The UK Exceptional Talent Visa is a UK work visa, part of the UK Points Based System. It is for foreigners who have been endorsed as either a recognized leader or an emerging leader.

Only nationals of countries outside the EEA, and non-Swiss nationals can apply for this type of UK Work Visa. Note that there are limited available places for this visa. I.e. from 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020, there are 2,000 places available for this visa.

Who Can Apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?

To be able to get a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa for UK you will need to be endorsed as a leader or emerging leader in one of the following fields:

  • science
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • medicine
  • digital technology
  • the arts
  • fashion
  • architecture
  • film and television

How to Apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?

In order to get a UK Exceptional Talent Visa, you will need to complete some main procedures. The application process for a UK Exceptional Talent Visa contains of the following steps:

Apply for endorsement

The application can be completed online at the website of the UK Home Office. You will also have to pay a fee for endorsement.

Complete the application form online

The application form is available at the website of the UK government. It contains questions on your identity, your precious trip to UK or anywhere else in the world, and your next intended trip to UK.

Pay for the visa fee online

The UK visa fee depends on your nationality.

Pay the health surcharge online

Depending on your age, nationality and the visa type you are applying for you will need to pay a health surcharge between £800 and £1,400.

Take a tuberculosis test

The nationals of several countries need to take this test. Check if your country is in this list!

Provide your biometrics

You will need to submit fingerprints and facial photograph at either the UK embassy in your country of residence or a visa application center representing the UK.

Submit the rest of the required documents

Aside from the endorsement letter, which is the core document for a UK Exceptional Talent Visa application, there are other documents required.

Below, find a list of the required documents to apply for a UK Exceptional Talent Visa:

  • Valid Passport with at least one blank page.
  • A printed copy of your endorsement letter.
  • Your tuberculosis test results, if applicable.
  • Certified translation of documents that are not in English or Welsh.

Note that according to your situation and the country you are applying from, you may need to submit additional documents.

Endorsement for a UK Exceptional Talent Visa

To be endorsed as a recognized leader or an emerging leader you will need to apply online at the UK Home Office website.

You can apply for endorsement and for a visa at the same time, but you are highly recommended to apply for endorsement first. This because if you are rejected from being endorsed, your visa application will also be turned down, and you won’t be able to get back the endorsement and visa fees you paid.

Your endorsement application takes about 8 weeks to be processed by the Home Office. If your application is successful you will receive a copy of the endorsement letter on your email.

Please note that if you are a digital technology specialist you will also need to apply for a Tech Nation Visa endorsement.

When to Apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa?

The earliest you can apply for a Tier 1 UK Exceptional Talent Visa is three months before the date you plan to travel to the UK. Note that you must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your letter of endorsement from the Home Office.

Apply for your endorsement letter 4-5 months before the intended day of your travel. Thus, you will have enough time left to apply for your visa.

UK Exceptional Talent Visa Costs

The costs to get a UK Exceptional Talent Visa include the endorsement fee and the visa fee.

The endorsement fee is £456 for all applicants. Whereas, the visa application fee is £152 for all applicants, except for nationals of Turkey and North Macedonia who need to pay a lower fee of £97.

The fee for bringing dependents over with you is £608 for each.

UK Exceptional Talent Visa Processing

The UK Home Office takes up to 8 weeks to process an endorsement application for a UK Exceptional Talent Visa. In addition, the visa application processing takes about three weeks to be processed.

UK Exceptional Talent Visa Validity

A UK Exceptional Valid visa is valid for up to 5 years. When the visa is about to expire, you can apply for a visa extension of another 5 years.

You can also apply for a settlement permit in the UK, after you have been here for 3 years with and exceptional talent visa, or 5 years with and exceptional promise visa.

What Can I Do in the UK with an Exceptional Talent Visa?

With a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, you can do several things in UK, the main listed below:

  • You can work for an employer, as a director of a company or be self-employed.
  • You can change jobs without telling the Home Office.
  • Do voluntary work.
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK.
  • You are permitted to bring family members with you.

Yet you are prohibited from getting public funds, working as a doctor or dentist in training or working as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

Bringing Family Members to UK with an Exceptional Talent Visa

If you come to UK with an Exceptional Talent Visa, you can bring with you several family members. The following qualify:

  • Your partner.
  • Your child under 18.
  • Your child over 18 if they are currently in the UK as a dependent.

You will have to pay £608 for every dependent that you want to bring over with you. In addition, you will have to pay the health surcharge for each.

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