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Posted on June 04 2020

Britain offers visa options to attract overseas talent

By Editor
Updated April 03 2023

After the decision of Britain to leave the European Union (EU) in January 2020, Britain has realized that it needs to attract talented people to help in its development. To facilitate this process, the Global Talent Visa category was created to replace the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.

The Global Talent Visa has two categories:

  1. Exceptional Talent - Targets individuals who have established themselves as pioneers in their field
  2. Exceptional Promise - Targets emerging leaders

Advantages offered by the Global Talent Visa:

  • You may switch employers and job positions without Home Office permission
  • You may work as a self-employed person or as a freelancer
  • There is no requirement to speak English at a certain level
  • You may be accompanied by dependent family members
  • You don't get to earn a minimum wage
  • Visa provides a route to settlement

To apply for a Global Talent Visa, an applicant must seek approval from one of the six Home Office-decided endorsing bodies.

You will have to obtain approval from the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for support in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and other academic and research roles.

Your application will be referred to by Arts Council England or Tech Nation for approval in non-academic fields such as arts and technology, or digital culture. When the approval is given, the Home Office must take the final decision on immigration.

The next move is to apply for a visa at the Home Office and will consider the general reasons for approval or rejection. If you are already in the country your eligibility for the current type of visa will be considered.

Usually, endorsement takes about two months; however, whether you are a senior researcher or academic at a UK institution, hold an approved peer-reviewed fellowship, or work with an accredited research agency that meets clear requirements, you are likely to obtain a quicker endorsement.

Tech Nation visa

When you are applying for endorsement in the digital technology market, you may need to get a Tech Nation Visa (another way to refer to endorsement by Tech Nation). Britain has one of the most innovative and dynamic tech sectors in the world.

The visa is issued for five years, and it can be extended for five more years. It also provides a way for Indefinite Leave to Stay and eventually British Citizenship.

The eligibility criteria are high. You must meet one of the main criteria and two of the qualifying criteria below to apply for 'exceptional talent:

Main criteria

Have an established track record in innovation as a company founder or director or as an employee creating a new digital area or technology.

Show proof that outside of your day-to-day job you have been recognized for your work in digital technology.

Qualifying criteria

  • Have made significant technological, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology field as either an employer, founder, or entrepreneur, of a digital technology company operated by a product.
  • Recognized as a leading talent in the sector.
  • Proof that you have dedicated yourself to constantly discovering and mastering new competencies in emerging technology throughout your career.

While the Coronavirus pandemic has cast doubts on how soon the endorsing bodies will approve the visa applications, the UK government is trying its best to bring things on schedule as quickly as possible.



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