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Global Talent visa: overview

The Global Talent visa is a UK immigration category for talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK. It replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa on 20 February 2020.

To be considered for entry under the Global Talent visa, applicants must 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 Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which will make an endorsement decision based on the evidence you provide. 

If you are applying for endorsement in non-academic fields of arts and culture and digital technology, your application will be referred to Arts Council England or Tech Nation, which follow separate endorsement criteria. Please see the Global Talent Immigration Rules for further information.

If endorsement is granted, the final immigration decision rests with the Home Office.

Researchers applying for a Global Talent visa

There are four routes for eligible academics and researchers to obtain endorsement for a Global Talent visa. The Home Office Guidance sets these out under the heading Science, engineering, humanities and medicine applicants, though a full range of academic and research disciplines are covered. 

  1. 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 certain recruitment requirements are met. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society.
  2. Individual fellowships – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.
  3. 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 named in Annex 2 of the Global Talent Immigration Rules.

    *Temporary concession for researchers working on COVID-19 grants* 
    International academics and researchers wishing to work on COVID-19 related research grants can apply for a Global Talent visa via the endorsed funder route under relaxed criteria until 31 January 2021. Find out more.  
  4. Peer review – standard endorsement for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.

Please see our applicant decision tree to identify which route may be most appropriate for you.

For the endorsed funders route, UKRI will review applications from any academic or research discipline. For the other three routes, the applicant must select the appropriate endorsing body based on their field of research. 

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.

For queries, please see frequently asked questions or email

These pages were last updated on 13 November 2020

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