Tier 1 (Exceptional talent)
Changes announced to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) routeFrom 6 April 2013, changes are being made to improve the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route by removing some of the uncertainty around the applications.
This section explains whether and how you can come to the UK under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) of the points-based system.
Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) is for people 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.
Before you apply, you must read the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) policy guidance, which you can find on the right side of this page. The policy guidance is based on Part 6A of the Immigration Rules.
Do you need to apply under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent)?
Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) is part of our points-based system, which is for migrants from outside Europe. You do not need to apply under the points-based system if:
- you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland;
- you are a Croatian national - see the Croatia pages for more information.
- you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
- you are a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the UK because at least one of your grandparents was born here; or
- you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.
There are many immigration categories for workers within the points-based system. If you do not qualify to come to the UK under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent), the Working in the UK section contains information about all the other categories.
Limit on Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) applications
The UK government has limited the number of applications that can be made under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent).
Every initial application must be endorsed by a 'designated competent body'. There is a limit of 1,000 endorsements between 6 April 2013 and 5 April 2014.
The endorsements will be assigned to the designated competent bodies in 2 phases: 500 will be available from 6 April 2013 to 30 September, and the second 500 from 1 October 2013 to 5 April 2014. The total will be divided between the designated competent bodies as follows:
|Designated competent body||Total endorsements||Until 30 September 2013||From 1 October 2013 to 5 April 2014|
|Arts Council England||300||150||150|
|Royal Academy of Engineering||200||100||100|
The number of endorsements available will be divided between each of the designated competent bodies in that field, as agreed between the Home Secretary and those bodies.
Should you apply online or complete an application form on paper?
If you are applying for a visa from the following countries, you should apply using our online application system, Visa4UK:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Central African Republic
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Guiana
- Guinea Bissau
- Hong Kong
- Ivory Coast
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Palestinian Authority
- Papua New Guinea
- Russian Federation
- Samoa and Western Samoa
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Vincent and Grenadine
- St Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
- Vatican City
- Western Sahara
If you are applying for a visa from the following countries, you should apply by printing out an application form and completing it by hand:
- North Korea
If you are applying for a visa from the following countries, you can choose whether to apply using our online application system or by printing off the application form and completing it by hand:
- Sri Lanka
Do it online
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Policy & Law
- Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) policy guidance PDF 462KB opens in a new window