The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa allows highly skilled individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology to come work, create and live in the UK in order to boost the UK’s economy and cultural life.
The UK Government just like every other forward thinking Government understands that the advancement of the country lies not only in the hands of it’s citizen but also impact from skilled individuals from outside Europe goes a long way in making the country one of the greatest countries on earth and I believe this is why the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa has so little restriction.
For example, if you qualify, the visa allows you to work and change employers , or to be self – employed , without the need for further authorization or to be sponsored for employment in a specific post.
The less restriction that comes with the Visa also means that in order to actually get the endorsement, applicants will need to show that they are “exceptional” in their fields and this can be shown from their works, businesses, ideas and most importantly recommendation from other industry leaders within their field.
I got endorsed in May 2017 under the Digital Technology route and I have since been creating content around the Exceptional Talent Visa route to expose the Visa to people who might not know about it and to also guide people who are in the process of applying. I have a dedicated category on my blog for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.
You can be endorsed either as an “Exceptional Talent” or an “Exceptional Promise”.
Even though the difference between both has been explained by the Home office and even the designated body, most people still don’t understand the underlying difference between them. I personally struggled to understand it myself when I was about to apply.
The Difference Between “Exceptional Talent” and “Exceptional Promise”
Exceptional Talent is for applicants who have already demonstrated that they have made a significant contribution as a leader to their field; in lay man terms, I would say the Exceptional Talent is for applicants who have a lot of years of experience (may be more than 10 years) in their chosen field and have done a lot of “ground breaking” things in the course of their career.
I use the word “ground breaking” very loosely here, it doesn’t really have to be ground breaking, it has to be things that has had or have economic value.
So, for you to apply as an Exceptional Talent, you will be applying with the conviction that you have works and things to show that sets you apart within your field and has helped either launch businesses or increase profits.
Exceptional Promise is for applicants who may be earlier in their careers but have already shown the potential to make significant contributions as a future leader in their field; in lay man terms, I would say the Exceptional Promise is for applicants who are kind of new (may be less than 10 years) and do not have a lot of experience under their belt within their chosen field.
Exceptional promise applicants also need to show that they have been active within their field and have made some type of impact hence giving them the brag right to claim they have the “potential” to become a leader within their field with more time and experience under their belt.
Regardless of the differences, the documents to be provided by either applicant sometimes looks very similar and in most cases even the same.
I noticed this during my application for the Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa and was a little bit confused, you would have thought that the documents for the “Exceptional Promise” would be lighter than that of the “Exceptional Talent” but they weren’t too far from each other.
See screenshot below of the document table from the Tech Nation Visa guide.
I believe (in my opinion) that the reason for the separation between who is an “Exceptional Talent” and who is an “Exceptional Promise” and the documents each should submit is so that the examiners can properly examine and look into the applicant’s application / profile from the light of their experience, strength and years in the field.
I really admire the UK Government for breaking the endorsement into “Promise” and “Talent” because there are people out there who might not yet be a leader in their field but their works and profile or career path shows they are on the path to becoming one.
Length of time in the UK needed to qualify – settlement
Regardless of whether you are endorsed under “Talent” or “Promise”, you will be granted a 5 years Visa. There are no differences to the things you can do on either Visa, the only difference I have seen so far is the time it will take you to apply for settlement.
If your endorsement was given under the Exceptional Promise criteria, you can apply for settlement under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) once you have completed 5 years ’ continuous leave in the United Kingdom under the route .
However , if your endorsement was given under the Designated Competent Bodies’ exceptional talent criteria, you can apply for settlement once you have completed 3 years’ continuous leave.
I wish everyone applying for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa the very best.
Be sure to checkout my other articles and videos about the #TechNationVisa
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