This route 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. To be able to apply for such a visa, you need to be endorsed as a leader (exceptional talent) or emerging leader (exceptional promise) in one of the fields mentioned above.
Applicants may apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa under two categories:
• Exceptional Talent criteria for applicants who have already demonstrated that they have made a significant contribution as a leader to their field; and
• Exceptional Promise criteria for applicants who may be earlier in their careers but have already shown the potential to make significant contributions as a future leader in their field.
Applying for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent/Promise) visa is a two-stage process.
Stage 1 assesses the applicant’s skills, abilities and achievements and enables the Designated Competent Bodies to decide whether they should endorse the application in order to progress to stage 2 of the application. While Stage 1 applications are submitted to the Home Office, they are not immigration applications.
At stage 1, one of five Designated Competent Bodies will advise the Home Office whether the applicant meets its eligibility criteria and have reached the appropriate level to be endorsed under the visa route.
The recognised Designated Competent Bodies are:
• Arts Council England – for arts, culture, fashion, architecture, film and television applications;
• The British Academy – for humanities and social science applications;
• The Royal Society – for natural sciences and medical science research applications;
• The Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering applications; and
• Tech Nation – for digital technology applications.
Each Designated Competent Body specifies the evidence the applicant must send to demonstrate that they meet their criteria
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) is subject to a limit of 2,000 endorsements in total per year (beginning on 6 April one year and ending on 5 April the following year). This is split into 2 phases with half the limit available from 6 April to 30 September each year; and the body’s remaining unused allocated endorsements made available from 1 October to 5 April each year. The first 1000 places in the limit are allocated between the Designated Competent Bodies as follows:
• Arts Council England – 250 places;
• The Royal Society – 250 places;
• The Royal Academy of Engineering – 150 places;
• The British Academy – 150 places;
• Tech Nation – 200 places.
The remaining 1000 places are unallocated and are available to any Designated Competent Body once it has used its allocated places. Priority will be given based on the date of application.
If the applicant is successful at Stage 1 and receives the endorsement, they must apply to the Home Office for entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK (as applicable) within 3 months of the date of their endorsement – this is the second stage of the application. It is also open to non-EEA dependant family members to make an application join or remain in the UK with them. At this stage, the Home Office will assess whether the applicant (together with their family members) meet the criteria for entry clearance or leave to remain as per the Immigration Rules.
Gherson has extensive experience in assisting with all categories of work-related immigration matters. Should you require assistance or advice in respect of any of the above application routes, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.