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Horizon 2020 Brexit update - Global Talent Visa launched

25 Feb 2020

The UK's new Global Talent Visa has launched

From 20 February, research talent from across the world will be able to apply for the UK's new Global Talent Visa.  

The changes were first announced by the Prime Minister in January and the launch on 20 February provides four pathways for researchers and critical support staff to access the country's most flexible visa. This includes an entirely new route, whereby UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will play a critical role as it becomes an endorsing body for the first time.  This new pathway will make it easier for principal investigators, co-investigators, postdoctoral researchers, research assistants, technologists and methodologists to get a UK visa.

The introduction of the new pathway comes as UK academies double the number of fellowship schemes that are eligible for the visa's fellowship pathway.  Pathways for senior appointments at higher education institutes and other bodies, as well as a standard, peer reviewed endorsement pathway, both remain available.  The previous cap on the number of visas that can be issued each year has also been removed.

The four available routes to obtain endorsement for a Global Talent Visa in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences and the humanities are as follows: 

  • Senior appointments – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have accepted a job as a Professor, Associate Professor, Reader, or equivalent position such as Senior Group Leader, at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute, provided that certain recruitment requirements are met.  This route is administered by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
  • Individual fellowships – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.  The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.  As mentioned above, the list of endorsed fellowships, available on the Royal Society website, has been extended. Please note: this visa pathway now includes MSCA Individual Fellows hosted in the UK and Principal Investigators on ERC awards which are hosted in the UK.  
  • Endorsed funders – fast-track endorsement for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI.  In order to be eligible, researchers must be hosted or employed by eligible institutions. The list of endorsed funders is available on the UKRI website. Please note: this includes the European Union Horizon 2020 programme - this is the first phase of this new route and it is expected that further phases will look to add additional funders to the endorsed list. 
  • Peer review – standard endorsement for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society.

The changes support the UK government's ambition to invest 2.4% of the nation's GDP into research and development by 2027. To reach that goal, the UK will need to increase the number of research jobs across all sectors of the economy. While many of these roles will be filled by people either retained or trained in the UK, migration plays an important part in bringing skills and expertise to the UK and in enriching our research workforce. 

More information: