International collaboration and mobility is fundamental for good research and innovation. The Academy works to ensure that the UK immigration system is able to support the mobility of talented researchers.
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 on 20 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 Home Office.
If you are applying for endorsement in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences or the humanities, 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 a endorsement decision based on the evidence you provide.
If endorsement is granted, the final immigration decision rests with the Home Office.
The Global Talent Visa allows successful applicants to work in the UK and is granted for a period of up to five years at a time without a sponsor or entry requirements such as language tests and minimum salary thresholds which apply to other UK immigration categories.
Benefits include being able to change roles and employing organisations without permission from the Home Office, enter self-employment, set up a spin-out company, and earn additional income from consultancy or other sources which may or may not relate to the field of research in which the applicant was endorsed. There is no cap on the number of visas granted under this visa category and applicants can choose the length of their visa, initially up to five years with the option to renew multiple times.
In addition, the Global Talent visa comes with considerable advantages for individuals, their partners and their dependants wishing to establish a long-term connection to the UK, including a fast-track to settlement after three years for the main applicant. The visa also allows successful applicants to undertake research overseas without this counting towards the maximum time period allowed for absences in the context of applications for settlement.
Submitting an application
To be considered for entry under the Global Talent Visa, applicants must gain an endorsement from one of six endorsing bodies engaged by the Home Office. There are four routes to obtaining endorsement for a Global Talent visa in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences and the humanities:
- Academic and research appointments - fast-track endorsement for individuals who:
- have responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership and development; or
- direct or lead an individual or team in:
- research project or programme of work; or
- an innovation project or programme of work
- 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 Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.
- 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 eligible institutions named in Annex 2 of the Immigration Rules or on the UKRI Global Talent Visa page.
- 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.
Please see this applicant decision tree to 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, the applicant must select the appropriate endorsing body based on their field of research.
The British Academy reviews applications from the humanities and social sciences, Royal Academy of Engineering covers engineering, and the Royal Society covers the natural and medical sciences.