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Exceptional Talent


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.

Application process

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.

Check the guide to processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

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 another 5 years.

You can apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for 5 years.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • • 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’t:

  • get public funds
  • • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • • work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach