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Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Applicants for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa must be 'established as, or demonstrate potential to become, a world-leading artist and/or an internationally recognised expert in their field within the arts'.

The visa is for leaders or emerging leaders in:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Medicine
  • Digital technology
  • Arts and Culture

Applying is a two-stage process that requires an endorsement from a recognised body (as listed below), followed by a Home Office application for the visa.


You will need to obtain an endorsement from one of the following bodies:

In order to apply for endorsements you will need to complete the application endorsement form, in addition to the relevant form for the field in which you are applying.

Eligibility criteria and required documentation for the different endorsement bodies can be found here.

You will receive a decision on your application within eight weeks.

Please note: An endorsement does not guarantee that you will be issued a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. This decision is made by the Home Office when you submit your visa application

There are 2,000 places available under this visa category between 6 April to 5 April of the following year.

500 endorsements will be issued between 6 April 2020 and 30 September 2020. The remaining 500 endorsements will be issued between 1 October 2020 and 5 April 2020.

Applying for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

How to apply

Before applying you should read the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Policy Guidance carefully.

Applications must be submitted within three months of receiving the endorsement, by completing the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent on-line application form.

It is not possible to apply to switch into this visa from within the UK if you hold a Tier 4 student visa. Tier 4 visa holders are required to return to their home country to make the application from there.

Applicants can only switch into this visa in the UK if they currently hold a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa.

Required documentation

  • passport/ID card
  • two passport photographs
  • a printed copy of your endorsement letter
  • tuberculosis test (if you are from a country that requires this)

Additional guidance can be found on the Home Office website.


It is possible to bring your dependent(s) with you to the UK on a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.

Length of Leave

The initial visa will be issued for 5 years and 4 months. There is an option to extend the visa after this point.


You must pay a separate fee for the two stages of this process:

Stage 1: Endorsement, £456

Stage 2: Visa application, £152

It is recommended you start with Stage 1 first and once you are endorsed you the proceed to Stage 2

Croatian Applicants

If you are a Croatian national, if you receive an endorsement, you do not need to apply for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. Instead you will need to apply for a blue registration certificate.


Group Sessions are available once a month. To book a session please contact the International Student Adviser. Information packs are also available on Moodle (Student Support) for our current student students.

Student Support Office

+44 (0)20 7590 4140

[email protected]


Moodle (for current students)

Home Office