Immigration Rules

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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 research based 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 first:
    1. (a) satisfy all of the mandatory “Exceptional Talent (world leader) criteria, and at least one of the qualifying criteria, in the table below, or
    2. (b) satisfy all of the “Exceptional Promise (potential world leader)” criteria in the table below.
Exceptional Talent (world leader) Exceptional Promise (potential world leader)          
Mandatory 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 his work and his contribution to his field, and is qualified to assess his claim to be a world leader in his field;

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 his work and his contribution to his field, and is qualified to assess his claim that he has the potential to be a world leader in his field;

Be at an early stage in his career;

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 his 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 recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in his 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. To be considered for endorsement, the applicant must provide the following documents:
    1. (a) A completed Designated Competent Bodies’ Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) application form;
    2. (b) A short curriculum vitae outlining his career and publication history (of no more than 3 A4 sides in length);
    3. (c) A mandatory dated letter of recommendation written in support of the application from an eminent person resident in the UK who is familiar with his work and his contribution to his field, and is qualified to assess his claim to be a world leader or a potential world leader in his field. The letter should include be dated and 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.
    4. (d) Evidence in relation to at least one of the qualifying criteria listed 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 eligibility criteria in paragraph 1 are met, and the documents outlined in paragraph 2 are provided in accordance with the requirements at paragraph 3, then the Designated Competent Body will assess the applicant for endorsement, taking into consideration the following assessment criteria:
    1. (a) The applicant’s track record/career history (including his international standing, the significance of his 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 (world leader) Exceptional Promise (potential world leader)          
Whether the applicant is the winner of a prestigious prize or award;

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

Whether the applicant is regarded as a world leader in your field.


Whether the applicant has provided evidence sufficient to demonstrate that he has the potential to be a future world leader in the field;

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

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

The significance of his contribution to his field relative to his career stage.
         
  1. 4A. The Designated Competent Body will advise the Home Office whether or not it endorses the applicant. If the applicant is judged by the Designated Competent Body to have met the published eligibility criteria for consideration as well as assessed to have met the assessment criteria to a level considered demonstrable of a world leader in their field or a potential world leader in their field then the Designated Competent Body will endorse the applicant. If the applicant is judged by the Designated Competent Body not to have met the eligibility criteria or assessed not to have met the assessment criteria to a level considered demonstrable of a world leader in their field or a potential world leader in their field, then the Designated Competent Body will not endorse the applicant.

Criteria for endorsement by The Arts Council

  1. 5. The applicant must either:
    1. (a) be established as, or demonstrate potential to become, a world-leading artist or an internationally-recognised expert within the fields of the arts (encompassing dance, music, theatre, visual arts and literature), museums or galleries; or
    2. (b) be established as a world-leading artist or an internationally-recognised expert within the film, television, animation, post-production and visual effects industry.
  2. 6. The applicant 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 and regular activity of being engaged professionally as a practitioner in his field;
    3. (c) show a substantial (if applying under the exceptional talent criteria) or developing (if applying under the exceptional promise criteria) track record in at least one country other than his country of residence.
  3. 7. If the applicant’s field is within the arts, museums or galleries, he must provide the evidence specified in the table below to demonstrate that his work is of exceptional quality and has national or international recognition. 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 web links. (If an applicant wishes to use the content of a webpage as one of his 10 permitted supporting documents, he 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 article, review, letter, etc. If more than the permitted ten documents are submitted, only the first ten documents listed will be considered; additional evidence in excess of the permitted ten documents will be disregarded.

Exceptional talent within the fields of the arts, museums or galleries Exceptional Promise (potential world leader) within the fields of arts, museums or galleries          
The applicant must provide evidence to support two or more of the following:

1) Examples of significant media recognition 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 won international awards for excellence, for example the Booker Prize, a Grammy Award; or domestic awards in another country, for example a Tony Award. The Arts Council will judge whether a particular award provides appropriate evidence of international recognition in the applicant’s field.

3) Proof of appearances, performances, publications 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 audiences for the applicant’s work. The Arts Council will judge whether such appearances, performances, exhibitions or distribution provide appropriate evidence of international significance in the applicant’s field.
The applicant must provide evidence to support two or more of the following:

1) Two or more examples of media recognition such as 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 won or been nominated or shortlisted for international awards for excellence, for example the Booker Prize, a Grammy Award; or domestic awards in another country, for example a Tony Award. The Arts Council will judge whether a particular award provides appropriate evidence of recognition in the applicant’s field.

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

The Arts Council will judge whether such appearances, performances, exhibitions or distribution provide appropriate evidence of international recognition in the applicant’s field.
         
             
  1. 8. If the applicant’s field is within the film, television, animation, post-production and visual effects industry, he must:
    1. (a) have won, or within the last five years from the year of application, have received a nomination for:
      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
      5. and provide:
        1. (1) full details of the production nomination or award, including category and year of nomination or award,
        2. (2) evidence of the applicant’s involvement if the nomination or award was as part of a group, and
        3. (3) evidence of the credit the applicant received for the nomination or award;
      6. or
    2. (b) have, within the last five years from the year of application, made a significant and direct contribution to winning or being nominated for:
      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
      5. and provide evidence 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; or
    3. (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 five years before the date of application, have been nominated for one other, or
        3. (3) within the last three years before the date of application, have been nominated for a minimum of three,
        4. of the following Notable Industry Recognition Awards:
        5. Akil Koci Prize
        6. American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal in Music
        7. Angers Premiers Plans
        8. ARIA Music Awards (Australian Recording Industry Association)
        9. ASCAP awards (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers)
        10. Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTS)
        11. Awit Awards (Philippine Association of the Record Industry)
        12. Berlin International Film Festival
        13. BET Awards (Black Entertainment Television, United States)
        14. BFI London Film Festival
        15. Brit Awards
        16. British Composer Awards – For excellence in classical and jazz music
        17. Brooklyn International Film Festival
        18. Cannes International Film Festival / Festival de Cannes
        19. Chicago International Film Festival
        20. CinemaCon’s International Filmmaker of the Year Award
        21. Cinema Jove International Film Festival
        22. Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards – An annual awards program bestowed by Classic Rock
        23. Comet (Viva, Germany)
        24. Cork International Film Festival
        25. Country Music Awards of Australia (Country Music Association of Australia)
        26. DICE Awards organised by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences
        27. Directors Guild of America Award
        28. Distinguished Service to Music Medal (Kappa Kappa Psi) – For exceptional service to American bands and band music
        29. Echo (German Phonographic Academy)
        30. Edinburgh International Film Festival
        31. Ernst von Siemens Music Prize
        32. European Film Awards
        33. Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique or International Film Critics Award given by the International Federation of Film Critics
        34. GDC Awards
        35. George Peabody Medal (Peabody Institute)
        36. Gold Badge Awards – For outstanding contributions to the music and the entertainment industry of the United Kingdom
        37. Golden Melody Awards (Taiwan)
        38. Grammy Awards
        39. Grand Prix du Disque (France)
        40. Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition
        41. Grierson Documentary Awards
        42. IGF Awards
        43. Independent Music Awards
        44. Independent Spirit Awards
        45. International Film Music Critics Association Awards
        46. Ivor Novello Awards
        47. Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Academy Award
        48. Juno Awards (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)
        49. Latin Grammy Award (Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences)
        50. Léonie Sonning Music Prize (Léonie Sonning Music Foundation)
        51. Locarno Film Festival
        52. Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica – Previously known as MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica (MTV)
        53. Melbourne International Film Festival
        54. Mercury Prize
        55. MTV Music Awards (MTV)
        56. News and Documentary Emmy
        57. Otaka Prize – An annual composition prize for Japanese composers
        58. Polar Music Prize
        59. Praemium Imperiale
        60. Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik – For achievement in recorded music
        61. Primetime Engineering Emmy
        62. Prix de Rome
        63. Producers Guild of America Awards
        64. Pulitzer Prize for Music
        65. Raindance Film Festival
        66. Rolf Schock Prize in Musical Arts
        67. Rotterdam International Film Festival
        68. Royal Television Society Awards
        69. Sanremo Music Festival (Italy)
        70. Sao Paulo International Film Festival
        71. Satellite Awards
        72. Saturn Awards
        73. Sibelius Prize
        74. South by Southwest Film Festival
        75. Sports Emmy
        76. Stockholm International Film Festival
        77. Student Academy Award
        78. Sundance Film Festival
        79. Suntory Music Award (Japan)
        80. Sydney Film Festival
        81. Technology and Engineering Emmy
        82. The Annime Awards
        83. Toronto International Film Festival
        84. Tribeca Film Festival
        85. Venice International Film Festival
        86. Visual Effects Society Awards
        87. Women in Film and Television Awards
        88. Writers Guild Awards of Great Britain
        89. Writers Guild of America Awards
  1. 9. The applicant must provide letters of endorsement as specified in the table below, which must:
    1. (a) be written on headed paper, dated, and signed by the author who must be an authorised member of the organisation such as the Chief Executive, Artistic Director, Principal or Chair;
    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 his specialist field and how in the opinion of the author he has demonstrated that he is, or has the potential to become, a world leader in his field;
    4. (d) describe how the applicant would benefit from living in the UK and the contribution he 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; 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 exceptional talent and exceptional promise            
The applicant must provide 3 letters of endorsement (as described in paragraph 9 above).

The first letter must be from a UK based arts or cultural organisation, institution or company which is well-established nationally and/or internationally and widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in its field.

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

The third letter may be either from a third arts or cultural 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.
           
             

Criteria for endorsement by Tech City UK

  1. 10. To be considered for endorsement, the applicant must:
    1. (a) satisfy one of the mandatory criteria in the table below; and
    2. (b) satisfy at least two of the qualifying 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.
  3. Applicants who do not meet these requirements but demonstrate:
    1. (1) the potential to do so, and
    2. (2) that they already have the necessary technical and/or business skills,
  4. may be considered for endorsement by Tech City UK as an exceptional promise candidate.
Mandatory    
The applicant must:

• Have a proven track record of innovation in the digital technology sector as a director or founder of a digital technology sector company, or as an employee working in a new digital field or concept;
Demonstrate proof of recognition for work outside their immediate occupation that has contributed to the advancement of the sector.
   
Qualifying    
The applicant must:

Have made significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector as either a director, founder, or entrepreneur of a digital technology sector company;

Have been recognised as a world leading talent in the digital technology sector;

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

Demonstrate exceptional ability in the field by making academic contributions through research.
   
  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) A personal cover letter written by the applicant (of no more than 2 A4 sides in length. This letter must:
      1. (i) include why the applicant wants to come to the UK;
      2. (ii) include details of their intended occupation in the UK;
      3. (iii) include details of which region/city they intend to base themselves in;
      4. (iv) explain how the UK digital sector would benefit from their work; and
      5. (v) include details of the applicant’s long term plans in the UK.
    4. (d) 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.
    5. (e) 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.
    6. (f) Evidence in relation to the relevant mandatory and qualifying criteria listed above. 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. Each document must be no more than 2 A4 sides in length. Evidence provided in relation to continuous learning must not date back to more than a year before the date of application.
  2. 12. The documents in paragraph 11 above must be written in English or accompanied by authorised English translations.
  3. 13. (a) Tech City UK will advise the Home Office whether or not it endorses the applicant. If the evidence provided by the applicant is judged by Tech City UK to have met the published eligibility criteria for consideration as well as being sufficient to consider the applicant to be a world leader or a potential world leader in the digital technology sector, then Tech City UK will endorse the applicant. If the evidence provided is judged by Tech City UK not to have met the eligibility criteria or not to be sufficient to consider the applicant to be a world leader or a potential world leader in the digital technology sector, then Tech City UK will not endorse the applicant.
    1. (b) When assessing applicants Tech City UK will take into consideration the following:
      1. (i) The applicant’s track record/career history (including his international standing, the significance of his work and the impact of his 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; and
      3. (iii) The expected benefits of the applicant’s presence in the UK in terms of the contribution to the UK digital technology sector.