Are you looking for a page to walk you through the steps of a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise visa application? (Now renamed as Global Talent Visa)
I hope that this post will help give you an insight into my application process and hope it would potentially help yours. Obviously the rules are changing every year, but I think reading through my process would definitely give you a good guideline of how you can prepare for yours.
I am going to keep this as succinct as I can.
Download this document if you haven’t: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/Global%20Talent%20FAQs.docx
Stage 1 - Endorsement
It took me about 1 month to prepare, put everything together and 2 months of wait in total.
I was very meticulous with my application and strategic to fulfil all the requirements that they have asked for.
Here are the steps you should follow:
Obviously, everyone will have different supporting documents, mine were:
Letter of Support :
I also took the liberty to slot in some bonus points that I thought might add some weight to my application:
I also made sure that these letters were dated and printed on letterheads.
*Bonus (as part of the letters)
I thought it was important for the officers to learn about the status and prestige of the people and companies that were supporting my application.
Reviews and Mentions:
I had to look for any reviews or mentions of me and the work I did over the last 5 years from my application.
I was very lucky to have some of these.
Proof of appearance:
I had many of them as credits listen on copies of the program booklet in colour, reviews, credits listen on official websites of each company I’ve done work with.
For shows that I was not mentioned by name on reviews, I tried to squeeze in a line with people who are writing the letter whom I have worked with on specific projects to proof my evolvement. I then hand-written and highlighted “Proof of engagement as mentioned in the letter of (Name)”.
Because of the requirement of them needing proof of work and success in the industry in the last five years from the application, I have also included a list of works that I have done with the year.
For friends who were on long term tours, I suggest you list down all the cities you’ve toured to and list the theatre you’ve performed at, just to make it seem like you’re really busy working on the contrary to just saying, “International tour”.
On a tabbed pocket folder, making it much easier for them to check the boxes, that way, they can’t say I’m lacking in anything they’ve asked for, hence lowering the reasons they can use to decline my application. (See picture)
The reason for the randomness of the sequence is because I was following the sequence on the Document Checklist generated from the application form after I’ve made the payment.
After the application was sent, it took me eight weeks before I heard back from them.
I tried calling in and asking about the status at week eight, I’d say, don’t bother.
They charge money for these calls and would give you exact answers as what you can read off in black and white. “The application will take up to eight weeks before you hear back.. we can’t see the status of the application, you’ll just have to wait.. If it is taking longer than eight weeks, send them a reply from the email when they send you their “Acknowledge of Receipt”.
During week eight, I did call the Arts Council directly to check on my status. They mentioned they’ve already sent my application results back on week six but can’t let me know the results. I’ve got to wait for the Home office to contact me. Which they did two days later, on the Last day of Week eight.
Stage 2 - Visa application
I had to go back to Singapore to do this, which is annoying and a complete waste of money. I also paid for the Priority Service because I had to come back to rehearse for a show (as you can imagine the stress I was going through if there were any delays or if I didn’t get the endorsement from arts council when I got the job)
However, if you have the following visas, you can apply and switch from within the country:
I was on a Tier 5 Creative and Sporting visa, which does not qualify for a switch.
Because I paid for the priority service, I was able to retrieve my visa and passport within 5 days.
Voila! I bought a ticket to come back to London and the rest is history.
I hope this post would give you a clear insight into my experience and also an idea of what you should do. I know it’s stressful but hang in there.
All the best!
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