In 2021, a new fast-track category was added to the Global Talent Visa scheme to help eligible individuals hoping to work in the UK. Unfortunately, unlike the original scheme, which is still going strong, this fast-track addition has fallen flat. With only three applicants in those two years, it’s been a major disappointment for the UK government.
Let’s unpack what this scheme is, who it’s for and why the new category isn’t taking off as expected.
What is the Global Talent Visa Scheme?
The Global Talent Visa Scheme is a UK initiative designed to attract top talent from across the globe. It’s for individuals in fields like science, humanities, engineering, the arts and technology. Successful applicants are able to work in the UK for a period of 5 years without needing a sponsor. Think of it as a red carpet rolled out for exceptional talents who can contribute significantly to the UK’s growth and global standing.
Who is eligible to be fast-tracked?
The recent addition in 2021 to the scheme is more exclusive. Aimed at leaders or potential leaders in their respective fields, it focuses on researchers, artists and tech gurus who have shown outstanding achievements. For example, Nobel laureates.
By attracting high-level professionals, the UK hopes to boost innovation and excellence in key areas like science, technology and the arts.
Why is it failing?
Despite its potential, the scheme has had only three applicants in two years. Why? Several factors could be at play:
Awareness and perception
The Global Talent Visa scheme might not be well-known because it hasn’t been advertised enough – meaning that many people who could apply don’t know about it. Also, does the program seem too exclusive? This ‘prestigious prize‘ pathway can seem elitist and not in keeping with the ethos of fairness and equality for all skilled workers.
Countries around the world are trying hard to bring in skilled people by offering them good deals, like easier ways to get visas and tax breaks. They also attract people with the promise of great schools, a nice place to live and a good balance between work and life.
Complex application process
Applying for a visa can be difficult due to the amount of paperwork, deadlines and rules to understand. If people don’t get help or clear explanations, they might get confused and make mistakes. This can be even harder for those who aren’t used to the legal language in these forms. Not to mention those for whom English is a second language.
Why the scheme’s success matters
The fact that this part of the scheme isn’t being used much is a big problem for the government. If the UK doesn’t bring in these talented people, it might fall behind other countries and miss out on new ideas and advanced technology.
However, UK experts recognise the challenge to make this part of the scheme work. Simply declaring eligibility for a specific visa does not ensure applications. It’s crucial to provide compelling reasons for highly accomplished individuals to relocate from their home countries. Attracting internationally recognised talent requires more than just an announcement of eligibility. It involves understanding and addressing their unique needs and motivations.
So, how can the fast-track element of the scheme work better?
If the scheme is going to continue and be successful, what can be done?
- Firstly, the scheme needs better promotion, so it can reach more people.
- Next, the application process needs to be more straightforward. If it’s simpler to apply, more people will try.
- Finally, the rules could be changed so the criteria apply to a broader spectrum of people. By not being too strict, we might get a wider variety of skilled people. This way, the program can reach its goals better.
Are you the next global talent?
Navigating the complexities of visa applications can be tricky, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re considering applying for the Global Talent Visa Scheme, or your visa has been refused, Osbourne Pinner is well-equipped to guide you through this journey. Our track record is second to none as one of London’s leading solicitors, with offices in Piccadilly Circus and Harrow.
We can assist with visa applications, challenging visa outcomes, addressing immigration detention issues, acting as your representative in immigration court and providing general guidance on immigration legislation. Contact us on 0203 983 5080, email at [email protected] or submit this contact form to find out how we can help.