Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Non-EEA, exceptionally talented individuals, who wish to work in the UK, can apply for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. Applicants must be exceptionally talented in the fields of Science, Humanities, Engineering, Medicine, Digital Technology or the Arts.

There are 2,000 visas available under this route, every year.

How to qualify for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

The application process for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent takes place in two stages.

Stage 1

During Stage 1, you apply to the Home Office for endorsement as a leader or emerging leader in your field of expertise. The fields are; Science, Humanities, Engineering, Medicine, Digital Technology or Arts.

A relevant, competent body then advises the Home Office whether you are eligible, and are at the appropriate level to be endorsed.

The recognised competent bodies are;

  • The Arts Council England, for Arts & Culture applications.
  • The British Academy, for Humanities and Social Science applications.
  • The Royal Society, for Natural Sciences and Medical science research applications.
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering, for Engineering applications.
  • Tech City UK, for Digital Technology applications.

Stage 2

After receiving the endorsement, the applicant proceeds to stage 2, during which you can apply for the visa.

There is no English Language requirement.

It is possible to switch to this visa category from Tier 1, Tier 2, or certain Tier 5 categories.

Spouses and dependents of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

You can apply for your spouse/civil partner/ unmarried partner and dependent children to join you. They will receive the same period of leave as the main applicant.

Dependents will be able to work without restriction in the UK.

Length of stay and right to work

You can apply for leave for up to a maximum of five years, or 5 years and 4 months if obtaining Entry Clearance.

You will be able to apply to extend your leave if you require further limited leave to remain. There is not a maximum limit on the time a person can spend in this category.

There is no work restriction on your visa. You can thus be employed or work in self-employment. However, when you apply for an extension or settlement, you have to prove that you have been paid for work in your field of expertise.

You cannot work as a doctor, a dentist in training, professional sportsperson or sports coach.

You do not have access to public funds.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

If you have an endorsement under the Exceptional Promise criteria, you will qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years.

If you have an endorsement under the Exceptional Talent criteria, you will qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after three years.

This is subject to certain requirements. Read more on Indefinite Leave to Remain here.

How to apply as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa holder

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have a highly trained and experienced team of consultants dealing with Tier 1 Exceptional Talent applications. Contact us today to speak to our Tier 1 team.