Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

Who can apply under Tier One Exceptional Talent Visa?

An applicant can apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa if he/ she has been endorsed by the Secretary of State (Home Office), in the field of either science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts as a recognised leader, (and hence exceptional talent), or as an emerging leader, (hence exceptional promise). The latter means this person is a potential leader in his/ her recognise field of endorsement.

Therefore, it can be seen that this route is designed for highly skilled individuals in their particular field who will make the UK a richer and more advanced nation with their knowledge with respect for example to science, economy and cultural life.

If the applicant is already internationally recognised as having made a significant contribution as a leader in his/ her field of expertise or has already demonstrated potential to contribute significantly as a future leader in his/ her field, then that person may be able to qualify under this Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route.

What is the application process for Tier One Exceptional Talent Visa?

There is a two-stage process to obtain this Visa: – first, the applicant must apply to the Home Office, and this can be done online, for an endorsement as a Tier 1 exceptional talent or as an emerging leader in his/ her particular field. It will probably be easier and more comprehensive if applications were made by special delivery post rather than online as several documents will be needed to be supplied in terms of details of the invention for example or improvement made by the applicant in the field of specialism, and any patterns involved or registration of trademarks, to persuade the Home Office that this individual is a recognised leader or an emerging leader.

Once endorsement has been obtained then the applicant can apply for the visa.

Tier 1 Exceptional talent Visa requirements?

A current passport or other valid travel identification will be required together with a printed copy of the endorsement letter from the Home Office and of course a tuberculosis test result if the applicant is applying from a country where he/ she has to take that test. Furthermore, the applicant needs one page unused on both sides in his / her passport.

Usually, the applicant would make the application from the British Embassy or Consulate in his/ her country of nationality or residence. It will be at the discretion of any other British Embassy or Consulate in a country which is not the applicant’s national country or place of usual residence, to entertain the application from the that Embassy/ Consulate, but usually a visa in that particular country of at least six months would be required for the applicant to have held, before the embassy or consulate give consideration.

We should say that there may be a need to provide additional documentation depending on the applicant’s particular circumstances. What I have set out herein are the minimum requirements for eligibility.

Furthermore, should there be a need for translated documents, then certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh must be provided.

Are there any annual restrictions in Category of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?

The answer is there are restrictions or caps, in that at present only 500 places are released on both sixth April and first October each year. If an applicant is not able to come within the available places released in the year then the application may be delayed as it will be deferred to the next available release date.

How long will the process take to obtain Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?

After the endorsement has been obtained, the earliest the applicant can apply for this Visa is three months before he/ she intends to travel to the UK. For example, if the travel plan is say, 15th June, the application can be made from 16th March.

The applicant should obtain a decision on the Visa application within three weeks when applying from outside the UK. This is what the Home Office say, however, there may very well be a certain period of delay in relation to unforeseen circumstances. Furthermore, it will depend on the particular country from where the application is made.

What fees are involved into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?

There will, of course, be the endorsement fee which at present is £292 paid separately to the Home Office, but may well increase. And there will also be the application fee. That at present is £293 and again it may increase. Dependents pay a fee of £585. Again, this may increase.

There will, in addition, be an NHS healthcare surcharge as part of the application process of £500 indeed for each dependent. Dependents mean a spouse, or civil partner or an unmarried partner and his/ her or their children under the age of 18.

How long can the applicant or the applicant and his/ her dependants stay in the UK?

Five years and four months if the application is made from outside the UK or five years if the application is made from inside the UK. I say this because there is a provision for switching from one visa category to another for which see next below.

Can an applicant switch from another Visa to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?

Applicants who are present on Tier 1 or Tier 2 category, or indeed Tier 5, government-sponsored exchange programs for researchers, can switch in the country to this Visa.

Can an applicant apply to settle in the UK under this Visa?
An applicant who has been on this Visa for five years can apply for permanent residence in the UK.

Is there anything an applicant can do on this Visa?

An applicant can work for an employer as an employee or as an employee director of a company, (directors are usually employees of the company), or be self-employed, change jobs without telling the Home Office, do voluntary work, travel abroad and return to the UK, and bring family members with him/her.

Is there anything an applicant cannot do?

An applicant cannot get public funds to maintain and support him/herself and dependants, nor can he / she work as a doctor or dentist in training as these require specialist qualifications and nor can he / she work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach as these obviously require specialist qualifications in their particular field of expertise.

Our qualified and highly experienced immigration solicitors will assist you with all arrangements and documentation required to obtain Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.