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!