Tier 1 Exceptional Talent – ‘Research and Innovation Talent’ Visa

Those who are world leaders or emerging world leaders in research and innovation and want to come to the UK to work in their area of expertise, can apply for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent ‘Research and Innovation’ visa. This visa route covers a range of disciplines in the areas of science, engineering, humanities and medicine for active researchers in academic, industry or government research institutions.

The process to obtain the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa consists of 2 stages: stage 1 – obtaining an endorsement and stage 2 – visa application on the basis of the endorsement.

The applications for endorsement for the ‘Research and Innovation Talent’ visa are assessed by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, depending on the applicant’s area of expertise. There are two routes available to applicants: Exceptional Talent (for those who are already world leaders) route and Exceptional Promise (for those who are future/emerging world leaders) route.

The Exceptional Talent applicants must meet all the mandatory criteria and at least one qualifying criteria from the list specified in the immigration guidance.

Mandatory criteria for Exceptional Talent:

  • Be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry;
  • Have a PhD or equivalent research experience;
  • Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK supporting the Tier 1 visa application, who is familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and is qualified to assess your claim to be a leader in your field.
  • Meet one or more of the following qualifying criteria.

Qualifying criteria for Exceptional Talent:

  • Be a member of your national academy or a foreign member of academies of other countries (in particular any of the UK national academies);
  • Have been awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize;
  • Provide a written recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field. The dated letter must be written by an authorised senior member of the organisation, such as a Chief Executive, Vice-Chancellor or similar, on official paper.

The Exceptional Promise applicants must meet all the mandatory criteria. There are no qualifying criteria for the Exceptional Promise applicants.

Mandatory criteria for Exceptional Promise

  • Be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry;
  • Have a PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial research);
  • Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK supporting the Tier 1 visa application, who is familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and is qualified to assess your claim that you have the potential to be a leader in your field;
  • Be at an early stage in your career;
  • Have been awarded, hold, or have held in the past five years, a prestigious UK-based Research Fellowship, or an international Fellowship or advanced research post judged by the competent body to be of equivalent standing.

Kasia Janucik (Senior Associate, Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors), 4 March 2019  

Contact our lawyers in Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors for advice on immigration matters. The specialist team at Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors can assist you with all immigration and business-related matters. Our years of expertise in these areas mean that we can provide tailored solutions for you. For more details, please contact Kasia Janucik, Senior Associate and Aleksandra Kowalska, Registered European Lawyer in our immigration department  at Carter Lemon Camerons or call us on +44(0) 20 7406 1053 (Kasia Janucik) or +44(0) 20 7406 1018 (Aleksandra Kowalska).