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Frequently asked questions

What if I have already obtained an endorsement under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)?

The Global Talent visa replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category on 20 February 2020. Guidance for existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa holders is available from GOV.UK. This includes details on transitional arrangements for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicants.

Am I eligible to apply for the Global Talent visa?

We invite potential candidates to refer to the Home Office Guidance for the Global Talent visa and Global Talent Immigration Rules to consider whether and how they meet the criteria. Unfortunately, we cannot provide advice to individual applicants beyond that contained here.

Do I need a visa if I am a EEA or Swiss national?

Under the terms of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, non-UK nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland remain eligible to work in the UK without a visa for the duration of the transition period which is scheduled to end on 31 December 2020. Different immigration arrangements are expected to be put in place after this date and applicants are advised to check GOV.UK for updates. 

Does the Global Talent visa have any restrictions based on nationality?

There are no nationality-based restrictions for the Global Talent visa, which is open to all non-EEA citizens. In addition, the UK has specific arrangements for Croatian citizens, who can apply for endorsement for a blue registration certificate using the same process as the Global Talent visa. More information on nationality restrictions is available at GOV.UK.

Is the Global Talent visa right for me?

Each potential applicant is best placed to assess whether the Global Talent visa is right for them, dependant on their circumstances. Unfortunately we cannot advise on the suitability of the Global Talent visa or any of the four routes for individual applicants beyond the general guidance (see applicant decision tree). Please note that other visa options for researchers exist in addition to this category with more information available on GOV.UK.

What is the application process?

Details are set out in the Home Office Guidance

Do I need a job offer to be eligible?

No, you don’t necessarily need a job offer. The Global Talent visa allows you to work and change employers, or to be self-employed, without the need for further authorisation or to be employed a specific post. Specific application details for each of the four endorsement routes under the Global Talent category are available elsewhere on these web pages.

I am currently in the UK on a different visa, can I switch to the Global Talent visa?

You can apply to switch to a Global Talent visa if you are already in the UK on a different Tier 1 visa or a Tier 2 visa. If you are on a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa on an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers you can also apply to switch. Information on switching to the Global Talent visa can be found on GOV.UK.

How long does it take to be assessed for endorsement?

The Home Office advises that Stage 1 of the application process (i.e. the application for endorsement) for the Global Talent visa can take up to eight weeks from the time the Home Office receives your application. Within these eight weeks, the relevant endorsing body will have up to 25 working days to review your application. For applications eligible for the accelerated process for specific peer-reviewed fellowships (Route 2) or senior academic or research appointments (Route 1), the endorsing bodies will make a recommendation on endorsement to the Home Office within 14 working days. 

Please note that, if endorsed, Stage 2 of the application process for the Global Talent visa (i.e. the application for the visa) will still need to be completed. The Home Office advises that Stage 2 of the application process can take around three weeks if applying from outside of the UK, and up to eight weeks if applying from within the UK. Applications for Stage 2 can be submitted in person at a Premium Service Centre (PSC) in the UK or via priority or super priority services outside of the UK (where applicable). Please note however that PSC submission is not available for Stage 1 and if you submit a Stage 1 application at the PSC it will be rejected.

Would the Global Talent visa allow me to work in industry?

Yes, successful applicants are eligible to work in industry after the award of their visa. Note that under the endorsed funder route administered by UKRI you cannot be employed or hosted by industry at the time of your application. Research experience gained in industry will be taken into account when assessing your application. Applicants who want to set up and run a business in the UK, may also want to consider the Start-Up visa or Innovator visa.

Does the Global Talent visa allow me to undertake research overseas?

Yes. Any time spent outside the UK for the purpose of research does not count towards the 180 day annual limit for absences in the context of applying for settlement.

What is Exceptional Promise?

Under standard endorsement by full peer review (Route 4), the Exceptional Promise sub-route is intended for applicants who have demonstrated potential to contribute significantly as a future leader in their research field in an academic or industry setting.

Applicants who choose to apply under this part of the route will typically be individuals/researchers towards the start of their career and on a steep career trajectory. As future leaders they will be outstanding researchers on a clear route to independence and/or leadership having already demonstrated the ability to innovate, and drive advances (and/or translation) in their field of research. 

The route does not specify a minimum number of years of postdoctoral/research experience, in recognition of variations in career paths (including time away from research) and career progression.

Please note that the endorsing bodies cannot advise individual potential applicants on whether they should apply for the Global Talent visa and any particular route. 

Can the endorsing bodies advise me on my application or my supporting documents prior to submission?

We are unable to review your documents prior to submission. Please ensure that you read the Home Office guidance and supporting material on the endorsing bodies’ websites carefully. Sending your application to one of the endorsing bodies before submission will not increase your chances of endorsement.

What type of evidence should I submit to meet the eligibility and assessment criteria?

The endorsing bodies are unable to advise on the suitability of applicants’ documents ahead of their application being submitted for review. For applications submitted under the standard route 4, individual applicants are best placed to identify which evidence and documentation demonstrates their skills and experience in the best possible way. For applications submitted under the fast-track routes 1,2 and 3, applicants should pay close attention to evidence requirements set out in the Global Talent Immigration Rules

I want to apply under the full peer review route. What types of recommendation letters should I provide?

Please ensure that recommendation letters are in line with the Home Office Guidance and Immigration Rules and on letter headed paper.

The mandatory letter of personal recommendation (Exceptional Talent/Exceptional Promise) should be from an eminent person resident in the UK. The person must be familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and qualified to assess your claim of Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise. It should be dated and include:

  • how the eminent person knows you;
  • your achievements in the specialist field;
  • how, in the opinion of the eminent person, you exhibit Exceptional Talent;
  • how you would benefit from living in the UK; and
  • the contribution you would make to UK research excellence and to wider society.

Please ensure that the letter is as detailed as possible. The more detail that is provided the better in determining why the referee believes you meet the criteria for Exceptional Talent/Promise. The qualifying letter of recommendation (for Exceptional Talent) should be from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field. The letter must be signed, dated and presented on headed paper and be written by an authorised senior member of the organisation, such as a Chief Executive, Vice-Chancellor, Director of Human Resources, or similar. 

I want to apply under the full peer review route. What do you mean by ‘eminent’ person for the letter of personal recommendation?

The letter of personal recommendation should be from an individual with internationally recognised expertise in the applicant’s field.

Where do I send my application?

To submit your application, you will need to complete the Home Office application forms available on GOV.UK. There is a single link for the Stage 1 application form regardless of your current residence. For Stage 2, there are two different forms depending on whether you are applying within the UK or from outside the UK. Payment should be made to the Home Office when applying online.

How do I track the progress of my application?

You will receive an update from the Home Office when your payment has been processed. The relevant endorsing body will not provide you with any updates; all correspondence is via the Home Office. For queries relating to the Home Office’s processing of applications, please email GlobalTalentEndorsements@homeoffice.gov.uk.

I need my passport to travel to conferences, when do I need to submit it?

Stage 1 of the application process (i.e. the application for endorsement) for the Global Talent visa is not an immigration application. There is therefore no requirement to submit your passport at this stage and you can travel while your application is under consideration. If endorsed, you will then be required to submit your passport at Stage 2 of the application process (the application for the visa itself) when the Home Office will consider immigration aspects of your application. You must apply for Stage 2 within three months of gaining your endorsement.

What if I don’t meet the requirements?

If you don’t meet the requirements for the Global Talent visa, there are other visa categories available. All work visas are listed on GOV.UK.

I have a legal question, can you put me in touch with a lawyer?

The endorsing bodies are unable to put you in touch with legal representatives.

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