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The Global Talent Visa Route

What is the 'Global Talent' visa route?

From 1 January 2021, both EEA and non-EEA workers (excluding citizens of Ireland) will need to apply for a visa from the Home Office in order to enter, live and work in the UK.

There are many types of visa route available.  Some workers will be eligible for a visa based on the immigration status of their relatives or ancestry, or will apply as students to undertake a specific course.  Others may apply and be sponsored by an employer in a specific job under the 'Skilled Worker' visa route. 

The 'Global Talent' visa is an alternative route for talented and promising individuals to apply independently of a sponsor for a visa, in specific sectors including academia or research.

The Global Talent visa was introduced in February 2020, replacing what was previously known as Tier 1 - Exceptional Talent visas for non-EEA workers and is also open to non-EEA workers moving to the UK to work on or after 1 January 2021.

We are unable to support an application for endorsement under the Global Talent visa route where it is known an individual has had an ATAS application rejected. 

What do I need to know as a hiring manager?

The worker makes the application themselves independently, and without a sponsor (we do not issue a Certificate of Sponsorship/CoS). 

To be successful the worker needs to secure endorsement by one of six bodies authorised by the Home Office, before the Home Office considers the visa application.

Although the worker does not require a job offer, the University can support fast-track endorsements in certain scenarios where academics or researchers hold an eligible job offer or are working on a grant or award funded by a UKRI-approved funder.  We can do this by providing a letter from People and OD which they supply to the endorsing body.  You as the manager can help them obtain this by liaison with People and OD.  See the endorsements section below for further details.

As a hiring manager or as a line manager, you will need to be aware of your roles and responsibilities during their recruitment and employment.  You will be supported by People and OD Operations.  For anything not covered below, please contact 

General Global Talent visa FAQs

Who might be eligible?

A current or prospective member of staff may be eligible for the Global Talent visa if they have any of the following:

  • an eligible job offer as an academic or researcher
  • an individual fellowship
  • a research grant that is approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

If they do not, they can apply by having their application peer reviewed, but their application will take longer.



How long does a Global Talent Visa last?

Applicants can apply for up to 5 years at a time.  They can apply to renew their visa as many times as they like, and can be eligible to apply for settlement after 3 years.  

What are the fees and other costs of Global Talent Visa?

For the latest fees please see the advice on the UK Government's Home Office website:

Note that there are seperate fees to pay for:

  • the endorsement
  • the visa itself  

As at December 2020 there are reductions available on visa fees for applicants from certain countries.

Healthcare surcharges are also payable. 

The University does not reimburse the costs for Global Talent visas or related IHS costs.

Does the Global Talent visa have any advantages for the employee over the Skilled Worker visa?

Unlike the Skilled Worker visa route, there is no minimum salary.  This gives greater flexibility of roles they can apply for and for flexible (reduced hours) working options.

As the University does not sponsor the employee, they are not tied to the job or employer.  They can change job or stop working without telling the Home Office.

It also places less restrictions on the worker, for example, allowing them to collaborate with businesses.

The holder can apply to renew the visa as many times as they wish.

Holders of Global Talent visas can apply for UK settlement sooner than holders of other visas (3 years, as opposed to 5).  Any time spent outside the UK doing research counts towards this time.



About Global Talent visa endorsements

Fast-Track applications for academics and researchers with job offers

In certain circumstances, for academics and researchers holding eligible job offers, the Director of People and Organisational Development can supply a letter that will support their application for endorsement.  

The job offered must involve either:

  • directing or leading an individual or team in a research or innovation project, or programme of work
  • being responsible for academic, research or innovation leadership and development

The letter from the Director of People and Organisational Development will need to include the following:

  • the name of the position and the department where the candidate will work
  • that the candidate has accepted the position
  • that the position was advertised and the application process was an open competition
  • that the offered candidate gave at least 2 references
  • that at least 3 academics from the University were on the interview panel
  • that an expert in the field was part of the application process - either during the interview if they work at the University or before the candidate was offered the job if the expert works outside the University

To request a letter of this nature either the line manager or hiring manager should contact confirming the details as above.

More information for the individual applying is available here:

Fast-Track endorsements for Fellowship holders

Global Talent visa applicants may be able to get fast track endorsement if they have held an eligible fellowship in the last 12 months. The fellowship needs to be approved by the following:

  • Royal Society, for science and medicine
  • British Academy, for humanities
  • Royal Academy of Engineering

They can apply as either a:

  • leader in their field (called ‘exceptional talent’)
  • potential leader in their field (called ‘exceptional promise’)

Which one they are depends on the Fellowship they have.  

They apply for the endorsement online, by providing a copy of their Fellowship letter to the relevant endorsing body.  More information is available here:


Fast-Track UK Research and Innovation endorsement

Global Talent visa applicants may be eligible for endorsement if they’re working on a research grant or award from a funder approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).  they need to meet a range of criteria that can be view here: together with an up-to-date list of approved funders.

When making their application for endorsement, the applicant will need to provide documents from their funder, and a letter from the Director of People and Organisational Development.  The letter from the Director of People and Organisational Development will need to include the following:

  • the name of the position and department where they work
  • that they have accepted the job offer or hosting agreement
  • that they are essential to the grant
  • that they will be spending at least half of their agreed working time on the grant
  • details of the fair recruitment process, if they were not specifically named on the grant application

To request a letter of this nature either the line manager or hiring manager should contact confirming the details as above.