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Tier 1  Exceptional Talent Visa

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa category is designed for highly skilled individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology who will enrich the United Kingdom’s knowledge economy and cultural life. The Home Office, UKVI recognise that such talented individuals should have few restrictions on their economic activity once in the UK. If you qualify, the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa category allows you to work and change employers, or to be self-employed, without the need for further authorisation or to be sponsored for employment in a specific post.

You may qualify under this route if you are already internationally recognised as having made significant contributions as a leader in your field, or you have already demonstrated potential to contribute significantly as a future leader in your field.

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed as:

  • a recognised leader (exceptional talent)

  • an emerging leader (exceptional promise)


In order to apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, you will first need to receive an endorsement from an appropriate endorsing body. You can be endorsed in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts or digital technology. The relevant endorsing bodies are:

  • The Royal Society

  • The Royal Academy of Engineering

  • The British Academy

  • The Arts Council

  • Tech City UK

Each endorsing body has its own set of criteria, but in each case you will need a substantial body of work and support from experts in your field. Once you have been endorsed, you will be able to apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.

Duration of Visa:

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa applicants can decide how long they would like to stay in the UK for, up to a maximum of five years.

After spending a continuous period of either three years (exceptional talent) or five years (exceptional promise) in the UK as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa holder you may be eligible to settle in the UK.

There is a limit on how many applications can be endorsed each year of 2000. This is split between the different endorsing bodies. The limit has never been reached.

As a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa holder you will have a full right to work – for an employer, as a director of a company or as a self-employed person.

Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany or join you as your dependents.

If you wish to obtain advice or legal assistance in respect of your immigration matter, we offer an affordable and confidential consultation at a fixed fee with and experienced immigration lawyer where we can answer your questions and explain the processes that will apply. Your consultation fees will be set off against your instructions to the firm if you go on to instruct us.

For more information or to book an initial consultation, please contact us

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