that can...

UK ILR: Visa Category You Need to Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain

Before you relocate to the UK, decide in advance what visa you will apply for because not all visa routes allow obtaining an...

Registering a UK Company: All You Need to Know

Many entrepreneurs consider registering a company in the United Kingdom to develop their business internationally. The...