1. Overview

You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you’ve been endorsed in your field in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts as:

  • a recognised leader (exceptional talent)
  • an emerging leader (exceptional promise)

You must also be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Application process

There’s a 2-stage application process to get this visa.

You first need to apply to the Home Office for endorsement as a leader or an emerging leader in your particular field.

Then, once you have been endorsed, you can apply for the visa.

There are limited places available under this visa category, with 500 places released on both 6 April and 1 October each year.

How long it will take

After you get your endorsement, you can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Fees

You must pay a separate fee for the 2 stages of this process:

  • stage 1 - endorsement (£281)
  • stage 2 - visa application (see table below)

Stage 1

All main applicants must pay the £281 (Rs.27705.90) fee to get an endorsement when applying for the first time or switching to this visa category.

You won’t automatically get a visa if you’ve been endorsed. You won’t be reimbursed your endorsement fee if your visa application is turned down.

Stage 2

How much you pay to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa depends on your circumstances.

Who you’re applying for Stage 1 - endorsement application Stage 2 - visa application
You £281(Rs.27705.90) £281(Rs.27705.90)
You if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia £281(Rs.27705.90) £226(Rs.22278.67)
All dependents - £562(Rs.55404.17)

 

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for up to:

  • 5 years and 4 months if you apply outside the UK
  • 5 years if you apply inside the UK

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • 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

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach

2. Eligibility

To get a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa, you need to be endorsed as a leader (exceptional talent) or emerging leader (exceptional promise) in:

  • science
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • medicine
  • digital technology
  • the arts

Your application for endorsement is considered by:

  • Arts Council England
  • British Academy
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Royal Society
  • Tech City UK (Tech Nation)

3. Documents you must provide

When you apply for your visa you’ll need to provide:a current passport or other valid travel identification

  • a passport-sized colour photograph
  • a printed copy of your endorsement letter
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.

You need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

6. Switch to this visa

You can apply to switch to a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you’re already in the UK with any of these visa types:

  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 5 (Temporary worker - Government Authorised Exchange) on an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers

You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re in another category.

Eligibility

You must first apply for endorsement in your particular field:

  • as a leader (under the exceptional talent rules)
  • as an emerging leader (under the exceptional promise rules)

How long you can stay

You can stay 5 years in the UK after switching to a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.

Bio metric information

You must also provide your bio metric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20 (Rs.1895.29).

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