The Global Talent immigration route, introduced in February 2020, is designed to attract the "best and brightest" and encourage world leaders, or those with the promise of becoming world leaders in their field, to bring their talents to the UK.
Applicants must be a leader or potential leader in one of the following fields:
- Academia or research
- Arts and culture
- Digital technology
Obtaining a Global Talent visa usually involves first obtaining an endorsement from the relevant endorsing body in the field, for example, the Royal Academy of Engineering for an engineer, or Tech Nation for specialists in digital technology. Obtaining the endorsement can be cumbersome as it generally involves providing evidence of the applicant’s status as an established leader in their field, or of their potential to become one.
New fast-track process
Under the new fast-track process, applicants who have won prestigious awards in their field no longer need to apply for an endorsement before submitting their immigration application. This will help make the process much quicker.
Only very specific prizes qualify for this streamlined process, for example, Nobel Prizes for physics, chemistry, economic science and medicine, or Oscars and Golden Globe awards. Before submitting any Global Talent application it is crucial to check that the specific award qualifies for the fast-track route.
The Home Office has also confirmed that prize winners of certain awards across dance, fashion, architecture and social sciences will also be included. However we have no further details at the moment.
This is a helpful evolution of the Global Talent route although, in reality, it is only likely to affect a very small number of individuals. The UK government could be doing more to assist businesses to access non-British labour, especially as businesses are only just beginning to see the impact of the end of the Brexit transition period start to bite.