Everything you need to know about UK’s Global Talent Visa

April 12, 2022 by Piotr Messerszmidt

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Right after the United States, the United Kingdom is the second most desirable place to relocate for many specialists. The US immigration laws are very strict, so many talented people are looking to base themselves in the United Kingdom instead. The UK government seized the opportunity, and in 2020 the new visa category was introduced for individuals seeking employment in the United Kingdom, replacing the Tier 1 (exceptional talent) visa category – the Global Talent Visa. 

The Global Talent Visa is an immigration visa for talented and promising individuals from science, humanities, technology, engineering and arts sectors. Unlike the US O-1 visa, it is subjected to less stringent criteria and processing time is much shorter. Read this article to see if you qualify for this option! 

What is Global Talent Visa – requirements and eligibility

Global Talent Visa is open to talented and promising individuals working in science, humanities, technology, engineering and arts sectors. To be considered for this category, the applicant must receive endorsement from one of the six approved endorsing bodies. Approved bodies vary, it depends from which field the applicant derives from. For example, if you are applying in the arts field, you can reach out to the Royal Institute of British Architects. Applying in the tech field, you should obtain an endorsement from the Tech Nation. The list of all approved endorsement bodies can be found on the UK government website. It is important to remember that each of the endorsing bodies have their own endorsement criteria. 

When applying for GTV, the only requirement is to be endorsed in one of the following three categories: 

  1. Exceptional Talent criteria for applicants who have already demonstrated that they have made a significant contribution as a leader to their field;
  2. Exceptional Promise criteria for applicants who may be at an early stage in their careers and have already shown the potential to make significant contributions as a future leader in their field;
  3. Under the UK Research and Innovation endorsed funder option.

Requirements per field:

1. Talent in the arts

To qualify for a UK Global Talent Visa in the fields of arts, you must be an exceptional talent or exceptional promise. To meet this requirement, you should evaluate if:

  • you have acted/sung/played in an event that received publicity, 
  • you are working in the film, television, animation, post-production or visual effects industries,
  • whether you were ever  interviewed directly, 
  • Whether your production received any reviews on the media, 
  • You won an award for any of your work, and 
  • if you have evidence of any media. 

Additionally, make sure that you get a reference from a reputable peer in your industry.

2. Talent from the tech world

To qualify as an exceptional talent or exceptional promise in the tech field, you should consider the following : 

  • Have you got any academic certificates as a software designer or cyber security or a developer or an engineer etc? 
  • Are you a data scientist, experience in Artificial Intelligence, learning expert, Video game developer, UX designer, App developer, Fintech, Biotech etc. 
  • Have you ever raised funds?
  • Have you had product led tech business experience?
  • Are you a solution sales expert?
  • Has your work contributed to the success of a product?
  • Have you ever worked in or set up a Tech company with a product that was in the news or media with an innovative product?

3. Talent from the world of academia

To be considered an exceptional talent or exceptional promise in the field of academia, you must have a PhD degree or a PhD equivalent, your research should have been funded and then published, and your work should have made a significant contribution to the field. 

Advantages and benefits of the Global Talent Visa

Here, we outlined the most important benefits and advantages of the GTV: 

  • Short processing time (It depends on from where you are applying. If you are applying from outside the UK the visa application can take up to three weeks, but if you are applying from within the UK, the visa application process can take up to eight / ten weeks)
  • The government fees are relatively affordable
  • There is no English test required (no IETLS or TOEFL)
  • There is no requirement for financial maintenance
  • GTV allows you to work in any position on the territory of the UK, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 
  • You can work for multiple employers together
  • You don’t need a UK based company to sponsor you
  • You can start your work straight away upon your arrival
  • Within 3 years, you can apply for Indefinite Permanent residency
  • Within 4 years, you can apply for a British citizenship
  • You don’t need to extend your visa every few years
  • You don’t need to invest any funds
  • You spouse and children under the age of 18, can join you (under the UK immigration laws, spouse is not someone you have to be married to – Cohabiting couples are also acceptable, if two years can apply)
  • Your spouse will have a full right to work, and your children will get an access to free education;

Application process

The GTV application process is divided in 3 stages: 

First stage is when you collect your endorsement evidence: materials, eligible prizes and letters evidencing that you are a leader or an emerging leader in your particular field. These documents are submitted to UK Home Office approved endorsement bodies. This stage usually lasts 2 weeks.

Second stage is processing of your endorsement approval and when your application is being submitted. It can take up to 6 weeks to get your endorsement approval. 

In the third stage the visa decision is given. It can take up to 1 month, but with premium processing service, this can be reduced to 5 business days.

Conclusion

Even though the Global Talent Visa requirements are not as stringent as the ones for O-1 visa in the US, it is still extremely competitive and is subjected to a rigorous application process. Our Passright legal team has a long track record of advising our clients in entering the UK through the GTV path. We provide complete assistance in building your successful case. We will happily recommend how to escalate your chances of approval and even assist your referees to draft raving recommendation letters. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

FAQ

  • What is the GTV processing time?

    It depends on from where you are applying. If you are applying from outside the UK the visa application can take up to three weeks, but if you are applying from within the UK, the visa application process can take up to eight / ten weeks.
  • Can I extend my GTV ?

    Yes, your GTV visa can be extended, as long as the endorsement body did not withdraw the endorsement, and you have earned money in the field.