Health and care visa sponsors may face further restrictions on visa sponsorship

Nobel prize laureates and other prestigious award winners not applying for UK visas

It has recently been publicised in the New Scientist that the UK Global Talent fast-track visa route has failed to attract a single applicant so far. The article in the New Scientist has attracted significant attention and comments.

Approximately half a year ago, in May 2021, the Home Office announced a fast-track Global Talent visa route for Nobel prize laureates and other prestigious award-winners in science, engineering, the humanities and medicine. The list of the prizes that qualify for the fast-track route, are listed in the immigration rules here Immigration Rules Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes – Immigration Rules – Guidance – GOV.UK (

The prizes qualifying for the fast -track Global Talent visa include prestigious awards such as: Brit Awards, International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Booker prize, Olivier Award, Tony Award, Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Turing Award, Nobel prize, etc.

Global talent visa fast track not a success

Global talent fast track advantages

Those who receive one of the listed prizes are exempt from the endorsement stage for the UK Global Talent visa. The standard Global Talent visa process has two stages: stage 1 is to obtain an endorsement from one of the endorsing bodies and stage 2 is to apply for the Global Talent visa with the letter of endorsement. The prize winners are exempt from the stage 1.

Home Office spokesperson commented to the New Scientist that “It is just one option under our Global Talent route, through which we have received thousands of applications since its launch in February 2020 and this continues to rise,”

There is a point in the Home Office spokesperson’s statement, as the standard Global Talent visa route is certainly proving popular with the applicants, just not those who won a Noble prize or one of the listed prestigious awards to qualify for the fast-track route.

Global talent visa great features

There is no surprise in the Global Talent visa popularity (except the fast track option for Nobel prize and other prestigious awards winners), as this visa has many advantages over the other UK visa types. Firstly, the application fees are much lower. Another great advantage is that the Global Talent visa may lead to an indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) after 3 years in the UK, not 5 years like most of the other visas. The Global Talent visa also allows working in the UK without the need for sponsorship from a UK employer with a sponsorship licence. Those Global Talent visa holders who wish to run a business in the UK do not have to prove that they have any specific funding available.

To find out more about Global talent visas visit our dedicated webpage.

Global Talent visa is certainly one of the best UK visa options. It is a popular route to the UK. The new fast-track addition to the route has not been a great success though, at least so far.

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