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Human Resources

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent visa is open to academics and researchers who are internationally recognised as either world leaders or potential world-leading talent in their fields. There are four routes available to applicants including fast track routes for academic appointees, holders of eligible fellowships, individuals working on successful grant applications from an endorsed funder, and a peer reviewed route for all other applicants. 

The below applicant decision tree [PDF 100KB] is to assist in identifing which route may be most appropriate.  There are further details below about each route.

Several of the Global Talent routes require support of the University.  If you wish to apply for a Global Talent visa you should speak with your line manager first, they will be able to contact HR to obtain the necessary paperwork to make an application for an endorsement.

A table detailing eligibility option for each Global Talent route

 

Eligibility

The academic and research appointment route of the Global Talent visa is for individuals who have been appointed to an academic or research position at an approved UK higher education institution (HEI) or research institute where they:

  1. have responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership and development; or
  2. direct or lead an individual or team in:
    • a research project or programme of work; or
    • an innovation project or programme of work

The route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society.

*Applicants who do not meet the endorsement criteria*

Please note that you will not be considered eligible for the academic and research appointments route if responsibility for ‘academic, research or innovation leadership and development’ or for ‘directing or leading an individual or team in a research or innovation project or programme of work’ is not the primary function of the role you have been offered. This will include many entry level postdoctoral research positions.

In these circumstances, you may be eligible for one of the other Global Talent visa routes and are encouraged to look at all endorsement options before making an application.

How to apply

To apply for endorsement under this route, you must select the relevant ‘fast-track’ option on the Stage 1 (endorsement) application form and provide a Statement of Guarantee from the Director of Human Resources.

Requests for a Statement of Guarantee must be arranged by the hiring department not the individual, they cannot be issued without confirmation that the eligibility criteria has been met. 

The statement of guarantee will be dated, signed and presented on headed paper and confirm that the recruitment process for your appointment has met the necessary criteria. 

Eligibility

The individual fellowship route of the Global Talent visa is for applicants who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society.

Awarding Bodies

The current list of eligible fellowships are all awarded by the bodies listed below. The fellowship or award must also appear on the list published by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering and The British Academy.

The list is dynamic; it was last updated in June 2020.

  • Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • Breast Cancer Now
  • British Academy
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Diabetes UK
  • EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • European Molecular Biology Organization
  • European Research Council
  • Human Frontier Science Program
  • Leverhulme Trust
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Parkinson’s UK
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851
  • Royal Society
  • Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • UK Research and Innovation and its Councils
  • Versus Arthritis
  • Wellcome Trust

How to apply

To apply for endorsement under this route, you must select the relevant ‘fast-track’ option on the Stage 1 (endorsement) application form and provide a copy of your fellowship award letter.

If you hold one of the named fellowships in either the Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise category, or have held it within 12 months directly prior to their date of application, can be assured of fast-track endorsement.

Only those with a fellowship or grant on the approved list will be eligible for this route. Holders of other fellowships or grants not on the list may still be eligible for endorsement under the other Global Talent visa routes.

Eligibility

The endorsed funders route of the Global Talent visa is for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

You or the job you have been offered must be named on the grant.  The grant must also be worth a minimum of £30,000 and cover a minimum period of two years at the time of application. All roles named on the grant are eligible for this route.

Awarding Bodies

An endorsed funder is an organisation accepted by UK Research and Innovation as a prestigious funder of research and innovation. Each funder has an excellent track record of awarding funding to researchers with critical skills, following a rigorous peer review process. The full list of approved funders is publish in the Global Talent rules.

How to apply

To apply for endorsement, you must select the relevant ‘fast-track’ option on the Stage 1 (endorsement) application form and provide:

  • A copy of the grant award letter(s) that supports their work. The letter must confirm that:
    • You or your job has been named on the grant award.
    • The grant or award is worth a minimum of £30,000.
    • The grant of award covers a minimum period of 2 years.
  • A statement of guarantee from the Director of Human Resources. This letter will be provided by HR on headed paper, dated and confirm in detail that the position is eligible for the route. 

Requests for a Statement of Guarantee must be arranged by the hiring department not the individual, they cannot be issued without confirmation that the eligibility criteria has been met.  

Eligibility

The peer review route of the Global Talent visa is for individuals who wish to be considered for endorsement by full peer review undertaken by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.

Applicants can choose to be considered under ‘Exceptional Talent’ (for leaders in their field) or ‘Exceptional Promise’ (for potential leaders in their field). This route is not fast-track. Individuals can apply with or without a job offer.

The British Academy reviews applications from the humanities and social sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering covers engineering, and the Royal Society covers the natural and medical sciences.

The full list of eligible disciplines and sub-disciplines per endorsing body is available in the Home Office Guidance.

How to Apply

To apply for endorsement under this route, you must complete the full Stage 1 (endorsement) application form and submit the required supporting documents.

After you have submitted you endorsement application via the Home Office, the endorsing body to which you have applied will conduct an initial eligibility check against the relevant mandatory and qualifying eligibility criteria. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee that your application will be endorsed, only that it will be referred for further assessment.

You will need to provide a letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person, resident in the UK, who is familiar with your work. The letter should include:

  • how the eminent person knows you;
  • details of your achievements in your field;
  • how, in the opinion of the eminent person, you exhibit Exceptional Talent/Exceptional Promise;
  • how you would benefit from living in the UK; and
  • the contribution you would make to UK research excellence and to wider society.

If you are making an Exceptional Talent application you will also need to provide a letter of recommendation from a senior member of a reputable UK organisation concerned with your field of study. HR will be able to provide you with a letter from the Principal if necessary.

All letter must be as detailed as possible and should be signed and dated. They should also include the full contact details of the author including personal email address and direct telephone number so that personal contact can be made if necessary.

Letters of recommendation should be written specifically for this purpose and include the information detailed above. The letter should not be a general all-purpose reference letter.

  • Exceptional Talent applicants will only be eligible to apply if they meet all the mandatory eligibility criteria and at least one of the qualifying eligibility criteria.
  • Exceptional Promise applicants will only be eligible to apply if they meet all the mandatory eligibility criteria. Details of the criteria are available from the Royal Society.

 You can find out more about the criteria for peer review route on the Royal Society's Global Talent webpages.

How do I apply for a Global Talent Visa?

Whichever route you are eligible for the Global Talent application process consists of two stages:

Stage 1: Apply for an endorsement from the relevant endorsing body.

Stage 2: Make a visa application.

To be considered for entry under the Global Talent visa, applicants must first 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, or for other academic and research roles, the Home Office will refer your application to the British AcademyRoyal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which will make an endorsement decision based on the evidence you provide. 

An endorsement by the relevant body is essential to your visa application.  If you wish you will be able to make both applications at the same time If you apply for both at the same time and your endorsement is refused, your visa will be refused as well. This means you will lose the fees for both.

Stage 1: Applying for an endorsement

The cost of an endorsement is £456, this is the same for each route.

The evidence you need to make your endorsement application will differ depending on which route you applying to.  Details of each route are in the tabs below.  When making your application it is important that you select the correct answer to ensure that your application is made under the correct route and assessed by the correct body. 

How long does it take to be assessed for endorsement?

The Home Office advises that Stage 1 of the application process (i.e. the application for endorsement) for the Global Talent visa can take up to eight weeks from the time the Home Office receives your application. Within these eight weeks, the relevant endorsing body will have up to 25 working days to review your application. For applications eligible for the accelerated process for specific peer-reviewed fellowships (Route 2) or senior academic or research appointments (Route 1), the endorsing bodies will make a recommendation on endorsement to the Home Office within 14 working days. 

Please note that, if endorsed, Stage 2 of the application process for the Global Talent visa (i.e. the application for the visa) will still need to be completed. The Home Office advises that Stage 2 of the application process can take around three weeks if applying from outside of the UK, and up to eight weeks if applying from within the UK. Applications for Stage 2 can be submitted in person at a Premium Service Centre (PSC) in the UK or via priority or super priority services outside of the UK (where applicable). Please note however that PSC submission is not available for Stage 1 and if you submit a Stage 1 application at the PSC it will be rejected.

Applying for your visa

Once you have successfully applied for your endorsement, if you have not already done so, you will need to make an application for your visa. This must be done within 3 months of receiving your endorsement.

You can submit this application from outside of the UK, or you can switch into this route from inside the UK if you currently hold an eligible visa. 

If applying from inside the UK, this must be done before your current visa expires.

You usually get a decision about your visa within:

  • 3 weeks if you’re outside the UK
  • 8 weeks if you’re inside the UK

You can apply for the Global Talent visa at the same time as you apply for endorsement, or after you have the endorsement confirmed. If your permission to stay in the UK is about to expire, applying for the visa will extend it.

If you apply for both at the same time and your endorsement is refused, your visa will be refused as well. This means you will lose the fees for both.

RequirementPoints available
An applicant making an initial application not relying on an endorsement:
• has been awarded a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes.
70
An applicant making an initial application relying on an endorsement:
• has been issued with an endorsement letter by an endorsing body; and
• the date of application is no more than 3 months after the date on the endorsement letter; and
• the endorsement has not been withdrawn by the endorsing body.
70
An applicant applying for an extension of their permission:
• has met the earned money requirement; and
• if they were granted their initial application using an endorsement, has not had their endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body.
70
Total number of points required in each case 70

 

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