Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is an exciting category of the Immigration Rules designed to enable those who are endorsed as a recognised or emerging leader in their field to come to the UK to work.
Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa: Main requirements
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is for leaders and emerging leaders in one of the following fields:
- digital technology
- the arts
- film and television
Applicants must first obtain endorsement from one of five Designated Competent Bodies (DCB):
- Arts Council England – for the arts and culture
- British Academy – for humanities and social sciences
- Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering
- Royal Society – for natural sciences and medical science research
- Tech Nation– for applicants in digital technology
2000 places are available each year under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category with the Home Office releasing 1000 places on 6 April and 1 October.
Length and conditions of stay in the UK
Once an endorsement from a DCB has been obtained, applicants can apply for a visa to come to the UK, or leave to remain if already in the UK in an eligible category, for an initial period of up to five years and four months. Those who are eligible to switch into this category from inside the UK will be granted an initial period of leave of up to five years.
Applicants can apply to extend their stay in the UK for a further five years providing they continue to meet the requirements of the scheme.
During their stay in the UK, applicants can work for any employer, work as a director of a company or be self-employed. Applicants are able to change jobs without notifying the Home Office and can carry out voluntary work. Applicants cannot access public funds, work as a doctor or dentist in training or work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be made once an applicant has held Tier 1 Exceptional Talent status for a period of at least five* years. In order to be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, an applicant must demonstrate that:
- they have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK and during this time have not breached any UK immigration laws;
- they meet the requirements in relation to absences; and
- they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test.
*Applicants who were initially granted leave under the exceptional talent, rather than exceptional promise, criteria are able to apply to settle on an accelerated basis after three years.
Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa applications: How we can help
The Home Office will carefully scrutinise an application for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. If it does not consider that the applicant is a recognised or emerging leader in their field or if it considers that any of the other requirements have not been met, the application will fall for refusal. It is therefore essential that the application is prepared thoroughly and carefully.
We are experienced in preparing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process.
For further advice, please contact us.