In an effort to bring about the new Immigration Rules after Brexit, the Prime Minister has announced the launch of the Global Talent visa route. This is basically a re-naming of the already existing Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/Promise visa category with certain extensions to the rules. The new rules are to come into implementation on 20th February 2020.

What are the differences between Global Talent Visa & Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/Promise visa?

The Global Talent visa has joined the UK Start-up Visa and UK Innovator visas. The Global Talent visa does not form a part of the points based system (PBS) category of visas, whereas the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa falls under the PBS category of visas.

Under Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas, the applicant is required to have obtained an endorsement from a ‘designated competent body’ basically there are a very limited number of these bodies which have been assigned as such under the Immigration Rules. Now, with the Global Talent visas these bodies have been re-named as endorsing bodies. However, the list of bodies performing the function remains the same barring one addition i.e. UKRI (UK Research and Innovation).

The Global Talent visa route offers an accelerated route to applicants applying in the fields of Science, Medicine, Engineering and Humanities. What does this mean?

This means that applicants would be qualified for automatic endorsement if:

  • They held a specific fellowship award (or held it within the 12 months directly prior to the date of application); or
  • They were appointed to eligible senior academic or research positions at UK higher education institutions or research institutes.
  • This includes academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology/methodology specialists who have a grant or award worth £30,000 or more, covering a minimum period of two years.

In addition, the applicants endorsed in the above mentioned fields (regardless of being granted leave under exceptional talent or exceptional promise) would be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK at the end of 3 years of being granted entry clearance, provided they satisfy the requirements of continuous stay.

Another important change brought along by the Global Talent visa category is that, for applicants who have been granted leave under this category for fields of Science, Medicine, Engineering and Humanities, their absences from the UK for the purposes of their research undertaking(s) would not count as absences for the purpose of applying for settlement in the UK.

Contrary to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa category which it is intended to replace, there is no limit on the number of talented people who could be granted leave under this category of visas.


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