This immigration route was created for exceptionally talented individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the arts, who wish to work in the UK.
How to qualify
In order to qualify under this route, the applicant must be already internationally recognised at the highest level as world leaders in their particular field, or have already demonstrated exceptional promise in the fields of science, humanities and engineering and are likely to become world leaders in their particular area, and be endorsed as such by a specified competent body.
Spouses and dependants
A Tier 1 Exceptional Talent holder can apply for their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and dependant children to join them in the UK.
The dependants will be granted the same period of leave as the main applicant and will be able to work without restriction in the UK.
Length of stay and right to work
The visa is initially granted for a period of three years and four months, after which the applicant can apply for an extension of the permit for another two years. The extension is subject to the applicant meeting the extension criteria, which includes the endorsement of the competent body as well as an English language requirement. The applicant must also be able to prove that he/she has earned money in the UK as a result of employment or self-employment in their expert field as previously endorsed by a Designated Competent Body and that the Designated Competent Body has not withdrawn its endorsement of the applicant.
The holder of the permit can work without restriction but cannot take up employment as a doctor or dentist in training or as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
Permanent Residence in the UK
At the end of successful completion of a five-year period on the permit, the holder can qualify to apply for permanent residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain, subject to certain requirements.