At the moment, Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is a UK work visa category that covers people who have proven achievements in the fields of science (most disciplines), engineering, architecture, arts including TV and fashion design, digital technology and others. It also covers those who aren’t experienced yet but show exceptional promise. The visa allows to work in the UK or set up a business, It also leads to settlement after 3 or 5 years.
This category is the answer if you are looking to relocate to the UK without a Sponsor or a job offer, or do not wish to be dependent on your employer in the UK. It can be the answer to a pressing question of Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) migrants on how they could achieve a permanent residency status in the UK. It allows Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs to switch. It also gives an opportunity to Tier 4 Students and Tier 5 YMS migrants to qualify for settlement after 3 to 5 years, even though they have to return to their country to make a new entry application.
And there is more exciting news to come as the UK Government is developing the post-Brexit immigration system, which is expected to open visa options to skilled and talented people from all over the world under the proposed Global Talent visa!
At the moment there is a limit of 2,000 places per year but this is about to change after Brexit. The UK Government has announced the plans to abolish the cap on the numbers under the Tier 1 (Exceptional tenant) route and an accelerated path to settlement who arrived under the scheme. The updated rules are expected to be implemented early in 2020.
The general trend is: the UK Immigration officers are Government officials. They are not qualified to judge whether you are a world-recognised Java developer, a world-famous architect, or a renown a fashion designer, even though you may be the #1 name in your field! They are “there” to deal with the admin side. Therefore, the UK Government officials have been outsourcing / delegating such assessments to relevant professionals, in this case, designated endorsement bodies.
For a Tier 1 visa, endorsements can be from the following designated bodies: Royal Society, Arts Council England, British Academy and Royal Academy of Engineering, Tech Nation.
1st 4Immigration is a trusted introducer to various schemes – we will guide you on obtaining an endorsement and a subsequent visa application!
We start from a consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help you to obtain endorsement. Check eligibility requirements for designated endorsing bodies, get a personalised advice on endorsement criteria, learn other requirements, such as English language and others.
We work with customers worldwide, so your consultation can be over What’s App, Skype, email. If you are in the UK, such as on another visa, you may prefer a consultation at our office face-to-face with our OISC-accredited and experienced immigration advisers. Our office is conveniently located in the City, close to Liverpool Street Underground station.
Consultation fee is GBP 100 (One hundred British Pounds) including tax and it counts towards our further service fee if you proceed with us later. You may already be familiar with the endorsements criteria and may already know which designated body to choose, in which case it may be even quicker, as we can proceed to Stage 2, Endorsement straight away. As above, our consultation fee counts towards further service fee.
Endorsements can be from the following designated bodies:
Each designated body has its own criteria for endorsement and evidence they require. They are the ones you need to ’impress’ with your talent or promise.
When your endorsement has been granted – and with us it has all the best chances! – it will be either Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise, depending on your previous experience and achievements.
1st 4Immigration is a trusted introducer to various schemes – we will guide you on obtaining an endorsement and a subsequent visa application! We will explain the criteria, the documents you need to submit and will act on your behalf to ensure a successful endorsement. At least some of the evidence must be from UK-based organisation(s), hence, those who are already in the UK, such as on a Tier 2 visa, could have an advantage based on their work here (such as while on a Tier 2 visa) or based on their activity while studying at a UK university while on a Tier 4 visa. It usually takes 8 weeks for a decision from when we submit your application to an endorsing body. It may be faster in some cases, which we will explain during your consultation.
Our service fee for Endorsement assistance is GBP 1,000 before tax. If you are a resident in the UK/EU (such as if you have a UK non-visitor visa), we have two charge VAT, UK sales tax 20%. However, if you are a resident outside the UK/EU, we don’t have to charge tax, thus saving you further 20%!
Once you have an endorsement, you have to apply for a visa within 3 months. You can apply from outside the UK or can switch inside the UK from permitted categories, such as Tier 2. This can be useful if you are keen to change from Tier 2 ICT (which doesn’t lead to settlement / ILR), especially IT workers who may secure endorsement from Tech Nation. Those on Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) can also switch if they obtain a relevant endorsement.
The visa can be granted from 1 to 5 years, as requested by the applicant.
Our service fee for a visa application is GBP 1,000 before tax but you can save 25% by ordering both Endorsement and a visa at the same time for GBP 1,500! If you are a resident in the UK/EU (such as if you have a UK non-visitor visa), we have two charge VAT, UK sales tax 20%. However, if you are a resident outside the UK/EU, we don’t have to charge tax, thus saving you further 20%!
It is possible to apply for a visa before your Endorsement has been confirmed. For example, if you are switching from a Tier 2 visa (including ICT) or from a Tier 1 visa, and your current visa expires before you receive a decision on your Endorsement. In this case, you may be able to apply for a visa before you current visa’s expiry date and wait for both Endorsement and a visa decision. For more details, book a consultation now on the link here.
As mentioned above, your initial Talent visa can be issued from 1 to 5 years, as requested by the applicant. The longer the visa, the more expensive Government fees and health surcharge. As mentioned below, you can qualify for Settlement in 3 to 5 years in the UK, and can even combine this with some other categories, such as Tier 2 General or Tier 1 Entrepreneur.
These 2 factors decide how long a visa you should request. Plus there are finer details, such as limits on absences from the UK, or criminality (usually, a driving offence), which can prevent you from applying for Settlement for another few years.
As we are often asked about Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa, you cannot combine time spent on it with the subsequent time spent on a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. You can, however, switch to it from Tier 2 ICT inside the UK and begin ‘your’ path to Settlement in the UK.
So, if you have to extend your stay after initial Talent visa, you can do so, providing your endorsing body has not withdrawn your endorsement (not the same as another endorsement, which isn’t needed). Also, providing you have earned income from working in your ‘Talent’ field, which can be as an employee, self-employed or a sponsored researcher.
If you were granted this visa based on endorsement of the Exceptional Talent type, you can qualify for ILR after 3 years in the UK. The 3 years can be in this category or can even be combined with some other categories, such as Tier 2 General (but not ICT).
If you were granted this visa based on endorsement of the Exceptional Promise type, you can qualify for ILR after 5 years in the UK. ‘Your’ 5 years can be in this category or can be combined with some other categories, such as Tier 2 General (but not ICT). If you happened to have lived in the UK legally for 10 years – on any visas – you could qualify for ILR 10 years residence, we have a section on it here.