Your guide to getting a UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa - top tips and how much it costs.
Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) is for individuals who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts, and who wish to work in the UK. It is a point points based system and is split into five tiers. Points are awarded for different attributes (for example, qualifications, age, previous earnings, English language skills, employment status and source of funds). You will need a certain number of points depending on the tier under which you apply.
Please note that this route is for individuals who would normally need a visa to live and work in the UK and must have had endorsement from a recognised institution.
The Tier 1 Exceptional talent visa is quite different from the Tier 2 work visa and it comes with some additional benefits when compared with the Tier 2 work visa. Importantly, it allows for more flexibility between jobs, locations and institutions. The tier 2 work visa tends to restrict the Tier 2 migrant to a particular job and would even need the Tier 2 migrant to make a fresh application if they want to change jobs.
It is also important to note that the cost of applying the Exceptional talent visa is quite less, significantly, especially if you are comparing it to the Tier 2 visa. It offers a flat rate and may even half the price of the entire cost of the Tier 2 visa.
The Tier 1 Exceptional talent visa also allows the holder the opportunity to collaborate with individuals and institutions in the country. It is important to note that holder would be eligible for settlement after 5 years in this category.
Entry clearance under the Tier 1 Exceptional talent migrant route is applicable to persons who are internationally recognised as world leaders in their specific fields or show an exceptional promise of becoming a global leader in his/her specific field; usually in science or art; and have the intention of visiting the UK to take up a job.
The list below shows the steps by step process for an initial application as a Tier 1 Exceptional talent migrant:
If your entry clearance or initial application or Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is rejected, you can challenge the decision by submitting an appealsadministrative review request to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM). In a situation where ECM still stands with the refusal, you are still able to challenge it by making a request by Judicial Review in the High Court. If you are then able to overturn the decision, you will be granted leave for up to three years and four months
The application process for the Tier 1 Exceptional talent is divided into 2 viz: -
Prospective applicants would have to first and foremost be endorsed by a Designated Competent Body (DCB). The Home Office have authorised certain institutions to undertake the process of determining who meets the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa criteria. These bodies are referred to as Designated Competent Body, also referred to as DCBs
The following are the current DCBs
The following are the mandatory criteria for been endorsed as an exceptional talent under the Tier 1 Exceptional talent immigration route
Furthermore, it is also important that the applicant meet at least one of the following requirements
Exceptional promise typically refers to the applicant having a potential world class talent. The key word here is the potential. It is important to know the following:-
Please note that been endorsed is not the same thing as been granted a visa. Also, endorsement will in no way affect your current leave to remain if you are currently in the UK. You will still need to make a visa application after your endorsement
This is the second stage of the Tier 1 exceptional talent visa process. Having been endorsed, the applicant may then proceed to preparing his Tier 1 Exceptional talent visa application with the Home Office.
Applicants must score a total of 75 points if they wish to successfully make an application for a Tier 1 Exceptional talent visa.
|Endorsement by a Designated competent body||75 points|
In order for an individual who has already been granted entry into the UK to switch into this category (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent), he/she must possess, or must have previously held a leave as either a Tier 2 Migrant, or a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Migrant sponsored in the Government Authorised Exchange sub-category in an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers.
We have listed the steps in making an application for switching to a clearance as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent:
Where an application is refused, such refusals can be challenged using the appeal option; by appeals appealing to the First Tier Tribunal. Appealing refusals must be lodged within ten days from the refusal
Only holders of a valid leave to remain under the following visa categories are allowed to switch into the Tier 1 Exceptional talent route
The first step in the process of switching is to obtain a Unique Reference Number from the UKBA. The application must make a request to the UKBA for the URN; as well as stating the relevant Designated Competent Body that is endorsing the application.
It is important to note that the government have placed a limit on the number of places available per year under this route. A limit of 1000 places have been earmarked for this route. If an applicant receives his Unique Reference number from the Home Office, it is most likely that a place is available within the limits for the selected DCB.
Having received a Unique Reference number, the applicant may then proceed to putting together an application along with necessary supporting documents for submission. It is important to note that applications are to be submitted to the UKBA Visa Services and not to DCBs.
Applicants are advised to submit their application within 10 working days of the receipt of the Unique Reference number. Any application submitted after this period will be rejected.
The UK Border Agency will send the relevant documentation to your chosen Designated Competent Body who will advise the UK Border Agency whether you meet their endorsement criteria.
The UK Border Agency will then consider the application, taking into account whether the Designated Competent Body has endorsed you, make the decision and notify you of the result.
A refusal of an application for switching into Tier 1 Exceptional talent is challenged by way of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal within 10 working days of the date of receipt of the refusal letter. Upon successful application, the applicant is granted extension of stay as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant for 3 years.
Enumerated below are steps of the application procedure for Extension of stay as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent:
If the individual's application for Extension of Stay as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent was rejected, he/she can challenge the decision by making appeal to the First Tier Tribunal in 10 days prior to the date in which the rejection letter was received. The applicant may be offered an extension of stay for up to 2 years as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant if the application is successful.
In order to extend your stay under this immigration route, you will need to score at least 85 points.
|75 points||You are economically active in the same field for which you were originally endorsed by the Designated Competent Body. This can either be in employment, self-employment, or both. The Designated Competent Body must not have revoked its endorsement.|
|10 Points||English Language requirement|
Economic activeness is defined as
Application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant is possible if the said individual has continuously resided for a minimum of 5 years in the United Kingdom. We recommend making an application at least 28 days before the completion of the required 5 year residency period.
The dependant of a tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrant refers strictly to the spouse, partner, or child of a Tier 1 Exceptional talent migrant.
In order to be granted entry clearance under this route, the partners involved must be at least 18 years of age except where the dependant is a child dependant. Child dependants applying for entry clearance must not be up to 18 years of age.
The Immigration rules now allow for individuals who are in the UK not as a visitor or on temporary admission or release to be able to switch into the PBS dependent visa category. In the same vein dependants of a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrant who are in the UK under any other visa category can switch into the PBS Dependant Visa of a Tier 1 Exceptional talent migrant
It is also important to note that switching may not be open to persons who are overstayers in the UK as well. Also, the age definitions as described above also applies when switching.
If your last grant of leave was as a PBS Dependant of a Tier 1 Exceptional talent migrant, you may be able to extend your leave under the same visa category provided you continue to meet the requirements of your leave to remain. Also, you are be able to apply for to an extension in line with the main applicant's.
Where your last grant of leave to remain in the UK is as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant, under the old rules which was applicable for applications prior to the 9th of July, 2012, you will be able to apply for settlement if you have resided in the UK for a minimum of 2 years and your sponsor has either been granted ILR or has submitted an application for the same.
However, under the new rules, the PBS dependant will now have to have resided in the UK for a period of 5 years in order to be eligible for Indefinite leave to remain.
Our immigration lawyers are experts in dealing will Tier 1 Exceptional talent visas. Feel free to contact us should you need assistance with applying for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa or have had a refusal, contact one of our Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa London solicitors for a free initial assessment. We will help you to decide what your options are and once you understand your options, will offer you a tailor-made service for the process. Contact us on 020 3540 7770 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|This category was established by the Home Office as a route for individuals who are internationally acknowledged as being exceptionally talented. This route is applicable to individuals acknowledged as world-leaders or younger individuals who show potential and probably may become world-leaders in their fields (sciences or art); intending to enter the United Kingdom to take up job which might in due course lead to full-time residence in the United Kingdom.|
|You might be issues entry clearance under this category if you are:
A recipient of a Designated Award such as the Nobel Prize who is permitted to make an application without a competent body's endorsement.
Acknowledged globally as a World-leading talent in your field and you are endorsed by a designated competent body.
An Individual of exceptional potential with the possibility of becoming a world-leader in your field and you are also endorsed by a competent body.
|You will be required to evince that you have the financial capacity to cater for your needs as well as accommodate yourself while in the United Kingdom without depending on public fund. Also, you are expected to comply with the Tier 1 General Rule as well as be liable to refusal in accordance to the Immigration Rules' Basis for Refusal such as immigration violations and security matters.|
|You are required to accumulate a total score of 60 points to be eligible to make an application under this category. You will be awarded points as thus:
50 points if you are a recipient of a Nobel Prize; or
50 points if a designated competent body has endorsed you;
10 points for meeting the requirement for financial capability and maintenance.
|If your application is successful you will be receive an entry clearance for 3 years after which you are permitted to make an application for extension for an additional 2 years. You will be required to make an endorsement from a designated competent body available if you are a world-leader or a potential world-leader seeking for extension.|
If you have legitimately spent 5 years in the United Kingdom under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category, you are permitted to make an application for Indefinite Leave of Remain (ILR). As a world-leader or potential world-leader, you will be required to get an endorsement from a designated competent body so as to make the application. Please note that there might be a limit to the number of individuals who will be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain under this category.
There are 1000 limited places available under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent. They are released as thus: 500 places on the 6th of April and 500 places on the 1st of October yearly.
If you are outside the United Kingdom you should make the application making use of the applicable form to the British Embassy which is to pass through the same process as other regular visa categories. For an application within the United Kingdom, you will be required to make an application to the Home Office which will be decided upon and monitored by a central panel.
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