The UK Global Talent Visa is for people who have achieved some results in science, digital technology, art and culture (including fashion design, architecture, etc.) and would like to come to the UK to work in a relevant field.
How to find out if you are a good candidate for the visa
It would help if you had achievements in your field. This might include grants for academics, publications and exhibitions for cultural applicants, or you might be the founder or a key employee in a technology company. You can also apply if you work on UK Research and Innovation projects approved for this visa.
English language skills are optional, and proof of income is also unnecessary. Though it will take some time to prepare documents confirming your experience, the process will be easy!
How long can I stay in the UK?
This visa allows you to live and work in the UK for up to 5 years, with the option to apply for permanent residency after 3 years (if you have an exceptional talent visa in the arts, culture or digital, after 5 years).
This visa allows you to be an employee, a business owner or register as a self-employed person. You will be able to change employers without reapplying. You can also bring your family with you: your spouse and children under 18.
What does the process look like?
✅ Step 1. Gather the documents
Remember to translate them into English and have them apostilled if necessary (e.g., master's or PhD degrees).
✅ Step 2: Submit an online application to evaluate your achievements and talents.
Apply and wait for the confirmation letter.
✅ Step 3. Apply for a visa.
You should submit your visa application within three months of receiving your confirmation letter.
✅ Step 4. Obtain a residence card (BRP, Biometric Residence Permit).
Step by step
Step 1: gather the documents
You must provide evidence of your talent or promise in your field. The supporting documents are:
- Your CV
- Three letters of recommendation
- Up to 10 pieces of evidence that show you are exceptionally talented or promising
Your resume must show that you have been active in your field for 5 years. Update your LinkedIn profile, show your contributions to a particular business, etc. Suppose you do not have an education in your chosen field. Then, you can demonstrate your professional background.
The requirements for letters of recommendation vary by area of specialisation and profession. In general, at least one of the letters of recommendation must be from the UK company or person, a second from the organisation where you were employed, and a third from an expert, an individual with a good reputation in your field. These letters should be issued less than 3 months before your application.
Professional awards can be proof of talent, but it is worth accompanying them with cover letters. These can also be interviews or articles (e.g. about an exhibition in which your name is mentioned, a conference in which you were a speaker or a film festival where your work was short-listed or nominated). You can also submit work agreements and financial statements that prove your professional experience. Just don't be shy, and don't turn on the imposter syndrome!
Find out what you need to provide based on your field and see what you need to provide in your case:
Step 2: get an endorsement of your skills
You should submit your application on the website of the UK Home Office. After the list of required documents and recommendations, you will see the "Apply for endorsement" section with the following links to apply:
Now you can apply for your visa. Applications are reviewed case by case, but it typically takes up to two months to get a response. When your application is approved, you will receive an email notification.
Another way to get a talent visa is to hold one of the awards listed on the UK government's website. You don't need to apply for approval in this case. There are the lists:
- Global Talent: architecture awards
- Global Talent: arts and culture awards
- Global Talent: technology awards
- Global Talent: fashion design awards
- Global Talent: film and television awards
- Global Talent: awards in science, engineering, humanities, social science and medicine
Step 3: apply for a visa
You must apply for a visa within three months of receiving your confirmation of endorsement letter (see the previous step).
You can apply for a visa at the visa centre of your country of citizenship or residency. To find out where you can find such an office in your country, click here.
If you are already in the UK on a residency program, you can convert your current visa to a talent visa. However, you cannot change some residency types, so check this list to see if you can apply.
In both cases, the process involves submitting an application and providing supporting papers, including your ID card or passport, certificate of clear criminal record, bank statements, etc.
Step 4: get a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card
Now you can fly to the UK and start a new life there.
If your application was denied, you can try again. Examine your case from a new perspective. It may be worth focusing on your business, project, other accomplishments, or professional experiences.
The UK talent visa allows you to bring family members, including your spouse or partner and children under 18. Family members can also work and study in the UK without restrictions.
Though the endorsement may seem like a strict limitation, you won't require an invitation from a UK company, your own running business or significant investments. So, it is worth giving the talent visa a try! To learn more, check out the UK Global Talent Visa website
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