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TIER 1 Exceptional Talent

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category is for people who wish to work in the UK who are internationally recognised as potential world-leading talent or world leaders in the arts and sciences.
The route for both world leaders and potential world leaders is open to active researchers in academic, government or industry research institutions who are economically active in their chosen field.

Initial applications need to be endorsed by a designated competent body. The designated competent bodies are: the Royal Society, Arts Council England, the British Academy and the Royal Academy of Engineering. It is important to note there is a limit of 1,000 endorsements under this category between 6 April 2012 and 5 April 2013.

To qualify, the following criteria must be met:

Exceptional Talent (World Leader) Exceptional Talent (Potential World Leader)

Applicants must meet all the following criteria:

  • Be able to provide a personal recommendation letter from a renowned person who lives in the UK who knows of the applicant’s work and contribution to the field. They must also be qualified to assess the applicant’s claim to be a world leader in the field;
  • Be performing the role of an active researcher in a relevant field (usually within a university or research institute or in industry);
  • Have a PhD or corresponding research experience; and
  • Must be at least one of the following:
    • A member of a national academy or a
      foreign member of academies of other
      countries (in particular any of the UK
      national academies);
    • The recipient of a prestigious
      internationally recognised prize; or
Able to offer a written recommendation from a
respected UK organisation concerned in the field. This must have been
written by an authorised senior member of
the organisation on official paper.

Applicants must meet all the following criteria:

  • Be able to provide a personal recommendation letter from a renowned person who lives in the UK who knows of the applicant’s work and contribution to the field. They must also be qualified to assess the applicant’s potential to be a world leader in the field;
  • Be just starting out in their chosen career;
  • Be performing the role of an active researcher in a relevant field (usually within a university or research institute or in industry);
  • Have a PhD or corresponding research experience; and
  • Have been awarded, hold or have held in the past five years a respected UK-based research fellowship or an international fellowship judged by the competent bodies to be equivalent.

 

Length of Stay

If permission under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category is approved, the individual may stay in the UK for three years and four months.
Extension applications can be made to stay for a further two years. However, if the competent body that endorsed the original application withdraws its endorsement, the applicant will not be allowed to enter or stay in the UK.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

An individual may apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK after they have been in the country under this visa category (and no other) for five years. To apply, they must be economically active in their field of expertise. The application for settlement must also not be opposed by the competent body that endorsed the original application.

Family Members

The family members of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants can apply to join their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner, or parent (if the applicant is under 18 at the time of application) in the UK.