Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa gets makeover – introducing Tier 1 Global Talent visa

On 27 January 2020, Boris Johnson’s Government announced plans to introduce the new ‘Global Talent visa’, which will come in to effect from January 2021. This visa category will replace the existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route and is designed to attract talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to come to the UK. There will be two criteria’s which applicants will be able to apply under; ‘Talent’ which is for applicants already leaders in their respective fields, and, ‘Promise’ which is for applicants who have shown the potential to become leaders in their field.

Unlike the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, there will be no cap for this category (previously Tier 1 Exceptional Talent had a cap of 2000 endorsements per year). An applicant must obtain an endorsement from one of the following endorsing bodies:

  • The Royal Society;
  • The British Academy;
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering;
  • Tech Nation;
  • Arts Council England; and
  • UK Research and Innovation (newly added).

Whilst specific provisions are made for the science and research sector, the Global Talent category is also open to talented and promising applicants within the digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) sectors.

Applicants who are endorsed by the relevant endorsing bodies for science, engineering, humanities and medicine will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years (as opposed to 5 years), regardless of whether they are granted under the “promise” or “talent” criteria. Furthermore, applicants will be able to decide for themselves how long the validity of their visa should be.

There will be no English language requirement or maintenance requirement for applicants to demonstrate as part of their application.


Individuals who are interested to learn more about the UK’s new Global Talent visa or any other UK immigration routes should contact Mr Sundeep Rathod who is a Senior Associate and Head of Business Immigration at Simons Muirhead and Burton LLP.


Mr Sundeep Rathod
Senior Associate and Head of Business Immigration
Simons Muirhead and Burton LLP
D: +44(0)20 3206 2769
T: +44(0)20 3206 2700


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