The Tier 1 Global Talent Visa

03 Mar 2020, 39 mins ago

In January 2020, the Home Office announced that the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa would be replaced by the Tier 1 (Global Talent) visa. The visa aims to widen the scope of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa and encourage individuals – namely researchers with ‘bright new ideas and perspectives to enrich the UK’S research and innovation workforce’ – to come to the UK.

The Tier 1 (Global Talent) visa category officially came into force on 20 February 2020 and in light of this the Home office released transitional arrangements for individuals already on the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. The transitional arrangements specify that individuals who currently hold a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa and who wish to apply to extend their stay will now be required to apply for leave to remain under the Global Talent category.

With the transition from the Exceptional Talent visa to the Global Talent visa in place, there is a question as to how much of the policy has actually changed for those wanting to apply for entry clearance or leave to remain.

The answer is not very much. Applicants still have to meet more or less the same requirements under the point based system. The Home Office states that “[T]he extension requirements mirror those previously applied to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicants”.

The cap on the number of visas which could be granted has been lifted, although the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) rarely, if ever, reached the cap in place at the time. The scrapping of the cap is most significant for those applying as creatives to be endorsed by the Arts Council. The Arts Council had previously been limited to issuing 250 endorsements a year.

Individuals who have been endorsed as ‘Exceptional Promise’ by the Arts Council will remain on the five year route to Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”). However, under the new Global Talent visa applicants endorsed as ‘Exceptional Talent’ within the creative sector may be eligible to apply for ILR after three years. This move by the Home Office, whilst not drastic, has the potential to encourage more creatives to apply within this category.

Additionally, ‘Fast-track’ to ILR has also been offered to individuals within the STEM fields. Individuals who are considered to have specialist skills within science, technology, engineering and mathematics will have the opportunity to apply for settlement after three years leave in the UK. By opening up this route, the Government hopes to attract ‘the brightest and the best’ to help boost innovation within the country. 

Finally, the introduction of the Global Talent visa means that applicants are able to move freely between employers and job roles and are not required to meet the minimum salary requirements in order to be eligible to apply.

It will indeed be interesting to see whether the closure of the Exceptional Talent visa and the transition to the Global Talent visa will encourage the ‘brightest’ individuals to apply to move to the UK for the purposes of research, innovation and the arts.

Gherson have a great deal of experience with all Tier 1 visa routes. If you have any questions or queries or would like to review your personal circumstances with respect to the Global Talent category, please do not hesitate to contact us.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2020


Natalie Acquaye-Nortey 

  Natalie Acquaye-Nortey

  Paralegal in our Corporate team