Exceptional Talent Visas


If you have an “exceptional talent” and you want to come to the UK from a non-EEA country then you may be able to enter the UK on a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa  rather than applying for a Tier 2 (General) Visa. 

The advantage of applying for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa is that it enables a non- EEA migrant to come to the UK and work either in an employed position (the job does not have to be on the Shortage Occupation List and there are no salary restrictions) or be self-employed. The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa is a route to settlement in the UK after a period of three or five years (depending on the type of visa).
To qualify for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa, you need to be endorsed as a leader in your field of exceptional talent. Alternatively, you can show that you are an emerging leader who shows exceptional promise. Exceptional talent and promise is limited to the following fields:

• Architecture;

• Digital technology; 

• Fashion;

• Humanities;

• Medicine;

• Science and engineering;

• The arts, film and television.


How can OTS Solicitors help? 

The business immigration team at London based OTS Solicitors have substantial experience in applying for Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visas. 
The specialist Legal 500 recommended London immigration solicitors can guide you through the complicated two-stage application process to achieve your Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa. 
For more information on Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visas  or any other aspect of personal or business immigration law please call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our expert London immigration solicitors

How to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa

The best London immigration solicitors will tell you that applying for a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa is not a straightforward process. However, the complexity of the application process and the Immigration Rules relating to exceptional talent visas should not deter migrants from applying for this visa as it provides far more flexibility than a Tier 2 (General) Visa. 

When applying for a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa there is a two-stage application process:


• Apply for endorsement as either having exceptional talent or showing exceptional promise as a leader in one of the specified fields; and 

• Apply to the Home Office for the visa.


Obtaining endorsement for a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa  

The top London immigration solicitors say that not just anyone can endorse a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa applicant and certify them as showing exceptional talent or promise. The Home Office has published guidance on the bodies that can certify that an applicant meets the exceptional talent or promise criteria. For example, in the case of engineering, the endorsing body is the Royal Academy of Engineering and in the case of digital technology, it is Tech Nation.
You will not be surprised to learn that each endorsing body has its own criteria for what constitutes exceptional talent or promise in a particular field. After all, what is considered exceptional talent in the field of medicine may have no relevance to the attributes required of those involved in the field of digital technology.

Applying to Home Office for a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa 

The application for a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa should be submitted to the Home Office with:
• The letter of endorsement from the endorsing body;
• Current passport or travel paperwork.
The best London immigration solicitors advise that the timing of an application can be crucial. For example, if an applicant is already in the UK and is applying to switch visa to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa it is vital that the applicant is submitted before the applicant becomes an overstayer. 
It is also important to know that a letter from an endorsing body is only valid for three months from the date of the endorsement letter so you need an efficient London Immigration solicitor to submit the application for you.    

The length of a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa 

top London immigration solicitors advise that the holders of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visas can stay in the UK for a maximum of five years if they apply from within the UK or 5 years and 4 months if they apply from outside the UK. The visa can be extended for a further five years.

Settlement and the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa 


To the top London immigration solicitors, the big advantages of the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa is that it offers greater flexibility and can be a faster route to UK settlement.
If you are successful in applying for an exceptional talent visa then you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after three years of holding the visa. With most visas, the time frame for settlement (for example the Tier 2 (General) Visa) is five years so if early settlement is a key priority it is worth looking at whether fit the criteria for an Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa in your field of expertise.
The best London immigration solicitors say that if you secure an exceptional promise visa the settlement period is five years. However, although the settlement period is not shortened to three years, the exceptional promise visa still gives far more flexibility than for example a Tier 2 (General) Visa or Start-up Visa.

The flexibility of a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa

What makes the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa so attractive to the best London immigration solicitors and visa applicants is its flexibility. An applicant can choose to work for an employer or to set up his or her own business. For that reason, it is so much more flexible than say a Tier 2 (General) Visa or a Start-up Visa.
Therefore, if you are an architect or engineer, who has read about the potential for the government to expand the Shortage Occupation List, or if you are a young digital tech entrepreneur, the option of applying for a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) Visa or exceptional promise visa is worth exploring because of the freedom it gives.
The top London immigration solicitors say that it is beneficial to get an expert to look at all your visa options before you make an application. The solicitors may come up with a better visa solution for you that meets your needs and priorities.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

The legal directory of leading UK lawyers, The Legal 500, recognises the expert Immigration advice provided by OTS Solicitors through its ranking for business immigration services. In addition, OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.
If you think you may qualify for an exceptional talent or promise visa then you need expert business immigration law advice on whether you meet the Home Office criteria, the application process and any alternative visa options, for example the Start-up Visa or Innovator Visa .
For more information on Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visas  or any other aspect of personal or business immigration law please call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.


Relevant People: 

For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.


We are one of the UK’s top firms for Immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of Immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, spouse visas, student visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and human rights, British citizenship, All types of visas, business immigration visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.

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