The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is for those individuals who are ‘exceptionally talented’ in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the performing arts or digital technology.
Who can apply for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa?
The applicants must either be internationally recognised as world-leaders in their field of expertise, or be recognised as having the potential to become world-leaders in their field.
Who can sponsor or endorse Tier 1 Exceptional talent visa applicants?
Applicants under this route do not need to be sponsored by an employer, however their application must be endorsed by one of the following designated ‘Competent Bodies’:
♠ British Academy;
♠ Royal Academy of Engineering;
♠ Royal Society;
♠ Arts Council England;
♠ Tech City UK
These designated bodies must vouch to the Home Office that the migrant is exceptionally talented in his field of expertise.
Is there an Annual cap on Tier 1 Visas?
The total number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas available each year are limited to 1000 which are further split across the following two stages;
♠ there are 500 visas available during the first stage (6 April to 30 September); and
♠ a further 500 available during the second stage (1 October to 5 April).
Each of the 5 Competent Bodies mentioned above are permitted to endorse a pre-determined number of applicants during each stage – which, in total, will amount to the 500 visas available in that stage. If all 500 visa applications in the first stage are granted before 30 September, the Home Office will stop accepting further applications until the next phase opens.
What is the Tier 1 Visa Application process?
The application process for entry clearance (overseas) applications for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, and for those switching into it from other permissible immigration categories, as outlined in the Home Office Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Policy Guidance, consists of two stages:
Stage 1 – The Endorsement
First, the applicant will need to request and obtain an endorsement from a designated competent body. This is an organisation that can endorse whether the applicant is internationally recognised in his field of expertise as a world-leader, or has the potential to become one (having already demonstrated exceptional promise).
Please note that if an applicant is switching into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa from within the UK, his current visa or leave to remain will not be deemed extended whilst the application for endorsement is being considered. The current leave to remain is only extended when the application for the actual visa has been made – if made before the current visa expires – after endorsement.
Each Competent Body has its own set of criteria which it will operate to determine qualification for endorsement. Please book your consultation with us for further advice on this.
Stage 2 – The Visa application
After you have received your endorsement you will need to make an application for visa (also known as ‘entry clearance’ if applying from overseas) or leave to remain (if you are switching visa categories from within the UK) under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) of the points-based system.
Please note that you must make your application for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa within 3 months of receiving the endorsement. Please contact us if you’d like Citizen UK to represent you in your application for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa to increase your prospects of success.
Who can switch into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa from within the UK
You can only switch into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa if you have permission to stay in the UK in one of the following categories:
♠ Tier 1
♠ Tier 2 (any category)
♠ Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Government Authorised Exchange) on an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers
What Period of leave will be granted to a successful Tier 1 visa applicant?
If granted, the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa will allow you to stay in the UK for 3 years and 4 months. However those switching into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, will be allowed to stay for 3 years. You will be allowed to apply for an extension of stay for another 2 years.
What are the Application fees?
The following table shows the cost of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa and leave to remain applications for both the main applicant and dependants.
|In-country leave to remain (visa) applications||£1,093|
|In-country leave to remain (visa) applications for nationals of Turkey and FYR Macedonia||£1,038|
|In-country Dependant applications – partner, spouse, child under 18 as dependent of the main applicant||£1,093|
|Out of country leave to enter (visa) applications||£874|
|Out of country leave to enter (visa) applications for nationals of Turkey and FYR Macedonia||£819|
|Out of country Dependent applications – partner, spouse, child under 18 as dependant of the main applicant||£874|
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa main applicant fee can be paid in two parts – £420 when making the request for endorsement and the remainder when applying for visa itself.
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