Global Talent and students

07 February 2020

You might have seen UK Government press releases announcing a new immigration category called Global Talent. It comes into force on 20 February 2020 and replaces Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent). In spite of much talk of the introduction of an 'Australian-style points-based system' (PBS), it is not a PBS route and it replaces a category which is part of the current points-based system of immigration. 

Terminology aside, what difference will it make to Tier 4 students? Like Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), there is no provision for students, including graduates with Tier 4 doctorate extension scheme, to apply under Global Talent in the UK. 'Switching' remains restricted to holders of Tier 1, Tier 2, Start-up and Innovator immigration permission and Tier 5 (Government-Authorised Exchange) sponsored researchers. However, if you meet all the Global Talent requirements, including endorsement by one of the specifed bodies, you can apply outside the UK.

Although government information focuses on science and technology, the Immigration Rules state that "This category is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science,engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) wishing to work in the UK. Applicants will be leaders in their field, or have the potential to be leaders, as determined by an endorsing body. This category may lead to settlement in the UK" (see paragraph W4 of the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, which sets out the requirements of Global Talent).

Eligibility criteria vary, and separate provisions are set out for:

  • Arts and culture
  • Architecture
  • Fashion industry
  • Film and television
  • Digital technology, assessed by Tech Nation
  • Science, engineering, humanities and medicine, including fast-track and full peer review routes
  • Eligible senior academic or research positions
  • Applicants hosted or employed in a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-approved UK research organisation following receipt of a research grant or award from an endorsed funder

As this is not a route targeted at Tier 4 students, we are not able to provide further information or help with applications for Global Talent leave. However, a number of other organisations, including the endorsing bodies, provide detailed information. For example, see:

UKRI, which includes links to other organisations

Richmond Chambers Immigration Barrister FAQs

Free Movement - overview and commentary on new provisions for researchers


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