Those applying for leave under the Global Talent route are required to obtain an endorsement from the endorsing body in their field. For those applying on the basis of dance, music, theatre, visual arts (including museums and galleries), literature and combined arts, the relevant body is the Arts Council. We review the requirements to be met and the documents to provide for this application.
The Global Talent visa
The Global Talent visa is for those who are highly skilled in the fields of science and humanities, technology, fashion, and architecture . Successful applicants can be granted leave in the UK for up to five years.
As a requirement of this route, applicants must receive an endorsement from the relevant endorsing body in their field, confirming that they meet the exceptional promise (for potential leaders in the relevant field) or exceptional talent (for leaders in the relevant field) criteria. Applicants must make an application and provide evidence of their expertise. If the endorsement is issued applicants can then go on to make the stage 2 immigration application.
Global Talent: Arts Council endorsements
Applicants must meet the criteria listed under Appendix Global Talent of the Immigration Rules (HC395, as amended). The Arts Council have also produced some useful additional information on their website.
To receive an endorsement, applicants must demonstrate that they:
- are professionally engaged in producing outstanding performed, presented, distributed or internationally exhibited work; and
- have had regular professional engagement in their field in the last five years; and
- either have a substantial track record in more than one country (if applying under exceptional talent), or a developing track record in one or more countries (if applying under exceptional promise).
Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the requirements by evidencing at least two of the following:
- two or more examples of significant international media recognition for their work from at least two countries. Those applying under exceptional promise only need to evidence media recognition from one country, which can be a national or international publication; or
- winning, or significantly contributing to winning, a recognised award for excellence. Those applying under exceptional promise can provide evidence of significantly contributing to winning or being nominated, or shortlisted for, a recognised award for excellence; or
- appearances, publications, exhibitions or distribution of their work, from at least two countries as an individual or as part of a group that they have contributed towards.
Evidence of media recognition is often used by applicants. The pieces can be online or in print and include detailed independent profiles, reviews, evaluations, or critiques that are dated within the last five years.
The word ‘significant’ is subjective here and exceptional talent applicants should ensure that the publications are well known, have a high circulation and most importantly, are arts and culture experts. It should be noted that exceptional promise applicants do not have to provide ‘significant’ international media recognition, so there is a wider scope for the type of outlets that can be used as media recognition, and the guidance specifically allows ‘prominent blogs by credible critics’ to be used in exceptional promise applications.
The media recognition would ideally set out a critique or review of the applicant’s work to demonstrate recognition of artistic quality and the guidance specifically sets out that ‘Interviews where you are answering questions about your life, or that are publicising upcoming events are not acceptable forms of evidence’. Of course, positive reviews, and reviews linking to a wider theme of the applicant’s uniqueness as a performer, are helpful, and all the evidence provided should be a ‘detailed evaluation.’
For both exceptional talent and promise applicants, there can also be a reliance media recognition as part of a group, or for the work of another individual that they were involved in, rather than naming the applicant individually. Supporting documents would have to be provided evidencing the contribution that the applicant made, and for exceptional talent applicants, the contribution must be ‘significant’.
Recognised award of excellence
Although an exhaustive list of acceptable awards is not provided, these are often of a very high calibre. In addition, the award must be one of merit and excellence and not simply a monetary award such as a grant or bursary, which limits the possibilities further.
This is a high bar, and applicants often decide to skip this evidential requirement. However, those applying under exceptional talent can rely on making ‘a significant contribution to an award won by another individual or group you worked with’. In this case supporting documents should be provided detailing the contribution made, as well as evidence of the award itself. Exceptional promise applicants can also rely on making a ‘direct contribution to the win or nomination’. This allows much greater scope for meeting this requirement.
Although educational awards such as a PhD are not accepted, there is the possibility of exceptional promise applicants relying on educational prizes, and an example given is a scholarship to attend a creative course at a recognised university, conservatoire or art school. Relying on scholarships may help exceptional promise applicants, and there should be sufficient evidence of the prestige of the school or scholarship, and how this was awarded.
Appearances, publications, exhibitions or distribution of your work
Meeting this requirement can show that the applicant has been professionally engaged and has established an international presence and demand for their work. The engagement must have taken place within the last five years.
Applicants should consider what type of evidence to collate for this requirement. A CV is not acceptable to demonstrate appearances, and applicants can only submit ten supporting documents in total and should try to demonstrate as many significant appearances as possible (and must as a minimum show more than one appearance).
A letter of support by an appropriate person listing all the events the applicant has participated in and providing further detail about them may be helpful in this regard, but this must be reviewed on a case by case basis. Programmes, adverts, posters, distribution lists and screenshots of videos may also be used.
Applicants can again rely on engagements where they have worked as a group or with another individual if they can provide evidence of the contribution made (and for exceptional talent applicants, a ‘significant’ contribution is made). Supporting documents would have to be provided evidencing the contribution that the applicant made. Exceptional promise applicants may also be able to rely on academic work in some instances.
Global Talent: Arts Council endorsements: How we can help
Applicants must also provide three letters of support from experts in the field that must meet certain criteria. We are experienced in preparing successful Global Talent endorsement and immigration applications for individuals spanning a range of industries and sectors, including fashion, digital technology and science.
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This article was originally posted on 23 July 2019 and has been updated to reflect changes in policy.