31 January 2020

Global Talent Visa scheme introduced for international researchers

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The Global Talent category is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK. ‘Talent’ applicants are already leaders in their respective field, while ‘promise’ applicants have shown the potential to become leaders in their field. This category will replace the existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category.

 Global Talent applicants must hold an endorsement from an organisation engaged by the Home Office to develop sector-specific criteria and consider individual applications on its behalf. The existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) endorsing bodies (the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Tech Nation and Arts Council England) will be joined by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the new Global Talent category.

Applicants endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities and medicine will be able to apply for settlement after 3 years regardless of whether the applicant is granted under “promise” criteria, “talent” criteria or the new endorsed funder option. The qualifying period to apply for settlement under “promise” criteria for digital technology and arts and culture applicants will remain as 5 years (as was previously required under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent))

Global Talent applicants who have been endorsed by the endorsing bodies responsible for science, engineering, humanities and medicine who undertake research overseas directly related to their grant of leave, may do so without that absence being ‘counted’ when any application for settlement is assessed. Corresponding amendments are also being made to benefit partners who accompany them in these circumstances. This expands a similar exception for Tier 2 (General) PhD level applicants introduced in 2019.

Unlike its predecessor, the Global Talent category will not be subject to a cap on the number of applicants, ensuring migrants who can meet the qualifying criteria will be able to secure entry subject to successful visa checks.

Applicants will be able to choose how much leave, in whole years, up to a maximum of 5 years they wish to be granted in a single application. This means that Global Talent applicants who only wish to come to the UK for 2 years in this category will not need to pay the maximum 5-year Immigration Health Surcharge payment.

The new Global Talent category is set out in Appendix W to the Immigration Rules. The category does not form part of the Points-Based System and does not include points-scoring tables. Appendix W is designed to be clearer and easier to read than existing Rules and is already used by applicants in the Start-up and Innovator work categories


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

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Riaz Anwar
A talented and dedicated public relations professional, Riaz, has more than 14 years of experience helping organisations communicate more effectively. He has developed strategic communications plans garnered extensive media coverage, produced marketing materials coordinated special events, and hosted other communications activities.

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