Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

This route is designed for highly skilled individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology. You may qualify under this route if you are already internationally recognised as having made significant contributions as a leader in your field, or you have already demonstrated the potential to contribute significantly as a future leader in your field.

Initial Leave

You can choose how much leave to apply for, up to a maximum of 5 years (5 years 4 months if obtaining Entry Clearance) in each grant. You can subsequently apply to extend your leave if you require further limited leave in the UK. There is no maximum limit on the time you can spend in the UK in this category.


Extension applications can be made while you are still in the UK, or alternatively, if you need to travel, they can be submitted overseas in any country as long as you have authority to be living in that country (and have been given authority to live there for more than 6 months).


You can switch into Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) from your current category of leave to remain in the UK if you have permission to stay as:

  • a Tier 1 Migrant; (Tier 1 General & Tier 1 Entrepreneur Closed)
  • a Tier 2 Migrant;
  • a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Migrant, sponsored in the Government Authorised Exchange sub-category in an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers;
  • a Start-up Migrant; or
  • an Innovator.

What work can I do under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)?

You can:

  • work as self-employed/contracted/employed;
  • work in any sector**
  • work for any employer and move between employers without any additional approval from the Home Office
  • take up employment at any level**

You cannot:

  • work as a Doctor or Dentist in Training; or
  • as a professional sportsperson/sports coach.

Exceptional Talent Endorsement

At stage 1, one of five Designated Competent Bodies will advise the Home Office whether you meet its eligibility criteria and have reached the appropriate level to be endorsed under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent).

  • Arts Council England – for arts, culture, fashion, architecture, film and television applications;
  • The British Academy – for humanities and social science applications; Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
  • The Royal Society – for natural sciences and medical science research applications;
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering applications; and
  • Tech Nation – for digital technology applications.

Why Us

We have experienced business immigration solicitors, who provide prompt and cost-effective advice to any organisation employing staff from overseas.  By making an appointment with one of our business immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.  We will assist you with all aspects of business immigration law, including applying for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.  If you wish to discuss, please phone our London office on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.

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