Tag Archives: Tier 1 exceptional talent visa

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

A Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa may be possible If you’re internationally recognised as a ‘world leader’ or potential world leader in the fields of science and the arts.

This  Visa is a new status visa which has been designed to attract the very best in the fields of science and the arts to the United Kingdom.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Immigration Cap

The UK government has limited the number of applications that can be made under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent). Between the 9 August 2011 and 5 April 2012 the limit has been set at 1,000. The limit may be revised for the financial year 6 April 2012 – 5 April 2013.

Points Required

In order to secure a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa you will need to score a total of 75 points. You will score the required 75 points if you have an endorsement from a ‘designated competent body’.

Tier 1 Designated Competent Body (75 Points Required)

A ‘designated competent body’ is an organisation that can judge whether you are internationally recognised in your field as a world-leading talent, or have demonstrated exceptional promise and are likely to become a world-leading talent in the future.

Current designated competent bodies include:

  • The Royal Society
  • The Arts Council England
  • The British Academy
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering

Please note that before you obtain the endorsement you need to request a Unique Reference Number from the UKBA. Please see below for further details.

Tier 1 Unique Reference Number

You MUST apply for a Unique Reference Number from the UKBA before applying for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. If you do not do this your visa application will be refused.

Unique Reference Numbers are valid for 10 working days from the date of issue, so you must apply for your visa within 10 working days of the date when the unique reference number is issued. You can only use the unique reference number for 1 application.

To request a Unique Reference Number email Tier1ExTalentEoI@UKBA.gsi.gov.uk the following information;

  • Your full name as it appears on your passport, AND
  • Your current passport number, AND
  • The name of the designated competent body that you want to endorse your application

On supplying the information the UKBA will respond to your request within 5 working days and so long as the designated competent body has not reached its limit for endorsements the UKBA will issue a Unique Reference Number to you.

If the UKBA receive your request after the limit has been reached you will be placed on a waiting list for that body. Please note that holding a valid unique reference number does not guarantee that you will be granted a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) visa.

How long can you stay?

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visas are initially approved for 3 years and 4 months however they may be extended for a further 2 years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Time spent on Tier 1 Exceptional Talent DOES count towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as Permanent Residence). You can apply for ILR so long as:

  • You are still economically active in your field of expertise, AND
  • Your application for settlement is not opposed by the designated competent body that endorsed your initial application, AND
  • You have spent all 5 years of the qualifying period in the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) category, and not in any other immigration category

You may like to read Contracting after ILR

Find out More

To find out more about applying for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa call now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!


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Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa | London Visa

Last Sunday evening the FT reported on the London mayor, Boris Johnson’s idea for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa /“London Visa”. If adopted would make it easier for talented technologists from around the world to get jobs in tech start ups and fashion studios. The plan to provide City Hall with a yearly allocation of 100 of the government’s existing exceptional talent visas has already been submitted to the Home Office. If granted the mayor’s office in collaboration with Tech City, the Fashion Council and London Design Festival would pick the best applicants, officially endorse them and speed their entry.

Mr Johnson said “It is a clear message to the elite of Silicon Valley or the fashionistas of Beijing that London is the place they should come to in order to develop ideas, build new businnnesses and be part of an epicentre for global talent.”

Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor for business and enterprise thought the 100 visas a year was fairly modest and stated that in the fields of technology and design, individual talent really matters. He said ” We only need to find one Steve Jobs and we have an Apple on our hands.”

Fledgling businesses cannot cope with the complications and expense of sponsoring foreign workers. According to an article in Computer Weekly Eric van der Kleij, previously CEO of Tech City, suggested the government could invest money into creating experts to teach young companies how to hire people from outside the UK. He said “You can’t change the robustness of the system or it will be abused, but you should spend the money on helping younger companies use the system.”

A report in today’s Daily Telegraph highlights that the Development Economics study estimated that the technology industry, which employs two million people, needs an extra 750,000 workers by 2017 to ubnlock a £12bn windfall. Britain, especially London, is poised on the brink of becoming one of the power houses of the global dogital economy and a genuine rival to Silicon Valley. According to Jonas Almgren, a Silicon Valley veteran, Britain needs more talent to fuel the latest dotcom boom and that means looking further afield. Like football’s Premier league we need to employ the best the world has to offer if we want to be a global player.

We need Boris Johnson’s idea for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent “London Visa” and more. The scheme has been designed in a way that would not antagonise the government and as a Conservative politician he is under pressure to toe the party line to stem the flow of immigrants. While walking the tightrope he works hard to keep people focused on the fact that we need to keep the door open for business people and students in the long term interests of the economy.

If you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering or Finance Commonwealth Contractors may well be able to help.

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!

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Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Route | Changes from the 6th April 2013

Changes to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa route will mean that you no longer have to pay the full application fee upfront, before you know whether your designated competent body will recommend your endorsement. They will no longer need to hold onto your passport while the designated competent body is considering your endorsement, allowing you to travel.

The process will be split into two:
Stage 1 will be applying for endorsement by a designated competent body.
Stage 2 will be applying for permission to work in the UK under this route.

Commonwealth Contractors

If you have exceptional talent or if you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK then Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.


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Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Expansion | 1000 Extra MBA Places

While most areas of UK visa policy are getting tighter, the red carpet is still rolled out for the world’s high flyers.

In December 2012 Theresa May, UK Home Secretary, announced that

  • Phd students will be given 12 months from completing their course to seek work or  as entrepreneurs to start businesses in the UK
  • An extra 1000 Tier 1 ‘Exceptional Talent’ visas will be for MBA students.

The announcement followed London Mayor Boris Johnson’s public support for expat students coming to learn in the UK, and reports that British business schools thought overseas students had been reluctant to study here for an MBA as a direct result of the tightening on the immigration rules that limit their stay after graduation.

It remains to be seen if these very selective freedoms for top postgraduates will alter the perceptions created by generic UK government and opposition statements that the UK wants fewer immigrants.

Certainly the 28th January 2013 FT Business Education supplement, looking at global MBAs highlighted the extra 1000pa Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas being released from April 2013, and it is to be hoped that prospective MBA students will be able to see that the UK really wants them.

So where in the UK should you study for your MBA?
According to the FT’s MBA 2013 college rankings there are 11 schools in the global top 100 with the London Business School at the top of that 11.

Other interesting points made in the supplement include:

  • People are thinking more carefully about taking two years off work to complete an MBA.
  • Students are not interested in learning about business in isolation. For example at Oxford Said Business School 6% of their 200 students are on their 1 + 1 MBA programme which combines the in-depth study of a specialist masters degree with the breath of a one year MBA.
  • Contacts made through MBA Alumni networks are important for opening doors to the future and networking is often an important factor when decided to study for an MBA.
  • The inclusion of trips immersing students in other cultures are now a key part of an MBA. The FT has teamed up with the Global Fund for Children (GFC) and created a challenge for teams of students where there is an intenational mix i.e. One student has to be studying in Europe, a second in the Americas and a third in Asia and Africa. See link below.

If you are an expat studying for a PhD or an MBA, we, and our partners can help you

* Obtain a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.


* Find an employer able to employ you on a Tier 2 (general) work visa.

Call Commonwealth Contractors on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. We are ready to help smooth the path to your future.

FT Links: FT Education and FT and Global Fund for Children MBA 2013 Challenge


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