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Tier 1 - Exceptional Talent Visa - UK

Tier 1 - Exceptional Talent Visa UK

Outlined below is information about the process of obtaining a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa:

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa - Eligibility

This Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route is designed for highly skilled individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology who will enrich the UK’s knowledge economy and cultural life. If you qualify, the route 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, and apply for settlement after 3 or 5 years.

To apply for the UK Exceptional Talent visa, you must work in a qualifying field, and meet the following eligibility criteria:

1. Endorsed as a recognised leader (exceptional talent) or

2. Endorsed as an emerging leader (exceptional promise).

3. Endorsed in one of the following fields: science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology, the arts, fashion, architecture or film and television.

4. Prove that you have made a significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contribution in the digital technology sector either as a founder, entrepreneur or employee of a digital technology company.

5. Prove that you have been (or have the potential to be) recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology sector.

6. Prove continuous learning/mastery of new commercial or technical digital skills throughout your career.

7. Prove that you have exceptional ability in the field by making academic contributions through research.

Who provides an Exceptional Talent Endorsement

At stage 1, one of five Designated Competent Bodies will advise the Home Office whether you meet its eligibility criteria and have reached the appropriate level to be endorsed under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent). 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.

How do you get an Endorsement?

Usually, you will get a decision within 8 weeks. You may get a faster decision if you’re a digital technology specialist and one of the following applies:

  • You have been accepted onto a recognised UK accelerator programme
  • You are part of a senior management team that has experience in building and expanding a digital technology business
  • You plan to work and live outside of Greater London
  • You hold an approved peer-reviewed fellowship
  • You are a senior academic or senior researcher at a UK university, college or research institute - check with your employer whether your role is eligible

When can you apply for Settlement in the UK?

  • apply to settle after 3 years, with an exceptional talent visa
  • apply to settle after 5 years, with an exceptional promise visa

What can you do in the UK, on an Exceptional Talent visa?

  • work - for an employer, as a director of a company or be self-employed
  • change jobs without telling the Home Office
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

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