Entry requirements and conditions

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | United Kingdom

Entry to the UK is dependent upon many factors, it is therefore essential that you are aware of your current status and whether you need documentation or a visa.

You should also ensure that you apply for the most appropriate visa so your application has the greatest chance of approval.

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent visa is a UK immigration category for talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK. It replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa on 20 February 2020.

To be considered for entry under the Global Talent visa, applicants must gain an endorsement from one of six endorsing bodies engaged by the Home Office.

If you are applying for endorsement in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences or the humanities or for other academic and research roles, the Home Office will refer your application to the British AcademyRoyal Academy of EngineeringRoyal Society or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which will make an endorsement decision based on the evidence you provide.

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

If the endorsement is granted, the final immigration decision rests with the Home Office.

Holders of certain prestigious prizes can apply for a visa without going through the initial endorsement stage. The list of eligible awards and further information is available on GOV.UK.

Researchers applying for a Global Talent visa

There are four routes for eligible academics and researchers to obtain endorsement for a Global Talent visa. The Home Office Guidance sets these out under the heading Science, engineering, humanities and medicine applicants, though a full range of academic and research disciplines are covered. 

  1. Academic and research appointments – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have accepted a position at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute with responsibility either for academic, research or innovation leadership and development, or for directing or leading an individual or team research or innovation project or programme of work. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
  2. Individual fellowships – fast-track endorsement for individuals who have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.
  3. Endorsed funders – fast-track endorsement for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI. In order to be eligible, researchers must be hosted or employed by an eligible institution approved by UKRI.

    *Temporary concession for researchers working on COVID-19 grants* 

    International academics and researchers wishing to work on COVID-19 related research grants can apply for a Global Talent visa via the endorsed funder route under relaxed criteria until 31 July 2021. Find out more.  

  4. Peer review – standard endorsement for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.


Who needs a visa?

Your visa needs may vary based on you and your dependents' needs.

Wing of a plane

Types of visa

There are many types of visa available. Find out which visa you should apply for.

A man filling out a form

Applying for a visa

Learn about the application process to gain a visa and any documentation you may need.