Expansion of Global Talent visa to boost mobility in UK research and innovation

AIRTO (the Association of Innovation, Research & Technology Organisations) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have partnered to increase prospects for international mobility through driving change for a more accessible Global Talent visa.

The UK’s Global Talent visa provides a fast, straight forward, and flexible route for researchers and specialists to move to and collaborate with the UK. UKRI operates the endorsed funder route of the Global Talent visa.

By working together, AIRTO and UKRI are making the Global Talent visa even more accessible to international researchers and experts by increasing the number of eligible host organisations. As a result, for the first time, organisations outside the public sector can be approved by UKRI for the Global Talent visa. The first organisations to benefit from this development are Innovation, Research & Technology sector organisations which are AIRTO members.

Steve Yianni FREng, President of AIRTO said:

 “AIRTO has been an active and supportive member of the UKRI Global Talent visa External Advisory Board since 2020.  AIRTO is delighted to have worked with UKRI Global Mobility to improve the accessibility of Global Talent visa, to create a mechanism for more international talent to be able to work in the UK.

“Many more AIRTO member organisations have now been classified as “approved host organisations”, which will enable them to fast-track applications for individuals via the Global Talent visa, to expand and accelerate their applied and world leading research and development activities.”

Linda Holliday, Deputy Director of Global Mobility & Inclusion at UKRI said:

“We are really pleased to have worked in partnership with AIRTO to bring this change about. We look forward to working with the community to continuously expand and improve our offer and support many more organisations to make the UK a top destination for research and innovation talent.”

Welcoming the announcement, Colette Cohen, CEO, Net Zero Technology Centre (a member of AIRTO) said:

“I’m delighted that the Net Zero Technology Centre has been added to the approved host organisations list. Transitioning to an affordable net zero energy industry will only be made possible, in part, by ambitious scientists, engineers and technology developers who will drive innovation. The UK has an abundance of expertise and skill, but the climate challenge we face is a global one that can benefit from global talent & collaboration as we develop and establish our green economy.”

 The full list of UKRI approved host organisations is available here. These organisations can employ or host an international researcher who holds, or provides critical contributions to work supported by, an award or grant from an endorsed funder.

Helping more organisations to attract and host international talent
The expansion of the Global Talent visa will ensure ease of access to the UK for researchers and technical experts contributing to UK research either on a temporary or permanent basis.
It also enables a wider variety of UK based research and innovation organisations to easily attract and host international talent, promoting high quality, creative, and collaborative research, innovation and skill transfer across national boundaries.


AIRTO is the Association of Innovation, Research and Technology Organisations. Its membership comprises approximately sixty of the principal organisations operating in the UK’s Innovation, Research and Technology (IRT) sector. The IRT sector has a combined turnover of £6.9Bn, employing over 57,000 scientific and technical staff (equivalent to the academic staffing of the Russell Group of universities) and, for comparison, it is significantly larger than the network of Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany both in size and its scope of activities. The sector contributes £34Bn to UK GDP. AIRTO’s members work at the interface between academia and industry, for both private and public sector clients.

Members include independent Research and Technology Organisations, Catapult Centres, Public Sector Research Establishments, National Laboratories, and some privately held innovation companies.

For further information, please contact: enquiries@airto.co.uk