Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

Exceptional Talent in Science and the Arts

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) is for world- leaders, or potential leaders, in the fields of science and the arts.

Under Tier 1, applicants must accrue the necessary points to qualify for immigration to the UK. There are a number of areas where points can be gained (under ‘Attributes’ and ‘Controls’).


To qualify for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) you must gain sufficient points under the ‘attributes’ section.  There is one area where points must be gained for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) initial application.

Endorsement by a Designated Competent Body (75 points):

The list of Designated Competent Bodies comprises

  • The Royal Society
  • The Arts Council England
  • The British Academy
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Tech City UK.


For extension applications only, extending an existing Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

English (10 points):

As English is the most widely spoken language in the UK you must demonstrate sufficient competence in the language to gain the 10 points. You can do this by:

  • being a national of a majority English-speaking country, or
  • passing a specified English language test (see the Tier 1: Exceptional Talent Policy Guidance for tests which qualify), or
  • holding a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or above.


There is a limited quota for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas issued each year, but it is generally an under-used visa route.


The documentary evidence of your points must meet specific requirements. These are laid out in the Policy Guidance for the relevant type of Tier 1 visa.

Other types of Tier 1 immigration application:

About Nikki de Prey

de Prey Consulting is an immigration consultancy based in Edinburgh, UK. Nikki advises clients on the variety of visa applications for entering or remaining in the UK. For more information read about her background in About dPC.