Immigration Rules

Immigration Rules Appendix L: Tier 1 competent body criteria

Designated Competent Body criteria for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applications.

1A. Where these Rules require applicants to provide a letter of personal recommendation from a UK based individual or to hold a UK based research fellowship, specified evidence from the Isle of Man is also acceptable.

Criteria for endorsement by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy

  1. 1. To be considered for endorsement, the applicant must demonstrate that they either:
    1. (a) hold a specific peer-reviewed UK Research and Innovation and its Councils, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK or UK National Academies research fellowship, as defined as eligible and named on the accelerated list published by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy;
    2. (b) have been appointed to eligible senior academic or research positions at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEI) or specific research institutes as defined as eligible and named on the accelerated list published by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy;
    3. (c) satisfy all of the mandatory “Exceptional Talent (leader in relevant field) criteria, and at least one of the qualifying criteria, in the table below; or
    4. (d) satisfy all of the “Exceptional Promise (potential leader in relevant field)” criteria in the table below.
Exceptional Talent (leader in relevant field) Exceptional Promise (potential leader in relevant field)
Mandatory  
The applicant must:

- Be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry;

- Have a PhD or equivalent research experience;

- Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK supporting the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) application who is familiar with the applicant’s work and their contribution to their field, and is qualified to assess their claim to be a leader in their field; and

- Meet one or more of the following Qualifying Criteria
The applicant must:

- Be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry;

- Have a PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial research);

- Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK supporting the Tier 1(Exceptional Talent) application who is familiar with the applicant’s work and their contribution to their field, and is qualified to assess their claim that they have the potential to be a leader in their field;

- Be at an early stage in their career; and

- Have been awarded, hold, or have held in the past five years, a prestigious UK based Research Fellowship, or an international Fellowship or advanced research post judged by the competent bodies to be of equivalent standing.
Qualifying  
- Be a member of their national academy or a foreign member of academies of other countries (in particular any of the UK national academies);

- Have been awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize;

- Provide a written dated recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in the applicant’s field. The dated letter must be written by an authorised senior member of the organisation, such as a Chief Executive, Vice-Chancellor or similar, on official paper.
 
  1. 2. (a) To be considered for endorsement under paragraph 1(a), the applicant must provide written confirmation of the award from the funding body. The confirmation must be dated and confirm the following:
    1. (i) the applicant’s name;
    2. (ii) that the applicant has been awarded a fellowship defined by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering or The British Academy.
    3. (b) To be considered for endorsement under paragraph 1(b), the applicant must provide a statement of guarantee from the Director of Human Resources or equivalent of the appointing UK HEI or research institute. The statement must be dated and confirm all of the following:
      1. (i) that the job was advertised and an open competition was held for the position (applications where there was not an open competition may be considered providing all other criteria are met and a reasonable explanation is provided for that decision);
      2. (ii) that a job offer of an eligible senior academic or research position at the employing institution has been made and accepted;
      3. (iii) the name of the position and the department in which the applicant will be based (eligible senior positions are Professor, Associate Professor or Reader in a UK HEI or equivalent positions at a research institute, such as Senior Group Leader);
      4. (iv) that at least three references were required and received;
      5. (v) that at least four senior academic representatives from the employing institution were present on the interview panel;
      6. (vi) that at least one senior external expert in a relevant field, who is not employed by the employing institution, was consulted during the recruitment process (either participating in the interview or providing written input).
    4. (c) To be considered for endorsement under paragraph 1(c) or paragraph 1(d), the applicant must provide the following documents:
      1. (i) A short curriculum vitae outlining their career and publication history (of no more than 3 A4 sides in length);
      2. (ii) A dated letter of recommendation written in support of the application from an eminent person resident in the UK who is familiar with the applicant’s work and their contribution to their field, and is qualified to assess their claim to be a leader or a potential leader in their field. The letter should include details of how the eminent person knows the applicant; the applicant’s achievements in the specialist field, and how in the opinion of the eminent person the applicant exhibits exceptional talent; how the applicant would benefit from living in the UK; and the contribution they would make to UK research excellence and to wider society.
      3. (iii) for applicants applying under paragraph 1(c), in addition to the documents required in (i) and (ii) above, evidence in relation to at least one of the qualifying criteria listed in the table in paragraph 1 above.
  2. 3. The documents in paragraph 2 above must be:
    1. (a) Hard copy,
    2. (b) Printed (not hand-written), and
    3. (c) Written in English or accompanied by authorised English translations.
  3. 4. If the applicant is applying under paragraph 1(c) or 1(d), the Designated Competent Body will also take into consideration the following assessment criteria:
    1. (a) The applicant’s track record/career history (including their international standing, the significance of their publications, prizes and research funding awarded, patents, and the impact of past innovation activity, in a company, academia or as an individual);
    2. (b) The strength of the supporting statements in the letter of personal recommendation, and evidence in relation to qualifying criteria, including a written recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in the applicant’s field (if relevant);
    3. (c) The expected benefits of the applicant’s presence in the UK in terms of the contribution to UK research excellence and to wider society, including potential economic benefits from exploitation of intellectual capital; and
    4. (d) The additional factors in the table below.
Exceptional Talent (leader in relevant field) Exceptional Promise (potential leader in relevant field)
Whether the applicant is the winner of a prestigious prize or award;

Whether the applicant has secured significant funding for their work in the past ten years;

Whether the applicant is regarded as a leader in their field.
Whether the applicant has provided evidence sufficient to demonstrate that they have the potential to be a future leader in their field;

The level of additional funding secured during, or following tenure of, a relevant fellowship;

Whether they can provide evidence of a relevant prize or award for early career researchers;

The significance of their contribution to their field relative to their career stage.
  1. 4A. If the applicant is judged by the Designated Competent Body not to meet the requirements in paragraphs 1 to 4 above, endorsement will not be given. In all cases, the Designated Competent Body will advise the Home Office of their endorsement decision.

Criteria for endorsement by Arts Council England

  1. 5. The applicant must either:
    1. (a) be established (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) as, or demonstrate potential (if applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria) to become, a leading artist or an internationally recognised expert within the fields of arts and culture, encompassing dance, music, theatre, combined arts, literature and visual arts (including museums and galleries), as assessed by Arts Council England; or
    2. (b) be established as a leading artist or an internationally-recognised expert within the film, television, animation, postproduction and visual effects industry, as assessed by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT); or
    3. (c) be established (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) as, or demonstrate potential (if applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria) to become, an internationally recognised expert in their field within the fashion industry (via a leading design role within a fashion business), as assessed by the British Fashion Council,
    4. (d) be established (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) as, or demonstrate potential (if applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria) to become an internationally recognised expert within the field of architecture (encompassing design, technical and leadership skills relevant to the operation of leading architectural practices), as assessed by the Royal Institute of British Architecture.

Arts and culture applicants – assessment by Arts Council England

  1. 6. If the applicant’s field is within arts and culture, they must:
    1. (a) be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been published (other than exclusively in newspapers or magazines), performed, presented, distributed or exhibited internationally;
    2. (b) show recent (within the last 5 years) and regular activity of being engaged professionally as a practitioner in their field; and
    3. (c) show a substantial track record in more than one country (if applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or a developing track record in one or more countries (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).
  2. 7. If the applicant’s field is within arts and culture, they must provide the evidence specified in the table below.

Arts Council England will conduct independent assessment as to whether the evidence provided appropriately and adequately supports the applicant’s claim that they meet the relevant requirements.

This evidence must consist of no more than 10 documents in total, and must be submitted as paper-based documents in hard copy with the application.

Evidence cannot include other objects, Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) or Compact Discs (CDs), digital files or documents that only show web links. (If an applicant wishes to use the content of a webpage as one of their 10 permitted supporting documents, they must provide a printed copy of the page which clearly shows the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the page.)

A document in this context is defined as a single piece of evidence (article, review, letter, etc). If more than the permitted ten pieces of evidence are submitted, only the first ten listed will be considered and the additional evidence will be disregarded.

Exceptional Talent within the fields of arts and culture Exceptional Promise within the fields of arts and culture
The applicant must provide two or more of the following:

1) Two or more examples of recent (in the last five years) significant international media recognition for the applicant’s work in the field of arts and culture, online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from high profile national publications or broadcasting companies in at least two countries, one of which can be the applicant’s country of residence. Event listings or advertisements are not acceptable. Media recognition must provide critique of the applicant’s work.

2) Proof of having, within the last five years from the year of applications:
· won; or
· made a significant and direct contribution to winning;
at least one international award for excellence. For example, the Booker Prize, a Grammy Award; or domestic awards in another country, for example a Tony Award.

Awards must be awards of merit, rather than monetary awards such as grants and bursaries.

3) Proof of appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions in the last five years in contexts which are recognised as internationally significant in the applicant’s field or evidence of extensive international distribution and audiences for the applicant’s work.

Proof must come from at least two countries, one of which can be the applicant’s country of residence.
The applicant must provide two or more of the following:

1) Two or more examples of recent (in the last five years) UK or international media recognition for the applicant’s work in the field of arts and culture, online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from national publications or broadcasting companies in one or more countries, one of which can be the applicant’s country of residence. Event listings or advertisements are not acceptable. Media recognition must provide critique of the applicant’s work.

2) Proof of having, within the last five years from the year of application:
· won; or
· been nominated/shortlisted for; or
· made a significant and direct contribution to winning or having been nominated/shortlisted for;
at least one international or national award for excellence. For example, the Booker Prize, a Grammy Award; or domestic awards in another country, for example a Tony Award.

Awards must be awards of merit, rather than monetary awards such as grants and bursaries.

3) Proof of appearances, performances, publications or exhibitions in the last five years in contexts which are internationally recognised in the applicant’s field or evidence of international distribution and audiences for the applicant’s work.

Proof must come from one or more countries, one of which can be the applicant’s country of residence.

Film and television applicants – assessment by PACT

  1. 8. If the applicant’s field is within the film, television, animation, postproduction and visual effects industry, they must:
    1. (a) have won, or within the last 10 years from the year of application, have received a nomination for one of the following awards:
      1. (i) an Academy Award,
      2. (ii) a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award (Film, Television, Television Crafts, Cymru, Scotland, Games awards only),
      3. (iii) a Golden Globe, or
      4. (iv) an Emmy award
    2. or
    3. (b) have, within the last 10 years from the year of application, made a significant and direct contribution to winning or being nominated for one of the awards mentioned in paragraph 8(a) above;
    4. or
    5. (ba) have within the last 15 years achieved a minimum of two nominations for one of the awards mentioned in paragraph 8(a) above;
    6. or
    7. (c) demonstrate notable industry recognition by providing evidence of:
      1. (i) international distribution sales and recognition, and
      2. (ii) having achieved one of the following combinations:
        1. (1) won a minimum of two,
        2. (2) won one, and, within the last six years before the date of application, have been nominated for one other,
        3. (3) within the last six years before the date of application, have been nominated for a minimum of three, or
        4. (4) within the last three years before the date of application, made a significant and direct contribution to winning two, or being nominated for a minimum of three,

of awards in the Notable Industry Recognition list published by PACT.

  1. 8A. To demonstrate they meet the requirements in paragraph 8, for each award applicants must provide:
    1. (a) full details of the production nomination or award, including category and year of nomination or award;
    2. (b) evidence of the applicant’s involvement if the nomination or award was as part of a group;
    3. (c) evidence of the credit the applicant received for the nomination or award; and
    4. (d) if applying under paragraph 8(b) or 8(c)(ii)(4), evidence of their significant and direct contribution to the win or nomination.

Fashion applicants – assessment by the British Fashion Council

  1. 8B. If the applicant’s field is within the fashion industry and they are involved, or have been involved, in a leading design role within a fashion business, they must:
    1. (a) be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been sold or exhibited internationally, either through catwalk presentation or exhibitions (if applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or which has had recognition with leading industry players (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria);
    2. (b) show recent (within the last 5 years) and regular activity of being engaged professionally as a practitioner in their field; and
    3. (c) show a substantial track record in more than one country (if applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or a developing track record in one or more countries (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).
  2. 8C. The applicant must provide the evidence specified in the table below to demonstrate that their work is of exceptional quality and has national or international recognition.

The British Fashion Council will conduct independent assessment as to whether the evidence provided appropriately and adequately supports the applicant’s claim that they meet the relevant requirements.

This evidence must consist of no more than 10 documents in total, and must be submitted as paper-based documents in hard copy with the application.

Evidence cannot include other objects, Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) or Compact Discs (CDs), digital files or documents that only show web links. (If an applicant wishes to use the content of a webpage as one of their 10 permitted supporting documents, they must provide a printed copy of the page which clearly shows the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the page.)

A document in this context is defined as a single piece of evidence (article, review, letter, etc). If more than the permitted ten pieces of evidence are submitted, only the first ten documents listed will be considered and the additional evidence will be disregarded.

Exceptional Talent within the field of fashion Exceptional Promise within the field of fashion  
The applicant must provide two or more of the following:

1) Two or more examples of recent (in the last five years) evidence of significant international media recognition for the applicant’s work in the industry: online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from national publications or broadcasting companies, in at least one country other than the applicant’s country of residence. Event listings or advertisements are not acceptable;

2) Proof of having, within the last five years from the year of application:
· won; or
· been nominated/shortlisted for; or
· made a significant and direct contribution to winning or being nominated for;
international awards for excellence. For example, The Fashion Awards, Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Awards, Elle Style Award, GQ Award, LVMH Prize, ANDAM Prize, Hyères Prize or another relevant major award or nomination.

Awards must be awards of merit, rather than monetary awards such as grants and bursaries.

3) Proof of catwalk shows, presentations and/or exhibitions in the past five years in contexts which are recognised as internationally significant in the applicant’s field, or evidence of extensive international distribution and sales of the applicant’s collections.

4) Proof of international distribution and sales (within the last five years) through internationally renowned retailers and boutiques, or through applicant’s own physical retail outlets or their ecommerce platform.
The applicant must provide two or more of the following:

1) Two or more examples of recent (in the last five years) evidence of UK or international media recognition for the applicant’s work in the industry: online, in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from national publications or broadcasting companies, or on social media of the applicant’s collections. These must be from independent sources, and social media articles must be from prominent bloggers or key opinion leaders. Event listings or advertisements are not acceptable;

2) Proof of having received, within the last five years from the year of application:
· support and sponsorship through the British Fashion Council’s support schemes; or,
· support and sponsorship through the Fashion East support scheme; or
· support and sponsorship through the Sarabande Foundation; or
· supported by Centre for Fashion Enterprise; or similar support from an international counterpart to the British Fashion Council.

3) Evidence of one or more orders placed by UK or international luxury retailers and boutiques.

4) Evidence of recognition by leading industry players (within the last five years) – for example internationally renowned fashion designers, fashion media, retailers, brands, Graduate Fashion Week - of an exceptional graduating collection;
 
  1. 8D. To demonstrate the applicant meets the requirements in paragraph 8C:
    1. (a) if the applicant is providing evidence of having won or being nominated for an international award for excellence, this must include:
      1. (i) full details of the nomination or award, including category and year of nomination or award;
      2. (ii) evidence of the applicant’s involvement if the nomination or award was as part of a group;
      3. (iii) evidence of the credit the applicant received for the nomination or award.
    2. (b) if the applicant is a providing evidence of a significant or direct contribution to winning or being nominated for international awards for excellence, evidence is required from the named person on the award(s) or nomination(s) which demonstrates that the applicant has significantly influenced or directly resulted in the award or nomination to the named person;
    3. (c) if the applicant is providing evidence of having been given support or sponsorship, this evidence must include full details of the support or sponsorship including:
      1. (i) the name and details of the scheme;
      2. (ii) the dates the support or sponsorship were received; and
      3. (iii) the organisation that awarded it.
    4. (d) if the applicant is providing evidence of a catwalk, presentation or exhibition, evidence of participation in one or more reputable UK-based or international trade show or commercial showroom must be cited. The British Fashion Council will judge whether a particular trade show or commercial showroom provides appropriate evidence of recognition in the applicant’s field;
    5. (e) if the applicant is providing evidence of international distribution and sales, evidence must be provided regarding:
      1. (i) the current number of outlets or stockists of the business’s products,
      2. (ii) the top five stockists and when these sales were achieved; and
      3. (iii) where the applicant has sold through their own retail channels, a breakdown of sales and when these sales were achieved.
    6. (f) if the applicant is providing evidence of orders placed by UK or international luxury retailers, evidence must be provided naming the buyer or stockist and stating when the order was placed.

Architecture applicants – assessment by the Royal Institute of British Architects

  1. 8E. If the applicant’s field is within architecture, they must:
    1. (a) be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been published, presented or exhibited internationally;
    2. (b) show recent (within the last 5 years) and regular activity of being engaged professionally as a practitioner in their field; and
    3. (c) show a substantial track record in more than one country (if applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or a developing track record in one or more countries (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).

8F. The applicant must provide the evidence specified in the table below to demonstrate that their work is of exceptional quality and has national or international recognition.

The Royal Institute of British Architects will conduct independent assessment as to whether the evidence provided appropriately and adequately supports the applicant’s claim that they meet the relevant requirements.

This evidence must consist of no more than 10 documents in total, and must be submitted as paper-based documents in hard copy with the application.

Evidence cannot include other objects, Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) or Compact Discs (CDs), digital files or documents that only show web links. (If an applicant wishes to use the content of a webpage as one of their 10 permitted supporting documents, they must provide a printed copy of the page which clearly shows the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the page.)

A document in this context is defined as a single piece of evidence (article, review, letter, etc). If more than the permitted ten pieces of evidence are submitted, only the first ten documents listed will be considered and the additional evidence will be disregarded.

Exceptional Talent within the field of architecture Exceptional Promise within the field of architecture  
The applicant must provide two or more of the following:

1) Two or more examples of recent (in the last five years) evidence of significant international media recognition for the applicant’s work in the field of architecture: online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from national publications or broadcasting companies or international architectural periodicals or journals, in at least one country other than the applicant’s country of residence. Event listings or advertisements are not acceptable;

2) Proof of having, within the last five years from the year of application;
· won; or
· made a significant and direct contribution to winning;
at least one international award for excellence in architecture. For example, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, RIBA International Prize, Pritzker Prize, Venice Biennale of Architecture Award, World Architecture Festival Award or another relevant major award.

Awards must be awards of merit, rather than monetary awards such as grants and bursaries.

3) Proof of having work published or exhibited in the last five years from the year of application, in contexts which are recognised as internationally significant in the field of architecture, for example monographs published by recognised international publishing houses, exhibitions at international exhibitions/festivals such as the Venice Biennale of Architecture and World Festival of Architecture, or in international galleries with curated architecture exhibitions, such as the RIBA Gallery, Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Proof must come from at least one country other than the applicant’s country of residence and must demonstrate a minimum of two publications or exhibitions of the applicant’s work.
The applicant must provide two or more of the following:

1) Two or more examples of recent (in the last five years) evidence of UK or international media recognition for the applicant’s work in the field of architecture: online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from national/international publications or broadcasting companies, in at least one country which can be the applicant’s country of residence. Event listings or advertisements are not acceptable;

2) Proof of having, within the last five years from the year of application;
· won; or
· been nominated/shortlisted for; or
· made a significant and direct contribution to winning, being nominated or being shortlisted for;
at least one international or national award for excellence in architecture. For example; Aga Khan Award for Architecture, RIBA International Prize, Pritzker Prize, Venice Biennale of Architecture Award, World Architecture Festival Award, RIBA Silver or Bronze Medals (international student awards), AIA Young Architects Awards.

Awards must be awards of merit, rather than monetary awards such as grants and bursaries.

3) Proof of having work published or exhibited in the last three years in contexts which are recognised as internationally significant in the field of architecture, for example monographs published by recognised international publishing houses, exhibitions at international exhibitions/festivals such as the Venice Biennale of Architecture and World Festival of Architecture, or in international galleries with curated architecture exhibitions, such as the RIBA Gallery, Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Proof must come from at least one country, which can be the applicant’s country of residence and must demonstrate a minimum of two publications or exhibitions of the applicant’s work.
 
  1. 8F. To demonstrate the applicant meets the requirements in paragraph 8E:
    1. (a) if the applicant is providing evidence of having won or being nominated for an international award for excellence, this must include:
      1. (i) full details of the nomination or award, including category and year of nomination or award;
      2. (ii) evidence of the applicant’s involvement if the nomination or award was as part of a practice or group;
      3. (iii) evidence of the credit the applicant received for the nomination or award.
    2. (b) if the applicant is a providing evidence of a significant or direct contribution to winning or being nominated for international awards for excellence, evidence is required from the named person or practice on the award(s) or nomination(s) which demonstrates that the applicant has significantly influenced or directly resulted in the award or nomination to the named person or practice.

All Applicants for endorsement by Arts Council England

  1. 9. The applicant must provide letters of endorsement as specified in the relevant table below, which must:
    1. (a) be written on headed paper, dated, and signed by the author who must be a senior member of the organisation
      1. (i) for arts and culture or film and television applicants, such as a member of the senior management team or board, the Chief Executive, Artistic Director, Principal or Chair;
      2. (ii) for fashion industry applicants, such as the Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Creative Director, Buying Director, Fashion Director/Editor or, for Exceptional Promise applicants who have commercialised their graduating collections only, a Head of Course;
      3. (iii) for architecture applicants, such as the President, Chair, Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director, Senior Partner or Editor.
    2. (b) include details of the author’s credentials (for example, a Curriculum Vitae or résumé) and how they know the applicant (whether through personal relationship or reputation);
    3. (c) detail the applicant’s achievements in their specialist field and how in the opinion of the author they have demonstrated that they are, or have the potential to become, a leader in their field;
    4. (d) describe how the applicant would benefit from living in the UK and the contribution they could make to cultural life in the UK, including details of any future professional engagements in the UK that the author is aware of;
    5. (e) include full contact details of the author including personal email address and direct telephone number so that personal contact can be made by Arts Council England, PACT, the British Fashion Council or the Royal Institute of British Architects if required; and
    6. (f) be written specifically for the purpose of supporting the application, not as a general all-purpose reference letter.
Letters of endorsement for arts and culture, film and television, or architecture applicants            
The applicant must provide 3 letters of endorsement all of which must meet the specific requirements in paragraph 9 above,

The first letter must be from a UK based organisation, institution or company which is well-established nationally and/or internationally and widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in the applicant’s specialist field.

The second letter must be from another organisation, institution or company which is well-established nationally and/or internationally and widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in in the applicant’s specialist field. This second organisation may be UK or overseas based.

The third letter may be either from a third organisation, institution or company (UK or overseas based) which is well-established nationally and/or internationally and widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in its field or from an eminent individual with internationally recognised expertise in the applicant’s specialist field.
           
Letters of endorsement for fashion industry applicants            
The applicant must provide 3 letters of endorsement all of which must meet the specific requirements in paragraph 9 above, from established organisations, institutions or companies with a national or international reputation and recognised expertise in fashion.

If applying under Exceptional Talent criteria, at least one of these letters must be from a UK organisation.

Acceptable organisations would be those which are well established nationally or internationally, work with many international designers and industry experts each year and are widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in fashion.
           

Criteria for endorsement by Tech Nation

  1. 10. To be considered for endorsement, the applicant must:
    1. (a) satisfy one of the key “Exceptional Talent” criteria and at least two of the qualifying “Exceptional Talent” criteria in the table below; or
    2. (b) satisfy one of the key “Exceptional Promise” criteria and at least two of the qualifying “Exceptional Promise” criteria in the table below.
  2. In meeting these criteria, applicants must demonstrate proven commercial or technical expertise in management or exploitation of a technology stack.
Exceptional Talent Exceptional Promise  
Key Key  
1. Have a proven track record of innovation in the digital technology sector as a director / founder of a digital technology sector company or an employee working in a new digital field or concept that must be clearly evidenced (e.g. patent application)

2. Proof of recognition for work outside the applicant’s immediate occupation that has contributed to the advancement of the sector (e.g. evidence that they have gone beyond their day to day profession to engage in an activity that contributes to the advancement of the sector)
1. Provide two or more examples of innovation in the digital technology sector as a founder of a digital technology sector company or an employee working in a new digital field or concept that must be clearly evidenced (e.g. patent application)

2. Proof of recognition for work outside the applicant’s immediate occupation that has contributed to the advancement of the sector (e.g. evidence that they have gone beyond their day to day profession to engage in an activity that contributes to the advancement of the sector)
 
Qualifying Qualifying  
1. Have made significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector as either a founder, entrepreneur or employee of a digital technology company

2. Have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology sector

3. Have undergone continuous learning / mastery of new digital skills (commercial or technical) throughout their career

4. Have demonstrated exceptional ability in the field by making academic contributions through research published or otherwise endorsed by a research supervisor or other expert
1. Have made significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector as either a founder, entrepreneur or employee of a digital technology company

2. Have been recognised as having the potential to be a leading talent in the digital technology sector

3. Have undergone continuous learning / mastery of new digital skills (commercial or technical) throughout their career

4. Provide two or more examples of exceptional ability in the field by making academic contributions through research endorsed by a research supervisor or other expert
 
  1. 11. The applicant must provide the following documents:
    1. (a) A completed Tech Nation (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent) application form;
    2. (b) A curriculum vitae outlining their career and publication history (of no more than 2 A4 sides in length).
    3. (c) Two dated letters of recommendation on headed paper written in support of the application signed by two different senior members of different established organisations in the digital technology sector, who are familiar with the applicant’s work and their contribution to the digital technology sector, and are qualified to assess the applicant’s claim to be a world leader or potential world leader in this field. Both letters must:
      1. (i) be written and signed by an authorised member of the organisation they represent, such as the Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Finance Director or Head of Course;
      2. (ii) include details of the author’s credentials (for example, a curriculum vitae);
      3. (iii) include details of how the recognised expert knows the applicant;
      4. (iv) include the applicant’s achievements in the specialist field, and how, in the opinion of the recognised expert, the applicant exhibits exceptional talent or exceptional promise;
      5. (v) include how the applicant would benefit from living in the UK and the contribution they would make to the UK digital technology sector;
      6. (vi) include details of any future professional engagements the applicant has in the UK where applicable;
      7. (vii) include the recognised expert’s personal email address and direct telephone number;
      8. (viii) be written specifically for the purpose of supporting the application, not as a general all-purpose reference letter.
    4. (d) Evidence of any active businesses established or businesses that have been dissolved in the last five years in which the applicant has been a director, founder or entrepreneur, or evidence of share ownership through business in a digital technology sector company.
    5. (e) Evidence in relation to the relevant key and qualifying criteria listed above. This evidence must consist of no more than 10 documents in total, and must be submitted via the Tech Nation (Exceptional Talent) online form. Each document must be no more than 2 A4 sides in length. The evidence in (d) above is included in the maximum of 10 documents.
  2. 12. The documents in paragraph 11 above must be written in English or accompanied by authorised English translations.
  3. 13. (a) Tech Nation will advise the Home Office whether or not it endorses the applicant. If the evidence provided by the applicant is judged by Tech Nation to have met the published eligibility criteria for consideration as well as being sufficient to consider the applicant to be a leader or a potential leader in the digital technology sector, then Tech Nation will endorse the applicant. If the evidence provided is judged by Tech Nation not to have met the eligibility criteria or not to be sufficient to consider the applicant to be a leader or a potential leader in the digital technology sector, then Tech Nation will not endorse the applicant.
    1. (b) When assessing applicants Tech Nation will take into consideration the following:
      1. (i) The applicant’s track record/career history (including their international standing, the significance of their work and the impact of their activity in a company or as an individual);
      2. (ii) The strength of the supporting statements in the letter of personal recommendation, and evidence in relation to qualifying criteria;
      3. (iii) The expected benefits of the applicant’s presence in the UK in terms of the contribution to the UK digital technology sector; and
      4. (iv) Factors including but not limited to, the applicant’s academic track record and salary level if employed, the company the applicant is being hired by if an employee, the amount of money raised if an entrepreneur.