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Global Talent visa: overview

The Global Talent visa is a UK immigration category for talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK. It replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa in February 2020.

To be considered for entry under the Global Talent visa, applicants must gain an endorsement from one of six endorsing bodies engaged by the UK Home Office. 

If you are applying for endorsement in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences or the humanities, or for other academic and research roles, the Home Office will refer your application to the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which will make an endorsement decision based on the evidence you provide. 

If you are applying for endorsement in non-academic fields of arts and culture and digital technology, your application will be referred to Arts Council England or Tech Nation, which follow separate endorsement criteria. Please see Appendix Global Talent of the Immigration Rules and the guidance on GOV.UK for further information.

If endorsement is granted, the final immigration decision rests with the Home Office.

Researchers applying for a Global Talent visa

There are four routes for eligible academics and researchers to obtain endorsement for a Global Talent visa: 

  1. Academic and research appointments – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have accepted a position at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute with responsibility either for academic, research or innovation leadership and development, or for directing or leading an individual or team research or innovation project or programme of work. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
  2. Individual fellowships – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.
  3. Endorsed funders – fast-track endorsement for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI. In order to be eligible, researchers must be hosted or employed by an eligible institution approved by UKRI.

    *Temporary concession for researchers working on COVID-19 grants* 
    International academics and researchers wishing to work on COVID-19 related research grants can apply for a Global Talent visa via the endorsed funder route under relaxed criteria until 31 July 2021. Find out more.  
  4. Peer review – standard endorsement for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.

Our applicant decision tree will help you identify which route may be most appropriate for you.

For the endorsed funders route, UKRI will review applications from any academic or research discipline. For the other three routes, you must select the appropriate endorsing body based on your field of research. 

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.

The full list of eligible disciplines and sub-disciplines per endorsing body is available on GOV.UK.

For queries, please see frequently asked questions or email cbrs@royalsociety.org.

These pages were last updated on 6 April 2021

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