Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa Applications

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa application route is designed for ‘exceptionally talented’ individuals in the following fields: 

  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Engineering
  • Medicine 
  • The Arts 
  • Fashion
  • Architecture
  • Film and television
  • Digital technology

Those using this immigration route must either be internationally recognised and at the highest level in their particular field (Exceptional Talent application), or recognised as having already demonstrated exceptional promise (Exceptional Promise application), meaning they are likely to become world leaders in their field.

Visa applications by those with exceptional talent or promise must be endorsed by a Home Office-approved competent body for their relevant field, and there is a limit of 2,000 places each year for applicants under this category.

To speak to a solicitor about making a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa application, contact JMW by calling +44(0)345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back at a time that suits you.

Examples of Home Office-Approved Competent Bodies

The following are all approved by the Home Office to provide recognition for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa application:

  • Arts Council England for arts, fashion, film and television applicants
  • The British Academy for humanities applicants
  • The Royal Society for science and medication applicants
  • The Royal Academy for Engineering for engineering applicants
  • Tech Nation for digital technology applicants

Documents Required for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa Applications

Once you have been endorsed, certain documents must be submitted with your application within 3 months of receiving endorsement. These include:

  • Your current passport and/or other travel documents
  • A passport photo
  • A letter of endorsement from the Home Office-approved competent body
  • A tuberculosis (TB) test letter if you are from a country on the Home Office’s TB testing list


How do I apply for leave under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category? 

Applying for your first Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is a two-stage process. Stage 1 assess your skills, abilities and achievements and enables the Designated Competent Bodies to decide whether you should be endorsed. If you are granted an endorsement by a Designated Competent Body you must then apply for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) leave to enter or remain. This is Stage 2 of the process, which is undertaken solely by the Home Office and assess immigration matters only.

What if my Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa is refused?

If your application is rejected, you can ask for an administrative review if you believe there has been a mistake. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to resubmit your application if your endorsement letter is no more than three months old. 

If your application is refused, it is advisable to take legal advice from a specialist immigration solicitor, as there are time limits for requesting an administrative review. JMW can provide advice and assistance should your visa be refused.

Does the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa allow dependents to apply for a visa?

Non-EEA national dependents are able to apply for a visa as your dependent. Immigration rules define a dependent as the following:

  • Your partner
  • Your child if they are under the age of 18
  • Your child if they are over 18 and are currently in the UK

Talk to Us

If you would like to know more about qualifying for leave as a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicant, or wish to discuss another immigration matter, contact us today on +44(0)345 872 6666. You can also fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back at a time that suits you.

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