The Global Talent Visa includes a new visa route for researchers who make critical contributions to work supported by grant funding from a recognised funder.
The first phase-recognised funders are:
- UK Research and Innovation, and its councils:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- Economic and Social Research Council
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
- Innovate UK*
- Medical Research Council
- Natural Environment Research Council
- Research England
- Science and Technology Facilities Council
- The Royal Society
- The Royal Academy of Engineering
- The British Academy
- The Academy of Medical Sciences
- Wellcome Trust
- Cancer Research UK
- British Heart Foundation
- National Institute for Health Research
- European Union Horizon 2020 programmes
- European Molecular Biology Organisation
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory
- Human Frontier Science Programme
- International Institute for Applied System Analysis
- European Space Agency
- The National Science Foundation of the United States
- The Japan Science and Technology Agency
- The Indian Council of Medical Research
- FAPESP, the Research Council for the State of São Paulo
- Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR) Luxembourg
- Science Foundation Ireland
* Although Innovate UK is a recognised funder, the employer or host organisation must be a UK Higher Education Institution (such as a university), Public Sector Research Establishment or on UKRI’s list of Independent Research Organisations. Most businesses do not meet this requirement.
This list will be kept under review. Types of eligible awards include programme and project grants, fellowships, strategic investments and large institutional investments. To qualify for a visa under this route, an applicant must:
- Be named on grant funding from one of the funders on the list above OR
- Be appointed to a role named on a grant from one of the funders on the list above
- Be employed or hosted by, or in receipt of an offer of employment or hosting from, a UK Higher Education Institution (such as a university), Independent Research Organisation recognised by UKRI or a Public Sector Research Establishment.
- The grant must have been won subject to peer review.
- The grant award will need to be of a value of at least £30,000 and at least 2 years in duration.
- Have at least 2 years remaining on their employment contract or hosting agreement at the point of application for visa endorsement.
- Spent at least 50% of their working time contributing to the grant.
- The applicant will need to meet the costs associated with the visa, as detailed on the UK Government’s website.
After an applicant gets their endorsement, the earliest they can apply for a visa is three months before they travel. They should get a decision on their visa within three weeks when they apply from outside the UK.
Researchers may also be able to switch to this visa type from within the UK, if they meet the eligibility criteria and will be working on a grant from an endorsed funder.
Documents needed for an application under this route:
The applicant must provide both of the following at (i) and (ii):
(i) Written confirmation of the award from the endorsed funder that confirms both:
- The grant or award is worth a minimum of £30,000.
- The grant of award covers a minimum period of 2 years.
(ii) A declaration from the Director of Human Resources (or equivalent) of the UKRI-approved UK research organisation as listed in Annex 2 where the applicant will be employed or hosted. The declaration must confirm all of the following:
- The applicant is essential to the execution of a grant or award and the grant and the applicant’s role meets the eligibility criteria.
- The applicant’s time is at least 50% attributable to the grant or award (individually, or in the case of applicants with Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator roles, from an aggregation of eligible grants).
- The applicant has accepted the job offer or hosting agreement.
- The name of the position and the department or group in which the applicant will be based.
- Where the individual was not specifically named on the grant application, details of the recruitment process. This must show that the recruitment was robustly conducted, and met the highest standards for open recruitment.