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31 March 2021

How to obtain a Global Talent visa

Introduced in February 2020 to replace the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route, the Global Talent visa is thought to be simply a rebranding of the Exceptional Talent visa. However, there are several key differences between the Global Talent visa and its predecessor.

For example, it has no cap on the number of people who can enter. Furthermore unlike the Skilled Worker route, a successful applicant will not be tied to a single employer and can obtain indefinite leave to remain after only three years, in some cases. The reason for these incentives is to entice the best and brightest from around the world to the UK.

An applicant must be deemed to have exceptional talent or exceptional promise in their chosen field. An application for Talent will need to evidence that they are already a leader in their specific field, whereas those with Promise will need to evidence they have the potential to become leaders. These fields can be found in Part 1 of the Global Talent Appendix to the Immigration Rules – it spans a surprising array of fields from academics, to tech entrepreneurs to architects and fashion designers.


The most complex part of the process is obtaining an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsing body. Each endorsing body must approve a Global Talent application before a person can apply for a visa. Having an external third-party contribute to the process follows the trend of the Home Office moving responsibility from themselves to third parties for the decision process (see the Skilled Worker route).

An added layer of complexity is that each endorsing body has different criteria. However, to make it more palatable each endorsing body has provided guidance on how they consider applications. We recommend that anyone looking into this route review his or her designated endorsing body’s guidance in detail.


For a successful application you will need a body of work and the endorsement of other leaders in your field. Normally you must submit your CV and at least three letters of recommendation from organisations or individuals who are leaders in your field endorsing your application. You will, depending on the endorsing body, need to submit other evidence of your work to fulfil the body’s mandatory criteria.

Application process

To make an application to an endorsing body will cost an applicant £456 at the time of writing, these fees are reviewed at least once a year. This is applicable to all endorsing bodies. If you are refused you can take the endorsing body’s reasoning behind your refusal and enhance your next application to them; another factor that makes this route more flexible than its predecessor. There is no limit to the number of applications for endorsement.

For this route there is no English language requirement and no financial requirement. In the majority of instances all that is needed is: (i) confirmation of endorsement; (ii) a valid passport; and (iii) a TB test result (if you’re from certain countries).

The most likely reason for any refusal will often arise from the General Ground for Refusal, which can be found in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules. It is important to seek advice if you have ever had any previous immigration refusals or issues.

The application form itself must be filled in online and an in-country application can be made if the applicant has valid permission to stay in the UK, except for certain categories (six exceptions). After submission of the application form, evidence can be submitted in support.


The two main attractions of this route are:

  1. that holders can work freely within their chosen field and can study on a part-time basis; and
  2. Global Talent migrants who continue to satisfy the requirements for an extension and demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of 3 years in the UK whereas most other categories are 5 years.

It should be noted that Global Talent visa holders can bring their Spouse, Civil Partner or Unmarried Partner.  They can also bring their children, providing they are under the age of 18 when they make their first visa application to enter the country.


From our experience to date, this route has what appears to be more traditional paths, which were similar to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route, e.g. tech entrepreneurs. However, we have found that a much greater variety of roles can still meet the requirements.

For any further information about this visa route and advice for an application to an endorsing body please contact Kathryn Bradbury, Head of the Citizenship & Immigration department at Payne Hicks Beach, by email or on 020 7465 4300.

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Kathryn Bradbury
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