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Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent visa was created in February 2020 for highly talented individuals wanting to work in the UK. It replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent and Tier 1 Exceptional Promise categories.

The scheme is available to applicants aged 18 or over who are either leaders or potential leaders in their field of expertise. Applicants are classified as either those with exceptional talent (‘leaders’) or exceptional promise (future leaders) in one of the following fields:

  • arts and culture (inclusive of combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre or visual arts);
  • architecture;
  • fashion design;
  • film and television (inclusive of animation, post production and visual effects);
  • digital technology (inclusive of financial technology (‘fintech’), gaming, cyber security and artificial intelligence); and
  • research or academia (inclusive of the fields of science, engineering, medicine and humanities).

Although the Global Talent visa was part of the British Government’s cosmetic visa-rebranding exercise, there are some key differences between the Global Talent visa and the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent and Promise visas. Specifically, Global Talent is more flexible than its predecessors and the cap on the number of visas issued each year has been removed. Further, those who qualify as an exceptional talent are able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after only three years (applicants under exceptional promise need to complete five years in the UK before applying for ILR).

Even though Global Talent is an improvement on the categories that it replaces, the requirements a successful applicant will need to meet are still challenging. How an applicant qualifies is also very specific to the field that they apply under. For example, the academia or research category requirements are completely different to those that apply to arts and culture. Similarly, the requirements under the literature sub-category of arts and culture are completely different to those under the theatre sub-category. As a result, the path to qualification for the Global Talent visa is generally very specific to the individual applicant.

Most applicants will apply using a two-stage process. The first and most complex stage requires an application for an endorsement from an approved endorsing body (for example, The Royal Academy of Engineering for engineering or Arts Council England for combined arts, dance, literature, music, theatre or visual arts). At this stage, applicants will be required to provide specific evidence of their eligibility for an endorsement. This will involve various letters of recommendation as well as more diverse pieces of evidence that could range from press cuttings proving international media recognition to sales projections demonstrating a track record of business acumen.

If the endorsement is approved, the applicant may then move on to the second stage and apply for the visa. This stage is generally very straightforward.

The exception to this rule applies to applicants who have won an eligible, globally recognised award. Examples of recognised ‘prestigious prizes’ include The Booker Prize, an Academy Award, a Fields Medal, a Turing Award, a Nobel Prize and so on. At present there are approximately 160 prestigious prizes that may be used to apply directly for a Global Talent visa without having to first go through the endorsement stage.

Successful applicants may choose the duration of their visa up to a maximum of five years. Once in the UK, the applicant may work in any capacity either as an employee, a sole trader, as a director of their own company or even a combination of all three.

RLegal will guide you through the complex evidential requirements and assist you from start to finish with your endorsement and visa application. We will take the worry out of the process and give you peace of mind.

For more information, please contact us on +44 (0) 20 7038 3980 where you can talk to one of our team, email us at or complete our online form.

Alternatively click on the links below for frequently asked questions.


Both stages of the application process are submitted via the Home Office’s online application form. Once the online form has been submitted, applicants are given access to a dedicated portal service where scans of their supporting evidence can be securely uploaded.

The quoted processing time for an initial endorsement application is between five to eight weeks.

Applications for the second visa stage are typically three weeks when the application is submitted outside of the UK and eight weeks is submitted from within the UK.

Applications can be made by individuals already resident in the UK unless the applicant holds one of the following:

  • a visit visa;
  • a short-term student visa;
  • a Parent of a Child Student visa;
  • a seasonal worker visa;
  • a domestic worker in a private household visa;
  • immigration bail;
  • leave outside the rules, such as on compassionate grounds

The Global Talent visa application fee is £716. If the application is based on an endorsement, the £623 is paid in two parts: £524 for the endorsement application and £192 for the visa application.

In addition to the visa application fee, the applicant will be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge fee. This fee is currently set at £1025 per year for the life of the visa. The total amount payable is dictated by the length of time requested for the visa.

Applicants that were granted on the basis of ‘exceptional talent’ may apply for ILR after being resident in the UK for three years. Applicants granted on the basis of ‘exceptional promise’ will need to complete five years continuous residence in the UK.

If the applicant’s initial visa was for less than three/five years or there has been a break in the continuity of residence, then the applicant may extend their Global Talent visa up to a maximum of five years without leaving the UK.

The grant of either a visa extension or ILR is dependent on the applicant having earned money in the UK during their last period of visa permission under the Global Talent category. Further, the money earned must have been made in the field in which they were previously endorsed or in the field related to the subject matter of their eligible prize. For example, if the applicant had been endorsed under the architecture category but had only earned money as a banker, then they would not qualify for either ILR or for a visa extension.


The spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner as well as and any unmarried children under the age of 18 may accompany the main applicant to the UK.

Dependant family members may work or study in the UK without any restriction.

Dependants will be allowed to remain in the UK for the same period as the main applicant. Dependants will only qualify for ILR once they have completed five-year continuous residence in the UK. This applies even if the main applicant was granted ILR after only three years.

The visa application fee for the dependant of a Global Talent migrant is £623 per applicant. In addition to the visa application fee, all dependants will be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge fee. This fee is currently set at £624 per year for the life of the visa.

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