Global Talent visa
If you're a researcher from outside the UK, you can apply for a Global Talent visa to come to – or remain in – the UK.
Individual fellowships and personal awards route
If you hold one of the awards listed below, you're guaranteed an endorsement of your Global Talent visa application (see the 'Stage 1: Endorsement' section below). If you hold a Wellcome award that is not on this list, you can still apply for a Global Talent visa, but your endorsement is not guaranteed.
You should be an exceptionally talented or promising individual in the field of science, engineering, humanities and social sciences or the arts.
You must be able to demonstrate that you are:
- a recognised leader in your field (Exceptional Talent)
- an emerging leader in your field (Exceptional Promise).
The following schemes are now closed, but you are guaranteed an endorsement of a Global Talent visa if you hold one of these awards, or your award ended within the last five years:
- Clinical Research Career Development Fellowships (Stages 1 and 2)
- Intermediate Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine
- International Intermediate Fellowships
- International Training Fellowships
- Investigator Awards in Humanities and Social Science
- Investigator Awards in Science
- Principal Research Fellowships
- Research Career Development Fellowships
- Research Career Re-entry Fellowships
- Research Fellowships for Health Professionals (postdoctoral level projects only)
- Research Fellowships in Humanities and Social Science
- Senior Research Fellowships
- Senior Research Fellowships in Basic Biomedical Science
- Senior Research Fellowships in Clinical Science
- Sir Henry Dale Fellowships
- Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships
- Training Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine
- University Awards in Humanities and Social Science.
How to apply
There is a two-stage application process.
You need to apply for endorsement via the Home Office.
Your application will be considered by one of the five recognised Designated Competent Bodies, who will decide if you have the skills, abilities and achievements to be endorsed. You can find out more about the Global Talent visa on their websites.
The five bodies are:
- The Royal Society – for natural sciences and medical science research applications
- The British Academy – for humanities and social science applications
- Arts Council England – for arts and culture applications
- The Royal Academy for Engineering – for engineering applications
- Tech Nation – for digital technology applications.
Stage 2: Immigration application
Once you’ve been endorsed, you can apply to the Home Office for your visa. You must apply for the visa within three months of being endorsed.
Endorsed funder route
Wellcome is a recognised endorsed funder.
You can apply via this route if you are named, or are appointed to a named role on a Wellcome research award that has a:
- value of at least £30,000, and
- duration of at least two years.
You will need to:
- have at least two years remaining on your employment contract
- spend at least 50% of your working time contributing to the award
- be hosted or employed by an eligible institution approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
How to apply
The endorsed funder route is administered by UKRI. You should contact UKRI for more information on the application criteria and how to apply.
Benefits of a Global Talent visa
A Global Talent visa offers you more flexibility than other UK immigration routes. You:
- can move freely between organisations, locations and job/roles without having to tell the Home Office; with a Skilled Worker visa you’re ‘tied’ to an employer/role and you often have to apply for a new visa if you change jobs
- don't have to receive a minimum salary to be eligible
- can apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for three years; if you spend time outside the UK for research purposes, you won't be penalised.
You may be able to switch to a Global Talent visa if you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa.