Restrictions to the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa, are they required?

This visa is for leading individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology. It has a 2 step process and it is known for its complicated application process.

The first process is to make an application for endorsement to the relevant competent body in the applicant’s field. Once that is done you then need to make a visa application to the Home Office.

Recent statistics show that only 983 visas were issued under the visa category in 2018 and the Home Office set the cap at 2,000 visas per year.

The Home Office have realised that this is a restrictive visa and have expanded the list to include professions such as fashion design and architecture. There are plans to make this visa option much more easy as part of the immigration system reform which is due to take place in 2021.

However, the reality is that the rules have been amended but they are still very restrictive.

Applicants who are applying now, need to be experts with precise and practical product understanding. Previously they were required to have an understanding of the digital area generally. The new rules state that they need to provide evidence that the previous work was financially profitable. They also need to provide three letters of recommendation whereas previously it was only two.

Those who are applying under the ‘digital technology’ route will no longer have access to ‘Fast track’ endorsement options based on regional location. Recent changes mean that only applicants who are accepted onto a recognised UK accelerator programme will be eligible for Fast-track endorsement.

It does make the process more complex The Home Office have already made changes to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Investor visa. This is a route that is not used readily so one wonders why these changes have been made.

If you would like information about this visa or any other visa options please contact Leena Chouhan on 0203 818 5433 or email: