You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if:
- you’ve been endorsed as an internationally recognised leader in your field in science or the arts, or as an emerging leader
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
There is a two stage application process to get this visa.
You will first need to apply to the Home Office for endorsement as a leader, or an emerging leader, in your particular field.
Then, once you have been endorsed, you can apply for the visa.
There are limited places available under this visa category, with 500 places released on both 6 April and 1 October each year.
How long it will take
After you get your endorsement, you can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.
You must pay a separate fee for the 2 stages of this process:
- stage 1 - endorsement (£420)
- stage 2 - visa application (see table)
All main applicants must pay the £420 fee to get an endorsement when you’re applying for the first time or switching to this visa category.
You won’t automatically get a visa if you’ve been endorsed. You won’t be reimbursed your endorsement fee if your visa application is turned down.
How much you pay to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa depends on your circumstances.
|Who you’re applying for||Stage 1 - endorsement application||Stage 2 - visa application|
|You if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia||£420||£336|
|Your partner or child under 18 applying at the same time as you||-||£840|
|Your partner or child under 18 applying later, or child over 18||-||£840|
How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK for 3 years and 4 months with a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you apply outside the UK.
If you switch to this visa inside the UK you can stay for 3 years.
You can extend a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa for a further maximum of 2 years.
What you can and can’t do
- do voluntary work
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- bring family members with you
- get public funds
- work as a doctor or dentist in training
- work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach