A visa for highly-skilled economic migrants who have won international recognition in scientific or cultural fields, or who show exceptional promise.
Applicants score points for being endorsed by one of four "Designated Competent Bodies". These are the:
- Royal Academy of Engineering, which may nominate 200 people per year
- British Academy, which may nominate 200 people per year
- Arts Council England, which may nominate 300 people per year
- Royal Society, which may nominate 300 people per year.
There is an annual limit of 1000 visas and this limit will continue for the next 2 academic years up to and including 2013/2014.
You must apply from outside the UK because it is not possible to switch into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent whilst in the UK with a different type of visa. Applicants do not need a sponsor or a job offer, and successful applicants may take any type of work.
Successful applicants will initially be issued with a visa for three years and four months, and are likely to subsequently extend their visa for a further two years and ultimately qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years' residence.
Find out more on the UKBA website.
Information last checked and updated 18 December 2012 LB