Getting a Global Talent visa to do research in the UK

The Global Talent visa is a specialist visa for researchers and specialists seeking to carry out research in the UK. If you’re not based in the UK or you need a visa to remain in the UK, you may be able to do research in the UK with a Global Talent visa.

Find out what you can do on a Global Talent visa (GOV.UK).

You could be eligible:

  • for individual funding – for example, a fellowship
  • as part of a research team applying for a grant

Applying for a Global Talent visa

There are different ways to apply depending on the circumstances in which you intend to carry out your research.

There are two stages. You will need to apply for both a:

  • Global Talent endorsement, via an approved endorsing body
  • Global Talent visa

The exception is for holders of certain academic prizes of achievement, who only need to apply for a Global Talent visa.

See the list of global talent eligible prizes (GOV.UK).

It’s quicker and easier to apply if both the following are confirmed:

  • your research has funding – either a grant or fellowship from UKRI or another approved funder
  • you’ll be based at an approved UK research organisation.

If you’re already in the UK on another visa you may be able to switch.

Check if you’re eligible to switch to the Global Talent visa (GOV.UK).

All applications are made via GOV.UK.

Getting a Global Talent visa endorsement

Diagram of four routes to get endorsement for Global Talent Visa application.

Diagram of four routes to get endorsement for Global Talent Visa application.

There are four routes to obtain endorsement for a Global Talent visa:

1. Academic or research appointment

Fast-track endorsement for individuals who have accepted an offer of an academic or research appointment at an approved institution. You will need to submit a statement of guarantee from the organisation that is employing you.

2. Individual fellowship

Fast-track endorsement for individuals who currently hold, or have held within the last 5 years, an eligible fellowship. You will need to submit the award letter naming you.

3. Endorsed funder

Fast-track endorsement for individuals who:

  • are or will be working on a research grant issued by UKRI or another endorsed funder
  • are or will be employed or hosted at an organisation approved by UKRI

You will need to submit:

  • the award letter naming you or your role
  • a statement of guarantee from the organisation that is employing or hosting you

4. Peer review

Standard endorsement for individuals who can get an endorsement via the peer review route. No job offer is needed as documentation for this route. You will need to submit your CV and a letter of recommendation.

If you already have a fellowship

Your application will be fast-tracked if you have a fellowship on the approved list.

Check approved fellowships (Royal Society).

This list is approved by the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and British Academy. It includes fellowships offered by UKRI.

Find out how to apply as a fellow (GOV.UK).

If you’re already part of a funded research project

Your application will be fast-tracked if you’re part of a research grant awarded by either:

  • UKRI or one of its councils
  • a funder endorsed by UKRI

Check if a funder is endorsed by UKRI (GOV.UK).

UKRI can endorse you if you (or your role) was named on the grant application. This can be as the principal investigator, co-investigator or other role at graduate level or above. For example, you could be a postdoctoral researcher, research assistant or specialist.

The organisation employing or hosting you in the UK must be approved by UKRI.

Check if an organisation is approved by UKRI (GOV.UK).

Find out how to apply as part of a funded project (GOV.UK).

If you’re not part of funded research or a fellowship

You could still be eligible for a Global Talent visa if you do not have a fellowship or a role on a funded research project.

Your application will be fast-tracked if you have an eligible job offer at an approved institution.

Find out how to apply as an academic or research leader (GOV.UK).

You can apply for a visa as a leader or potential leader if your work is based in arts and culture or digital technology.

Find out how to apply as a leader in arts and culture (GOV.UK).

Find out how to apply as a leader in digital technology (GOV.UK).

If you’re a research leader but not eligible in any other way, you can apply to have your application endorsed by peer review. Find out how to apply with peer review (GOV.UK).

If you’re not eligible for a Global Talent visa

If you’re not eligible for a Global Talent visa, there are other ways to work in the UK.

If you want to come to the UK for a short time to do work experience, training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or fellowship, you can apply for a Government Authorised Exchange visa (Temporary Work).

See getting a temporary visa to do short-term research in the UK.

There are other visas depending on what you want to do and your career stage.

See UK work visas (GOV.UK).

Ask a question about the Global Talent visa

Email: globaltalentvisa@ukri.org

Last updated: 19 December 2023

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