Global Talent visa

27 January 2020

A new “global talent” visa has been announced by the UK government. Launching on 20 February 2020 it will fast-track scientists, and mathematicians to come to the UK.

  • Top scientists and researchers will be given a ‘fast-tracked’ entry to the UK
  • There will be no cap on the numbers that can apply
  • UK Research and Innovation announced as a new endorsement body

The new route will replace the current Tier 1 (Exception Talent) route in which applicants went through a two-stage process which involved obtaining endorsement from one of a handful of endorsing bodies and then the visa application itself.

The ‘old’ visa scheme was also capped at 2,000 visas per year but in practice this limit was never reached – largely due to the strict endorsement process.

The global talent visa does away with a cap showing the government’s commitment to attract the best of talent from around the globe.

The new route introduces the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding agency as a new endorsing body. The UKRI will be able to asses and fast-track suitably qualified applicants.

Applicants; as under the old scheme will not need a job offer in order to apply but under the new scheme there is considerable emphasis on fast-tracking visa applicants to a route to settlement once endorsed.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said:
“The UK has a proud history of scientific discovery, but to lead the field and face challenges of the future we need to continue to invest in talent and cutting edge research.

“That is why as we leave the EU and level up skills and opportunity across the country I want to send a message that the UK is open and stands ready to support the brightest minds to turn their ideas into reality.”

Under the new scheme there will be certain benefits to receipts:

  • Dependents of main visa applicants will have full access to the UK labour market
  • Main visa applicants will not require a job offer and will not be ‘tied’ to a any one employer
  • Main visa applicants (& applicable dependents) will have an accelerated path to settlement
  • An exemption to the residence requirements for researchers who are required to be posted overseas

Details of the new scheme including the current endorsement agencies can be found here.