Exceptional Talent Visa UK

Exceptional Talent visa


This is a visa category which allows you to make an application for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if your employment is in an area which is compelling and highly visible and have been applauded and recommended as a recognized leader with exceptional talent or have been called out as an emerging leader with commendable promise.

This visa applies to anyone who is from a country which is not in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Every year 2,000 places become available under this visa category between 6 April to 5 April of the following year. The visa application for this category needs a prior application to the UK Home Office for the authorization as a leader or an evolving leader in your specific filed of expertise and employment.


The timeline for this visa is application to get a decision is within 3 weeks of the application when applying form outside the UK and the earliest you can apply for the visa is 3 months before you travel. For example, you can apply from 16 June if you plan to travel on 15 September.

Fees Structure

The fee structure for this visa is divided into 2 separate categories the endorsement and the visa application. For the 1st stage, which is the endorsement, all main applicants must pay a fee of £456.



The fee for the 2nd stage is dependent on the application as under:


The Applicant Stage 1 – Endorsement ApplicationStage 2 – Visa Application
You if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia£456£97
All dependants£608

Length of Stay in the UK

For an application made from outside the UK, the permission of 5 years and 4 months is given and for an application made while in the UK, a timeframe of 5 years in the country is granted by the visa. You can choose how long you want to apply for, up to the maximum time allowed. You only have to pay the additional medical fees for the amount of time you choose to stay. An extension for another 5 years is possible. An application for a Permanent Resident visa can be made after you have been in the UK for a period of 3 years with an exceptional talent visa and after 5 years with an exceptional promise visa.


Additional Regulations

With an Exceptional Talent visa, you are allowed to work as a director of a company for an employer or be self-employed in your own business venture, change jobs or engage in voluntary work. You also have the freedom to travel out of the county and return to the UK and bring your family members along.


However, this visa does not give you permission to access any public funds of government benefits of any kind, find employment as a doctor or a dentist or take up a position as a professional coach for any sporting activity.


The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa works primarily on being adequately endorsed as already an impressive leader (exceptional talent) or with the optional of an emerging leader (exceptional promise). The visa application will be reviewed by a designated competent body in the area of your expertise and competence.

Some of the recognized designated competent bodies are:

  • The Royal Society, for science and medicine
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering, for engineering
  • The British Academy, for humanities
  • Tech Nation, for digital technology
  • Arts Council England, for arts and culture

If your qualifying field is fashion, architecture or film and television, Arts Council England will pass on your application for review to:

  • British Fashion Council, for fashion
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), for architecture
  • Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT), for film and television


All applications for endorsement are to be made online. If you’re a digital technology specialist, you’ll also need to apply for a Tech Nation Visa endorsement.

This visa decision usually has an 8-week processing timeframe. Under some circumstances, you may receive a quicker decision:

  • if you’re a digital technology specialist and you’ve been accepted onto a recognised UK accelerator programme
  • if you hold an approved peer-reviewed fellowship
  • if you are a senior academic or senior researcher at a UK university, college or research institute

Once the endorsement is successful, you can proceed to make the visa application. If you submitted your endorsement and visa applications at the same time, your endorsement letter will be automatically linked to your visa application. You do not need to do anything. Getting an endorsement is not a guarantee for a visa issuance. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your letter of endorsement from the Home Office.


Extending the Exceptional Talent Visa

An extension of this visa is subject to the endorsement organization not withdrawing the endorsement under any circumstances. The visa must be applied before the current visa expires.

A Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa can be extended for up to 5 years.

The Fees Structure

The fees structure for this visa depends on your application:

The Applicant Fee
You if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia£553
All dependants£608

Additional Medical Fees

There is a mandatory medical fee that must be paid with your application for a visa extension. If you’re applying in the UK, you’ll also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

All application must be made online with all the mandated supporting documents, which include the biometric information.



An application made from within the UK usually takes 8 weeks while one that is made from outside the country takes 3 weeks. Once you have made the application, you are permitted to stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.


Changing To the Exceptional Talent Visa

You can make an application to switch to a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if you’re already in the UK with a Tier 1, Tier 2 or a Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa on an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers.

You can choose how long you want to apply for, up to a maximum of 5 years, with only the additional medical fee that applies to the length of stay you choose. You must leave the UK and make your application from abroad if you’re in another category.



The main criteria that you will need to meet for this particular visa is the endorsement form the Home Office in your area of expertise and proficiency either as a leader as a leader (under the exceptional talent rules) or as an emerging leader (under the exceptional promise rules)

A decision on this visa can normally be expected within an 8-week timeframe. You may get a faster decision if you’re a digital technology specialist and you’ve been accepted onto a recognised UK accelerator programme; additionally, if you’re part of a senior management team that has experience in building and expanding a digital technology business or if you plan to work and live outside of Greater London.

An expedited decision on your visa can also be expected if you hold an approved peer-reviewed fellowship.


Fee Structure For A Change To The Exceptional Visa

How much you pay depends on your situation and what you’re applying for.


The Applicant Stage 1 – Apply To Get EndorsedStage 2 – Apply To Change
You if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia£456£97
All dependants£608


Additional Medical Fees

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Dependents and Family Members

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Fee Structure and Timelines

It costs £608 for each dependent applying, with the additional £19.20 for the biometric information.

If your dependents are applying from within the UK, they can pay an extra £800 for the super priority service to get a faster decision.


Dependents Applying Outside the UK

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Dependents Applying In the UK

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Children Born While You’re In the UK

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