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.

Overview 

You can apply for a Global Talent visa via two routes.

The route you choose depends on whether you will hold the award, or if you will be a member of staff employed on the grant.

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)

or

  • an emerging leader in your field (Exceptional Promise).

 Current schemes

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 12 months:

How to apply

There is a two-stage application process.

Stage 1: Endorsement

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:

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:

You will need to:

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.

Temporary concession for researchers working on Covid-19 grants

From 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021 (extended from 31 July 2021), academics and researchers wishing to work on Covid-19 related grants can apply for a Global Talent visa under relaxed criteria.

The changed criteria are:

  • Research grants must have been awarded for at least 12 months or more (not 2 years or more)
  • Researchers must have an employment contract or hosting agreement for 12 months or more (not 2 years or more)
  • Applicants who are already in the UK can switch into this route from any other visa category.

The application process remains unchanged. See the UKRI website for more information.

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.

Contact us 

Contact our information officers if you have a question about funding.

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