This particular category of visa allows only a limited number of individuals to enter in the United Kingdom (UK). This particularly includes individuals who are either being recognized as leaders or emerging leaders in limited number of qualified fields.
It is required for your to be eligible under one of the visa schemes, that is either Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa or Tier 1 Exceptional Promise Visa streams.
One of the most important benefit of this particular Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1) when compared to that of Tier 2 Visa and Tier 2 Sponsor Licence visa streams is that: “You receive the right to work freely for any employer or can start your own business or even work as self-employed”.
However, before applying for this visa, the applicants should receive endorsement from a one of the recognized designated competent body and applying for same through UK Home Office application under following fields:
Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Humanities, Digital Technology, Architecture, Fashion, Films and Television and Arts
The Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1) visa has an annual limit of only 2000 places that are available under this visa category, which is being decided by the UK Home Office.
Eligibility for the application process for Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1)
Stage 1: Apply to the Home Office for Endorsement
In order to receive Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1), you are required to apply to get endorsed either as a leader (exceptional leader) or an emerging leader (exceptional promise).
Your application will then be reviewed by the particular organization that is related to your particular qualifying field or occupation, and is called as “designated competent body”. These are:
- The Royal Society, for the field of Science and Medicine
- The Royal Academy of Engineering, for the field of engineering
- The British Academy, for the field of humanities
- Tech Nation, for the field of digital technology
- Arts Council England, for the field of arts and culture
Stage 2: Visa application
If you get through the Stage 1, you will receive an email the Home Office. It will also be having copy of your endorsement letter attached along with it, that will be required for the visa application.
- an existing passport or any other valid travel document for identification
- a separate passport photograph (if asked)
- a print of your endorsement letter, if you have already received it
- results of your tuberculosis test if you belong from the country where the tests are being taken
You are also required to provide a certified translation of all the documents that are not written in English or Welsh. You may be asked to provide certain additional documents depending on your individual circumstances.
How long can you stay in UK
The total duration of your stay in UK on Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1) would depend on whether you are already staying in UK. If you are applying from outside UK, then you can stay for a period of 5 years and 4 months. However, those who would be switching on this visa while living in UK, then you can stay for a maximum period of 5 years.
If you are granted an Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1), then you can apply for resident visa on the basis of your stay in UK for a period of three years. The application can be submitted 28-days earlier before completion of three years stay in UK. However, if you would be holding Exceptional Talent Promise visa (Tier 1) Promise Visa, then you have to wait for up to five years (excluding 28-days) before you can apply further for an indefinite leave to remain in UK.
What you can and cannot do
- work under an employer, start your own business or work as a self-employed
- change your job without informing the Home Office
- engage in a voluntary work
- travel to other countries and then return back to UK
- bring your family members along with you
- get public funds
- work as a doctor or a dentist who is in training
- work as a professional sports coach or sportsperson
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