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At a Glance
- Effective February 20, 2020, the Tier
1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa will be rebranded as the Global
Talent Visa. More foreign workers will be eligible for the new
- Under the program, individuals who
are leaders in their fields of science, engineering, digital
technology and arts and culture will be able to enter and work in
the United Kingdom on a path to permanent residence.
- Applicants will be required to obtain
endorsement from a government-approved endorsing body.
According to a new Statement of Changes, effective February 20,
2020, the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa will be replaced by the
Global Talent Visa, which will expand the existing route by
allowing scientists, researchers and other qualifying foreign
nationals to enter and work in the United Kingdom and in most cases
provide an accelerated path to permanent residence.
A closer look
Details of the new program will include the following:
- Expanded qualifying
categories. The Global Talent category expands the
previous Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route by allowing leading
individuals in the sciences to enter the United Kingdom on an
accelerated route to settlement. The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent
route already allows world leading individuals in the fields of
digital technology, and arts and culture (including film and
television, fashion and architecture).
- These changes will facilitate the
admission of leading researchers in the fields of science,
engineering, humanities and medicine.
- Program management.
The new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) was added to endorsing
body list and will be able to endorse without the Home Office's
- Fragomen expects that UKRI will be
able to issue endorsements faster than existing endorsing
- UK-based research agencies, including
the European Space Agency and the Japan Science and Technology
Agency, will be able to recruit global talent directly through the
- No cap. There will
be no limit on how many foreign nationals will be accepted under
the Global Talent Route, whereas under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent),
applications are capped at 2,000 per year.
- More qualified candidates can be
accepted under the program than under the Tier 1 (Exceptional
Talent) route. It should be noted, however, that the existing cap
on Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) had never been reached.
- Faster path to
settlement. Foreign nationals who obtain visas under the
Global Talent Route in the fields of science, engineering,
humanities and medicine will have an accelerated path to permanent
- Foreign nationals will not have to
wait as long to obtain permanent residence as under the Tier 1
- The qualifying period for permanent
residence under 'promise' criteria for digital technology
and arts and culture will remain for five years.
- Applicants already under Tier 1 can
apply for permanent residence without switching to the Global
- Absences may not be counted
when research conducted overseas. Applicants for science,
engineering, humanities and medicine that undertake research
overseas related to their visa may do so without their absences
being counted when their settlement application is assessed. This
applies to dependants as well.
- Under a Tier 1 visa, absences from
the United Kingdom during their visa stay counted against the
settlement application requirements. The new visa will allow
applicants to undertake overseas research relating to their visa
and still qualify for permanent residence.
Impact on pending applications
Applicants who have already been endorsed under the Tier 1
Exceptional Talent route may apply under the Global Talent
Fragomen expects additional changes as the UK government
continues to unveil the post-Brexit immigration system that will be
in effect from January 1, 2021.
Brexit continues to be an incredibly complex and uncertain
political issue that carries risks to your business.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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