Unless they meet the eligible prize criteria, those applying under the Global Talent route must obtain an endorsement from an Endorsing Body. For the fields 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 route is for those who are highly skilled in the fields of humanities and science, digital technology, architecture, fashion and other arts. Successful applicants can be granted leave in the UK for up to five years.
As part of this route, unless they have an eligible prize, applicants must receive an endorsement from the relevant body in their field. This must confirm that they meet the Exceptional Promise criteria (for potential leaders in the relevant field) or Exceptional Talent criteria (for leaders in the relevant field). Applicants must make an application and provide evidence of their expertise. If the Endorsing Body provides an endorsement, the applicant can then go on to make the stage 2 immigration application.
Arts Council endorsements – mandatory criteria and evidence
Applicants must meet the criteria listed under Appendix Global Talent of the Immigration Rules (HC395, as amended). The Arts Council has also produced some useful additional information on its 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 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 media recognition for their individual work from at least two countries. Those applying under exceptional promise can rely on their work as a contributor and only need to evidence media recognition from one country; or
- winning, or significantly contributing to winning, an international award for excellence. Those applying under exceptional promise can provide evidence of significantly contributing to being nominated, or shortlisted for, or being nominated or shortlisted for, an international award for excellence; or
- appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions considered internationally significant in their field, or evidence of extensive international distribution and audiences for their work, from at least two countries. Those applying under exceptional promise can rely on work from one country, which does not have to be ‘significant’ or ‘extensive’.
Evidence of media recognition is often used by applicants. The pieces can be online or in print and include features, reviews or profiles that are dated within the last five years.
The word ‘significant’ is subjective here. Applicants should ensure that the publications are well known, have a high circulation or, most importantly, are demonstrate that they 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.
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, event listings or advertisements that merely publicise your work would not be acceptable’. Of course, positive reviews, and reviews linking to a wider theme of the applicant’s uniqueness as a performer, are helpful.
For exceptional 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.
International award of excellence
Although an exhaustive list of acceptable international awards is not provided, the examples given are of a very high calibre including ‘Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, Booker Prize’. In addition, the award must be one of merit and not a monetary award such as a grant or bursary, which limits the possibilities further.
In recent changes, those applying under exceptional talent can rely on ‘making a significant contribution to winning’ such an award and the guidance gives the example of a stage manager on a production. In this case supporting documents should be provided detailing the contribution made. 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 an arts scholarship to attend a conservatoire or an art school. Relying on scholarships may help exceptional promise applicants, and there should be sufficient evidence of the prestige of the school or scholarship.
Appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions
Meeting this requirement can show that the applicant has been professionally engaged, produced work of outstanding quality and has a developing track record. The appearance, performance, publication or exhibition must have taken place within the last five years.
Again, there is no list of appropriately recognised ‘internationally significant’ events, so each appearance will have to be considered on its own merits. The evidence provided should also justify how the event is internationally significant.
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 and screenshots of videos may also be used.
Exceptional promise applicants can again rely on appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions where they have worked as a group or with another individual providing they can provide evidence of the contribution made. Supporting documents would have to be provided evidencing the contribution that the applicant made.
This article was originally posted on 21 August 2019 and has been updated to reflect changes in policy.
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.
If you need further information about this route, please contact us.