To make an application under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), applicants must first receive an endorsement from a Designated Competent Body (DCB). Here, Nick Gore explains what applicants can do if the endorsement application is refused.
The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route
The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route is for those who are highly skilled in the fields of humanities and science, digital technology, architecture, fashion and other arts. Each field has different endorsement requirements with specific evidence to provide. In general, applicants must only provide a limited number of documents demonstrating how they meet the endorsement criteria as well as recommendation letters from recognised experts.
Having received an endorsement from a DCB, applicants can go on to make an immigration application and, if successful, will be granted leave to enter or remain in the UK.
If the applicant is granted leave, relatively few immigration restrictions apply. Applicants can undertake work on an employed or self-employed basis and are not bound to a specific employer.
The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also referred to as ‘settlement’ or ‘permanent residence’, after five continuous years residence in the UK, or after three years if the applicant meets the accelerated criteria.
Endorsement review – procedure
If an endorsement application is refused, applicants can challenge the decision by an Endorsement Review. Any review must be submitted within 28 days from the date of receipt of the refusal email.
The Endorsement Review form must be completed and submitted setting out clearly why a mistake was made. Detailed grounds of review should be included, with reference to the original application.
An Endorsement Review is not the same as an Administrative Review. It is a non-statutory scheme. In making the original decision, the DCB will reference the specific endorsement criteria, as set out in the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) policy guidance.
Endorsement review- grounds of review
There can be many reasons for an endorsement refusal, and the criteria to be met for all fields are extremely difficult.
Before contemplating an Endorsement Review, there should be a detailed analysis of the reasons for refusal of the endorsement application. If the DCB has missed any details in the application or there has been any misunderstanding in the documents submitted this should be clearly explained in the Endorsement Review.
In making any decision, the DCB should keep to the specified principles set out in the Code of Practice. These include a requirement that decisions must be consistent and based solely on the published endorsement criteria.
DCB’s must also be open and transparent. There is a requirement to ‘be clear in its actions and decisions’ and ‘ensure the processes it has in place for endorsing applications are clear and not open to abuse.’
If these principles have not been maintained in the refusal, for instance the DCB has not been clear in its reason for refusal or there are inconsistencies, this should be noted in the Grounds of Review.
Further, as the DCB must keep to the published endorsement criteria, there should be a full analysis of whether the refusal has been in line with the criteria.
How we can help
We can provide assistance with the Endorsement Review process, including drafting detailed grounds of review. We have a strong record of successfully assisting those who wish to make an application under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route, including both the endorsement and immigration application. We have secured successful outcomes for individuals spanning a range of industries and sectors, including fashion, digital technology and science.
If you need further information about the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route, please contact us.