Overview of the Global Talent visa

The Global Talent visa is part of the governments commitment to put science, research and innovation at the top of its agenda allowing researchers, academics and other specialists to work and live in the UK. Global Talent replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa on the 20 February 2020.

The application process consists of two separate stages: 

Stage 1: Firstly applying for, and obtaining, endorsement from one of the six endorsing bodies engaged by the Home Office 

Stage 2: Visa application 

Academic & research criteria - Stage 1

There are five ways to obtain Stage 1 endorsement. Once submitted a decision is normally received within 1 week for fast track applications and 5 weeks for standard.

  • Academic and research appointments (fast-track) - endorsement for individuals who have accepted a job in which they will have responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership, or are an emerging leader. This includes but is not limited to Professor, Associate Professor and Senior Group Leaders appointments. The appointment must be at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute. Certain recruitment requirements must also be met. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society. 
  • 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 5 years. 
  • Endorsed funders (fast-track) –  endorsement for researchers and specialists, employed or hosted by a department, faculty or college, whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI.  
  • Peer-reviewed application (standard) – endorsement application for individuals who meet all eligibility criteria and demonstrate they are proven leader within their field of expertise (Exceptional Talent) or have the potential to become a leader within their field of expertise (Exceptional Promise). The application is assessed by fellows at the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.
  • Hold a named prize (stage 2 visa application only) - Individuals who hold a prestigious prize are eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa without the need to obtain the Stage 1 endorsement.

Full Stage 1 endorsement criteria 

More information about the criteria for academic and research, the arts and digital technology can be found on our endorsement page

Staff Immigration Team support

The Staff Immigration Team (SIT) can legally represent applicants submitting a Stage 1 endorsement application under the academic & research and endorsed funder criteria. In exceptional circumstances the team can support a peer-review application, but this should be discussed in advance with SIT. 

The department, faculty or college should download and complete the Global Talent internal form. This form along with the required supporting documents should be secured with 7-zip and emailed to your Staff Immigration Advisor.

Where a person has secured an eligible individual fellowship on the list or hold a prestigious prize and will be engaged with a department, faculty or college, are encouraged to apply for the Global Talent endorsement themselves. SIT is happy to provide advice and signpost to the relevant guidance, where possible.

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For information on the costs involved, please see the Global Talent cost page 


The Global Talent visa allows flexibility to

  • work in the UK without restrictions, for example there is no restrictions on the hours, salary or place of work (but cannot take employment as a doctor or dentist in training unless specified or a professional sports person).
  • Take periods of unpaid leave, sabbatical, change employment or take up secondary work, consultancy, or collaborations.

Visa duration

The visa duration is not tied to the contract of employment, fellowship or grant length.  At Stage 2 (visa application) applicants can choose a 1 to 5 year visa duration.

There is no limits on extension applications subject to meeting the criteria. An extension application can be submitted from within the UK or overseas.

Stage 2 visa application

Generally the Stage 2 visa application is straight forward to complete. There is no English language or maintenance requirements as seen in other visa routes.

Applications can be made to switch into Global Talent from within the UK if the applicant holds a valid visa unless they hold a visitor, short-term student, parent of a child visitor, seasonal worker, domestic worker or they are outside the Immigration Rules. 

Indefinite Leave to Remain 

The route leads to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain).

Applicants under the academic & research endorsement routes, may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain after a shorter period of 3 years. Although dependants require 5 years residency to be eligible.

It is possible for individuals who switch from Skilled Worker (previously Tier 2) into Global Talent to combine the time spent under these visa routes to meet the qualifying period for Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

See Global Talent ILR for further information on the requirements.