As it is known now, Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) was replaced by the Global Talent category on 20 February 2020. 

However, a number of transitional arrangements apply to applicants who are affected by this change, such as the following: 

  • Applicants who hold a valid Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) endorsement (Stage 1) but have not yet applied for entry clearance or leave to remain in line (Stage 2), can use this endorsement to apply for Global Talent.  The initial requirements mirror those previously applied to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicants. 
  • Applicants who currently hold Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) leave and who wish to apply to extend their stay, must do so under the Global Talent category.  The extension requirements mirror those previously applied to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicants. 
  • Applicants who are currently in the UK under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) and who wish to apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) may do so without the need to switch into the Global Talent route.  The settlement requirements remain the same as those in place before 20 February 2020.

General review of Tech Nation visa

This is a route for exceptionally talented migrants, who can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if they have received endorsement in their area of expertise in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, arts and recently fashion designers were also added to the list. They can apply as a recognised leader (exceptional talent) or an emerging leader (exceptional promise).

Limit on 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 2,000 endorsements each year between 6 April and 5 April. The endorsements will be assigned to the designated competent bodies.

Initial application

Applicants are required to score 75 points in total to successfully apply for this visa.

The points are awarded to those who are endorsed by a designated Competent Body, expert within these fields.

The endorsement should be dated no earlier than 3 months prior to application.

The role of the Competent Body is to vouch to the Home Office that in their opinion the migrant is exceptionally talented. There is no single definition of “exceptional talent” and each such Competent Body set its own criteria to select those who will qualify for endorsement, as well as sets out its procedures for receiving and processing requests for endorsements.

At present, there are four Competent Bodies:

  • Arts Council England – for arts and culture applications
  • The British Academy – for humanities and social science applications
  • The Royal Society – for natural sciences and medical science research applications
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering applications
  • Tech City UK - for digital technology sector applications
  • Fashion Council – for fashion designers.

Eligibility and Assessment Criteria of Arts Council The British Academy, The Royal Society and The Royal Academy of Engineering and Tech City UK are given here

The Arts Council endorses applicants with exceptional promise.

The Exceptional Talent visa is available to those applying from outside the UK. If you are living in the UK under Tier 2 or 5, you have the right to switch to Exceptional Talent category providing you meet the requirements.

It’s a two stage process and the first stage is the most important one, where you will have to obtain the endorsement from the designated bodies, who assesses your skills, abilities and achievements. Once endorsement is granted, you proceed to stage two, making application for visa or further leave to remain in the UK. 

There are no English language or maintenance requirements for initial application under this category.


Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants will be able to invite their spouse / unmarried partner / civil partner and children under 18 years of age to join them as dependants. The dependants will be given full rights to work in the UK apart from working as a Trainee Doctor. Dependants can apply from within the UK, as long as they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release.

Duration of visa and settlement

You can make an application for settlement once you have been in the United Kingdom continuously for 3 years 4 months under Exceptional talent criteria. If the visa is granted under Exceptional promise you will be entitled to apply for settlement after 5 years and 4 months. 

Extension Application 

To be approved, you must meet the following two criteria:

  • The Designated Competent Body that originally endorsed your stage 1 application has not advised the Home Office that this has been withdrawn; and
  • During your period of leave as a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrant, you have earned money in the UK in your field of expertise for which the Designated Competent Body endorsed you.

There are no English language requirements for extension application under this category.

What services can we offer?

  • We can advise and assist with both stages, including endorsement from the designated body and application for entry clearance once endorsement is granted.
  • We can advise on the procedure, requirements and merits of making an application to the Home Office /a British Diplomatic post.
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making representations in support of their immigration matters.
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependant s to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can offer a Super Premium Service where the Home Office will visit the applicants in order to process the applications within 24 hours (for further leave to remain only).
  • We can assist with the administrative review if the applicant's entry clearance application is turned down for some reason.
  • We can advise in making permanent residence (ILR) applications for those who have already completed their three or five years residence period in the UK.

Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of the immigration matters of our clients.


Still have questions?

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