Tier 1 business immigration visas apply to high value migrants. Along with entrepreneur, graduate entrepreneur and investor visas, there is also a category for tier 1 (exceptional talent) visas. This category is a replacement for the tier 1 (General) highly skilled migrant visa and it is objectively a lot more difficult to qualify for.

Exceptional talent visas and Oratto

Oratto has a number of highly experienced immigration solicitors who will be immediately available to answer your visa queries. This area of immigration law can be tricky to negotiate and seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity will give your application maximum strength.

Eligibility for tier 1 (exceptional talent) visas

In order to apply for this type of visa you must be internationally recognised as a world leader in the sciences, arts, humanities, engineering, medicine or digital technology spheres, or have the potential to be a world leader in any of these fields. You must also be sponsored by a Designated Competent Body, which is a national society for the sciences or arts in the UK and this acts as your official endorsement.

Designated Competent Bodies include:

  • Arts Council England
  • Royal Society
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • British Academy

You cannot be an EEA national or from Switzerland.

The maximum number of exceptional talent visas to be awarded each year in the UK is 1,000.

Extending an exceptional talent visa

It is possible to apply for an extension to your exceptional talent visa, but there are conditions attached to doing so. You will need to have continuing endorsement from the initial body and you must be economically active in your original field. The proof required for this depends upon whether you are employed or self-employed. For the former you will need to provide payslips and for the latter you will need to acquire a letter from your accountant confirming that your company is actively trading within the UK.

One extra requirement which applies to extension applications, but not initial applications, is the English language requirement. You must hold one of the following:

  • a degree taught in English equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the UK
  • a qualification in English language to at least CEFR, level B1

If you would like to apply for a Tier 1 (exceptional talent) visa, then contact Oratto today for specialised advice to help make your application as strong as possible.