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Switching from a Tier 2 visa to a Global Talent visa

What is a Global Talent Visa?

The global talent visa allows talented and promising professionals from around the world specialised in the fields of science, digital technology and arts and culture to come to the UK and excel with innovations, creativity and advanced expertise to maintain the UK’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy work in the UK.

Before you apply for a Global Talent visa

You must first obtain endorsement before making the visa application unless you have been granted an eligible award. If you have been successfully endorsed you will receive an email from the Home Office with a copy of the endorsement letter, wherein you will have three months to make your visa application. If your application is refused you may be able to request an endorsement review. You can apply for a Global Talent Visa from either within the Uk or outside. If you are outside the UK, you can apply for “entry clearance” in your country of residence.

Who is eligible to get a Global Talent Visa?

To be considered for entry under the Global Talent Visa, all applicants must obtain an endorsement from one of six approved endorsing bodies.

If you are applying for endorsement in the field of science, engineering, medicine, the social science or the humanities, or other academic rules and research the Home Office will forward your application to Royal Society, UK Research and Innovations (UKRI), Royal Academy of Engineering, or the British Academy. One of these endorsing bodies will then make an endorsement decision based on your profile and the evidence you provide.

If you are applying for endorsement in the non-academic fields like that of arts and culture and digital technology, your application will be referred to Arts Council England or Tech Nation.

It is important to note that each endorsing body follows their own endorsement criteria. The endorsing bodies have two sets of criteria when assessing an applicant:

  • Exceptional Talent criteria: for applicants who have already demonstrated that they have made a significant contribution as a leader to their field; and

  • Exceptional Promise criteria: for applicants who may be at an early stage in their careers and have already shown the potential to make significant contributions as a future leader in their field

How do I switch from a tier 2 to a global talent visa?

You can apply online to switch to the Global Talents Visa if you are in the UK and currently hold lawful status under any of the following:

  • Start Up

  • Innovator

  • Tier 1

  • Skilled Worker, Tier 2

  • Tier 5

  • Student, Tier 4, with the exception of Short-Term Student Visa

When switching from Tier 2 to the Global Talent route, it is important to be aware of the conditions attached to your current visa. For example, supplementary employment is permitted, but only in so far as it is in the same profession as the sponsored role, is for no more than 20 hours per week, is outside the normal working hours of the sponsored role and the individual should make their sponsor aware of the supplementary employment.

Another consideration when switching immigration category is eligibility for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). If it is not possible to switch immigration category and instead necessary to leave the UK and apply for permission to enter, it may break the continuity of ILR purposes.

When someone with a Global Talent visa applies for ILR, they can combine time spent in the Tier 2 (General) and/or Skilled Worker categories. Tier 2 (ICT) and ICT visas do not lead to ILR, therefore any time on such a visa cannot be combined with time spent on a Global Talent visa.

Who cannot switch to a Global Talent visa?

You can apply to switch to a Global Talent Visa from within the UK, as long as you do not hold permission to stay in the UK under:

  • Visitor

  • Short-term Student

  • Parent of a Child Student

  • Seasonal Worker

  • Domestic Worker in a private household

  • Outside the Immigration Rules

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

What documentation do I need to provide when applying for a Global Talent Visa?

To make a successful application you will need to provide:

  • A current passport or other valid travel documentation

  • Your tuberculosis test result if you come from a country where you are required to take the test

  • Your endorsement letters

  • Payment for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

  • Application fee

Get visa support from immigration experts

At MSD Solicitors, we are experts in immigration matters, and we have supported thousands of satisfied clients to choose the appropriate immigration route. Our dedicated team can assist you in ensuring you apply for the right type of visa and we can help you switch if you need to. We will provide expert legal advice to ensure that you are fully aware of your rights and requirements, based on your unique circumstances.


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