The Global Talent Visa UK is for exceptionally talented and promising individuals in the fields of academia or research, arts and culture or digital technology who wish to work in the UK.

The UK’s Global Talent visa opened for applications in February 2020, replacing the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. 

If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and have started living in the UK before 1st January 2021,
you may be able to apply to the free EU settlement scheme instead. If you are not eligible, you will need to apply for a visa to work in the UK.

The UK’s Global Talent visa opened for applications in February 2020, replacing the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. 

If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and have started living in the UK before 1st January 2021, you may be able to apply to the free EU settlement scheme instead. If you are not eligible, you will need to apply for a visa to work in the UK.

How to qualify for the Global Talent Visa

To apply for a global talent visa to work in the UK, you must be over 18 years old and be a leader or a potential leader in one of the following fields

  • science
  • research
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • social science
  • medicine 
  • architecture
  • digital technology
  • arts and culture
  • fashion
  • film and television

To prove that you are a leader or show exceptional promise, you must first apply for an endorsement within your field.

Advantages of the Global Talent Visa vs Skilled Worker Visa

The Global Talent Route is more flexible than the previous Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. There is no longer a cap, or restriction on the number of people who are allocated this visa. Many applicants are able to attain ILR after only 3 years on this route, and are not tied to an employer/ sponsor as in the Skilled Worker Route. There are no language or minimum salary requirements

How it works

Stage 1: Endorsement application

Obtaining an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsing body is the most complex stage of the application process. This is where having an experienced immigration lawyer can be useful, as it is important to apply to the correct endorsing body.

The approved endorsing bodies for the Global Talent route are:

Stage 2: Visa application

Once your endorsement has been accepted by an organisation that is approved by the Home Office, you must apply within 3 months of receiving the endorsement. It is also important to know that if the organisation endorsing you has withdrawn the approval, you will no longer be able to apply for a global talent visa.

You can apply for this visa online before you travel to the UK. You will need to provide supporting documents and your endorsement. 

As part of your online application, you will need to prove your identity.  

You will either book an appointment at a visa application centre to have your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) taken, or you may be able to scan your identity document with the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.


Applicants who hold a qualifying prestigious prize can fast track the endorsement application and instead make a single visa application.

Winners of awards across a range of fields from music, dance, fashion, architecture and social sciences, music and the film industry can take advantage of the new reforms to the Global Talent route.

Science, technology, engineering and maths

  • Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Chemistry, Economic Science and Medicine
  • Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
  • Fields Medal
  • Turing Award


  • Brit Award – International Male/Female
  • Mobo – Best International Act
  • Grammys – Lifetime Achievement Award

Film, TV and theatre

  • Various Academy Award and Golden Globe categories
  • Bafta – Best Film Actress/Actor/Director
  • Tony Awards and Olivier Awards

Arts & literature

  • Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
  • Hugo Boss Prize
  • Nobel Prize – Literature


Upon being granted the permission to enter the UK, you may be able to have your partner and children join you if they are eligible.

If you are applying from outside the UK, you will need to apply for your visa before your partner and children can make their own separate applications as they will need your Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN).

If you are applying from inside the UK, you can apply for your dependant’s visa at the same time as you apply to extend or switch your own visa.


  • You can work for an employer, the director of a company, or be self-employed in the field you were endorsed
  • If a company wishes to employ you, they do not have to hold a UK Sponsor Licence
  • You are free to change jobs without having to tell the Home Office.
  • You can choose not to work, if you do not intend to extend your stay or settle in the UK.
  • You can study.
  • You can travel abroad and return to the UK.
  • You can bring family members with you as dependants.
  • You can apply for settlement after five years if you enter the UK on the Exceptional Promise route or three years if you gain a Global Talent visa.


  • You cannot apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension.
  • You cannot work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
  • You cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training (unless certain circumstances apply).


Global Talent Visa

Application times vary, as you need to first prove that you are a leader or potential leader in your field by applying for an endorsement. 

You must apply for the Global Talent Visa within 3 months of receiving an endorsement. Once you apply online, you should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

You can apply for Priority Service if it is available in your country. There is a cost to get a quicker decision – this depends on each individual visa application centre.

  • Priority Service: Collection within 5 working days.
  • Super Priority Service: Collection within 24 hours.

The Global Talent Visa is valid for five years. Thereafter you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). 

There is also a fast-track option to apply for ILR after 3 years.

You can switch to the Global Talent Visa if you meet the eligibility before your current visa expires.

You cannot apply to switch from within the UK on one of the following visas:

  • Visitor visa
  • Short-term student visa
  • Parent of a Child Student visa
  • Seasonal worker visa
  • Domestic worker in a private household visa
  • immigration bail
  • if you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds

Each period of stay in the UK on this visa is for 5 years, but there is no limit on the amount of time you can stay if you can prove that you have earned money in the field that you received your endorsement. 

Conversely, you can apply for a shorter visa to reduce the health surcharge cost. 

It costs £608 to apply. You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application – this is usually £624 per year for each person applying.

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  1. A valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality.
  2. Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test.
  3. If you’ve had an award or scholarship to study in the UK in the last year, you’ll also need written permission to apply from the agency or government that granted it.
  4. You need a blank page in your passport for your visa if you’re:
  • from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland
  • from the EU, EEA or Switzerland but do not have a biometric passport with a chip in it

    If you’ve won an eligible award, the Home Office will look at publicly available information to confirm that you’ve won. You’ll only be asked for evidence of your win if they cannot find this.


There are many requirements to be met to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration. The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the evidentiary documents that must be provided.

Woodcock Law is well placed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on making a UK Global Talent Visa application. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous, but we can assist you in your application.

We recommend getting in touch with us on 020 7712 1590 for our expert advice on such an application before any action is taken.

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on


Woodcock Law & Notary Public is the combined trading name of Woodcock Law Limited (Co. No: 12080697) and Woodcock Notary Public Limited (Co. No: 12085976). Woodcock Law Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (registration number 664924). Woodcock Notary Public Limited is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury for work undertaken by Mr Nathan Woodcock as a Notary Public. Woodcock Law Limited is a member of Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. (Membership Number: 7980).

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