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FAQs: Exceptional talent visa


What is an exceptional talent visa?

The exceptional talent visa is also known as the ‘tier 1 visa’ because of the way it is categorised by the UK Border Agency. It is designed to allow people who work within the field of science and the arts and who are internationally recognised as being ‘leaders in their field’ to enter the UK. The exceptional talent visa replaced the former highly skilled migrant visa.

What are the requirements to be granted an exceptional talent visa?

The main requirement in order to qualify for the exceptional talent visa is an endorsement from a ‘designated competent body’. This is because an endorsement is the only way to achieve all 75 of the points you need. A visa under this category is granted for three years and four months, if you wish to remain longer you will be required to apply for an extension.

Is there a limit on the number of visas which are granted?

Yes, for the year to 5 April 2013 there is a limit of 1,000 endorsements which can be given. There are four different bodies which have been granted the authority to make endorsements, known as the designated competent bodies:
  • Royal Society – 300 endorsements
  • Arts Council England – 300 endorsements 
  • British Academy – 200 endorsements
  • Royal Academy of Engineering – 200 endorsements

Have there been any recent changes to the exceptional talent visa?

Yes, from the 1st of October the UK Border Agency changed many of the rules regarding visas; this included the exceptional talent visa. However, these changes did not significantly alter any of the criteria and were designed to simplify and make the process for candidates to apply easier.

How could a solicitor help?

There can be a number of potential problems that you may face when making an application. A solicitor will be able to guide you through every stage, and answer any questions you may have and to ensure that everything is completed properly. A solicitor will also be able to advise how you can obtain an endorsement from a designated competent body.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on exceptional talent visas, Caven can put you in touch with a local solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0800 177 7162 or complete the web-form above.
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