The Global Talent Visa is an attractive route towards Permanent Residence in the UK for eligible applicants working in the field of science, engineering, humanities and the arts. It is open to individuals who demonstrate an aptitude to be world-leading or internationally recognised in their field.

The Global Talent Visa replaces what was formerly known as the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent (or Promise) Visa.

Who is eligible for a Global Talent Visa?

You may apply for this route if you are 18 or over and showcase an exceptional promise or have exceptional talent in one of the following fields:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Academia or Research
  • Digital Technology
  • Science or Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Fashion
  • Film, Television
  • Architecture

Full guidance for each field is available on the home office website.

Global Talent Visa requirements

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are either a recognised or emerging leader in their field. While documents required will depend on the nature of your application and the evidence required by your endorsing body, documents you will need to provide can include:

  • A passport
  • A comprehensive CV outlining your key achievements
  • Three letters of recommendations from peers or supervisors, confirming your achievements and outlining how you can continue contributing to the field in the UK
  • Up to 10 pieces of evidence to support the application and highlight your achievements
  • Confirmation of any grant you have received, if applicable

A medical test (tuberculosis) may also be required depending on your country of residence. Note that any documents that are not in English will need to be translated prior to your application.

Examples of our successful clients’ cases:

  • Assisted a Chinese tech entrepreneur, specialising in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, to successfully obtain a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. We helped him secure endorsement from Tech Nation as a candidate of Exceptional Promise and with his visa application.
  • Successfully represented a C-suite Canadian client with her Exceptional Talent endorsement and Global Talent Visa application

What is an exceptional talent?

Showcasing an exceptional talent means that the applicant has a proven track record of being a recognised leader in their field or have made a significant contribution. This could involve:

  • Being an active researcher in a relevant field e.g. university
  • Having a PhD or equivalent research experience
  • Providing a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person residing in the UK supporting the visa application – they must be familiar with your work and your contribution to the field, qualified to assess your claim to be a world leader in your field
  • Being a member of your national academy or a foreign member of academies of other countries
  • Being awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize
  • Providing a written recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field. The dated letter must be written by an authorised senior member of the organisation, such as Chief-Executive, Vice-Chancellor, or similar, on official paper

What is a promised talent?

An exceptional promise (or promised talent) means that applicants can be earlier in their careers but have already shown potential to make significant contributions as a future leader in their fields. This could mean:

  • Being an active researcher in a relevant field e.g. university
  • Having a PhD or equivalent research experience
  • Providing a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person residing in the UK supporting the visa application – they must be familiar with your work and your contribution to the field, qualified to assess your claim to be a world leader in your field
  • Being at an early stage in your career
  • Being awarded, hold or have held in the past five year, a prestigious UK-based Research Fellowship, or an international Fellowship or advanced research post judged by the competent body to be of equivalent standing

Endorsing Bodies for the Global Talent Visa

To apply for a Global Talent Visa, applicants will first need to secure endorsement from the relevant Endorsing Body:

  1. Tech Nation: Covers a range of technical and business skills in the digital technology sector.
    • Examples of technical skills include: Principal software engineers/developers, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning experts (AI, NLP, ML), Hardware engineers and Cybersecurity experts, etc.
    • Examples of business skills include: Experience in leading substantial VC investment over £25m GBP, Experience as a commercial / business lead (P&L, growth, sales and distribution strategy) in a digital business, Experience in expanding or growing a significant product-led digital technology business, Experienced Product Manager, etc.
  2. Arts Council England: Considers Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise applications from the following disciplines: dance, music, theatre, visual arts (including museums and galleries), literature and combined arts and more.
  3. The British Academy: Covers a range of disciplines from economics, history to law and many more.
  4. The Royal Academy of Engineering: For engineering applications.
  5. The Royal Society: For natural sciences and medical science research applications. Covers a range of disciplines from pure mathematics to conducting clinical research in genetics and many more.
  6. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI): For applications from all research fields, supported by a grant or award from an endorsed funder.

QC Immigration can help with both your endorsement and Global Talent Visa application, and provide support at all stages of the process.

How to apply

There are two steps in the application process: obtaining endorsement (stage 1) and the immigration application (stage 2).

Stage 1: Apply to the Home Office for endorsement as a leader or an emerging leader in your field.
Stage 2: Apply for the visa.

All Global Talent Visa applications are done online, but how you apply will depend on whether you are:

  • Outside the UK
  • Inside the UK and extending your current visa
  • Inside the UK and switching from a different visa

You can find more details on the home office website. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help with your application and our expert team will be happy to help.

Global Talent Visa costs

A Global Talent Visa application costs £623. If you are including a partner or a child in the application, this cost will apply to each individual.

If you are applying based on an endorsement, you can pay in two parts (£456 for the endorsement application and £167 for the visa itself).

If you are applying based on an eligible award, the full cost is paid when applying for the visa.

A healthcare surcharge fee is also due as part of your application. This is usually £624 per year per applicant, and can be paid online on the Home Office website. You can check how much you need to pay here.

Application waiting times

While waiting times can vary, a decision is expected to be given within 3 weeks if you are outside the UK and 8 weeks if you are in the UK. A well-presented case usually helps the home office make a decision faster.

Additional fees can be paid in order to get a decision faster through a ‘priority service’ which can cost an extra £500 for a decision within 5 working days or £800 for the next working day.

How we can help

Whether you are looking for help with endorsements, gathering the required documents to prepare your application or would like our expert lawyers to take you through the whole visa application process, the QC Immigration team have a wealth of experience and a solid track record of helping clients successfully submit visa applications. Get in touch if you would like to discuss your case.


How can I obtain an endorsement for my application?

There are 6 different endorsing bodies depending on what your field is: the Arts Council of England, The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Tech Nation, the British Academy and the UK Research and Innovation. If you are applying for a visa based on an endorsement you will need to pay a fee to the relevant body before applying to the Home Office.

How long does it take for an endorsing body to reach a decision?

Subject to submitting all the relevant documents within the required time and no further enquiries being raised by the endorsing body, the application will be decided within 28 days.

How early can I apply for the Global Talent Visa?

You should apply within three months of receiving the letter of endorsement from the Home Office and the application can be made up to three months before you intend to travel to the United Kingdom.

How long does it take to get a Global Talent Visa?

Once you have applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, a decision on a Global Talent Visa will usually take 3 weeks if you’re outside the UK, or 8 weeks if you’re inside the UK. You can check the Home Office guide processing times to find out how long obtaining a visa might take in your country here.

How long can I stay in the UK with a Global Talent Visa?

A Global Talent Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 5 years.

Can I work on the Global Talent Visa?

Yes, you can be self-employed, work for an employer or be the director of a company in the field you were endorsed. You can change jobs without informing the Home Office as long as you continue working in the field you were endorsed.

Can I bring my family with me to the UK?

Yes, you can bring your dependants to the UK which are: your partner (spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner), child under the age of 18 and/or if your child is over 18 years of age, he/she should be currently residing in the UK.

Can I extend a Global Talent Visa?

If you meet the requirements for this visa, you can renew it before it expires – there is no limit to how many times you can renew the Global Talent Visa. An extension can last from 1 to 5 years, depending on how long you need your visa to last. After 3 or 5 years you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain so you can consider other routes if you are looking to settle in the UK.

Can I switch to the Global Talent route?

Yes, you can switch to the Global Talent category within the United Kingdom if you were granted leave to remain in either: Tier 1, Tier 2 (now the Skilled Worker, or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker), Start-up or Innovator category.

How long after obtaining the Global Talent Visa can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

You can apply for ILR after living and working in the UK on this visa for at least 3 years as a recognised leader (‘exceptional talent’) or at least 5 years as an emerging leader (‘exceptional promise’).

My Global Talent Visa was refused. What can I do?

In the case that your endorsement application would be refused, you may request a review of your application. Usually, this would involve appealing to the Home Office which in turn will consult with the endorsing body. You have 28 days following a refusal to submit a review request.

All information correct at the time of writing.

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