UKRI celebrates 5,000 Global Talent visa endorsements

Visa application on desktop with passport and union jack wallet.

Endorsed funders route helps attract the brightest scientists and researchers to pursue their careers in the UK.

The Global Talent visa (GTV) was launched in 2020 to provide a specialist route for international researchers to live and work in the UK.

Since then, through its endorsed funder’s route, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has helped over 5,000 talented people from over 130 different countries to build their careers in the UK.

We want to bring this opportunity to more people and for more organisations to become endorsed GTV funders and hosts.

Find out more about the scheme and how you can support it.

Benefits of the GTV

The GTV supports highly skilled researchers to establish themselves in the UK and provides them with the flexibility to switch jobs and grow their careers.

Specific benefits include:

  • no salary threshold and a fast-track path to indefinite leave to remain
  • dependents are free to come to live and work in the UK with the main visa holder
  • flexibility to change roles or employers, enter self-employment, earn money from other sources, such as consulting, or to establish a spin-out company
  • applicants can choose the length of their visa, initially up to five years, with the option to renew multiple times
  • allows travel anywhere in the world for research purposes, which does not count towards the maximum time period for absences from the UK during an application for settlement
  • a standard five-year fee of £716, compared to up to £1,500 for the Skilled Worker visa (this doesn’t include the UK immigration health surcharge, which must still be paid)
  • employer sponsorship costs are not applicable to the route, including the UK immigration skills charge
  • fast-track endorsement routes usually see endorsing bodies return a decision to the Home Office within 14 working days

A global endeavour

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, UKRI CEO, said:

Research is a global endeavour and welcoming talented people from around the world to the UK’s vibrant research and innovation community is critical to delivering its economic, societal and environmental benefits.

Each of these 5000 endorsements for a Global Talent Visa represents a talented individual who has chosen to further their career in the UK, undertaking research and innovation that will enrich lives not only locally and nationally, but globally too.

I am grateful to all the people and organisations who have made this milestone possible, and I look forward to our continued collaboration in increasing the opportunities for researchers from around the world to live and work in the UK.

How it works

There are four routes to endorsement, covering a wide range of disciplines.

Researchers and teams moving to the UK carry out research at a broad range of organisations across the UK, including:

  • independent research organisations
  • higher education institutions
  • public sector research establishments
  • select non-public sector research organisations

UKRI endorsed funders route

UKRI operates the fast-tracked endorsed funders route and has so far endorsed over 100 recognised funders.

Researchers and teams working on grants from any of these funders and employed or hosted at one of 190 UKRI approved host organisations can apply for endorsement from UKRI for a GTV.

Other routes

The British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, and Royal Society collectively run three other routes to endorsement:

  • the academic and research appointment route
  • the individual fellowship route
  • the peer review route

The academic and research appointment, and individual fellowship route are fast-tracked, while the peer review route to endorsement should only be used where the fast-tracked routes cannot be used.

Support the scheme

In partnership with the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, and Royal Society we work to expand the number of ways researchers can be endorsed for a GTV.

UKRI can endorse individuals working on research funded by a wide range of domestic and international funders.

Suggestions for additional funders for endorsement can be made via our Engagement Hub.

Ask a question about the GTV


Further information

The figure of 5,000 is drawn from UKRI endorsements data and is not an official government number.

Read Home Office immigration statistics for year ending September 2023.

Top image:  Credit: Cristian Storto Fotografia, iStock, Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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