Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

The Home Office has introduced several improvements:

  • The endorsement allocation has been doubled to 2,000 per year.
  • Exceptional Talent visa holders will only need to evidence 3 years continuous lawful residence in the UK when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Those endorsed under Exceptional Promise still need to evidence 5 years continuous residence to qualify for ILR. Please see further details of changes to the ILR requirements below.
  • A new simplified Stage 1 application process for the accelerated routes (specific peer-reviewed fellowships and senior appointments) which reduces the documentation required, and speeds up the decision process to approx. 5 weeks.

The introduction of an accelerated endorsement route for Senior Academic appointments will enable individuals appointed to Associate Professor (AP), Statutory Professor (SP), and Reader roles at HEI’s, to apply for Tier 1 endorsement with certainty that their application will be successful. We recommend this route where possible for all new AP and SP roles where a visa is required.  

For the accelerated endorsement route, a letter of support is required from the Director of Human Resources (or equivalent) that confirms the required recruitment process was carried out, including:

  • that an open competition was held for the position;
  • at least 3 references were received;
  • 4 senior academic representatives from the host institute were present on the interview panel; and
  • at least 1 senior external expert in a relevant field not employed by the host institute participated in the interview or provided written input.

The Newton International Fellowship (Royal Society/ British Academy/ Academy of Medical Sciences) has been added to the list for accelerated endorsement for peer-review fellowships. Previously the University has progressed Tier 5 (GAE) sponsorship for such awardees. For future applications or current fellows who may wish to ‘switch’ into Tier 1, please contact Solveig Alsaker; solveig.alsaker@admin.ox.ac.uk .

The full list of specific peer-reviewed fellowships can be downloaded from the Royal Society website.

A SIT Training course on the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route is available.

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