The UK Government loves to introduce new restrictions and obstacles for their immigration policies. However, the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa requirements have been a bit relaxed especially for tech start-ups.
Since e-commerce is booming and will continue to grow it is vital that the UK offers something very attractive to highly skilled individuals. Other countries like Canada, Australia and even Chile have already recognised the potential tax revenue on offer and has already relaxed their own immigration rules.
While initially the interest for this visa was low it is gradually taking traction to its attractive entitlements and length (up to 5 years) and which does ultimately lead to settlement.
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is split into 5 distinct categories (which reflect different highly searched for professionals).
There has been some outcry from the Tech industry stating the limit is set to low however, the government has stated that the limit has never been reached before.
A government-funded organisation called Tech City UK has the exclusive power to endorse talented tech professionals from outside the EEA to apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa.
On 22 January 2016, it was reported that Tech City UK had received only 37 applications (a new figure for 2017 has not yet been published).
Hence, it appears that there is a lot of room for individuals to take advantage of this relaxed visa option.
As the name of the visa suggests it is aimed at those who are considered to be “exceptionally talented” individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology.
The Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Arts Council England and Tech City UK are mandated to identify and endorse ‘exceptional talent’ in each of these areas.
To apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa there are two steps that must be met:
Stage 1 – Endorsement
The individual who wishes to be endorsed must have proven track of innovation and proof of recognition in regard to their field. They must also have made an immense contribution in their field as well as be recognised as a world leading talent.
If the applicant cannot meet certain criteria but has evidence demonstrating potential to do so in the future, they can apply as a candidate with an “exceptional promise”.
Stage 2 – Immigration Application
After receiving an endorsement, the Home Office must decide whether there are any general grounds for refusal.
Strangely enough, requirements for English and accommodation do not “apply” for this visa.
Given the small number of current applicants, the high endorsement rate and relaxed criteria for those who satisfy the endorsement criteria, this visa is a very good opportunity for non-EEA talented individuals to come to the UK.
With the industries that the UK government targets with this visa it should not be a surprise that in the very close future it will become oversubscribed. The individuals who wish for to come to the UK under this route should not waste any time.
Contact our Immigration Advisors
If you have a genuine interest to start a business in the UK then you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.
For more information contact us today by phone +44 (0)207 99 36 346 or via email [email protected]