You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you’ve been endorsed in your field in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts as:
- a recognised leader (exceptional talent)
- an emerging leader (exceptional promise)
You must also be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
There’s a 2-stage application process to get this visa.
You 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, the earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you travel.
Example You can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.
Check the guide to 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 (£456)
- stage 2 - visa application (see table below)
All main applicants must pay the £456 fee to get an endorsement when applying for the first time or switching to this visa category.
You will not automatically get a visa if you’ve been endorsed. You will not 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||£456||£97|
How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK for up to:
- 5 years and 4 months if you apply outside the UK
- 5 years if you apply inside the UK
You can choose how long you want to apply for, up to the maximum time allowed. You only have to pay the healthcare surcharge for the amount of time you choose to stay.
You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years.
You can apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for:
- 3 years with an exceptional talent visa
- 5 years with an exceptional promise visa
What you can and can not do
- work - for an employer, as a director of a company or be self-employed
- change jobs without telling the Home Office
- do voluntary work
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- bring family members with you
You can not:
- get public funds
- work as a doctor or dentist in training
- work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach