In 2011, the Government announced the creation of a new migration mechanism to encourage exceptionally talented leaders in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the arts to come to the UK. The new Tier 1 ‘Exceptional Talent’ route was opened on 9 August 2011 and allows up to 1,000 exceptionally talented migrants to come to the UK annually. This route is open both to those who have already been recognised as outstanding and those with the potential to be recognised as future leaders in their respective fields.
Candidates wishing to enter the UK through this route require the endorsement of one of the four competent bodies appointed by the UK Border Agency. Following negotiations with UKBA, the British Academy, the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Arts Council England have agreed to act as competent bodies to evaluate researchers wishing to enter the UK through Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent visa). The competent bodies have been allocated a number of places by the UKBA, under the current arrangements:
- The Royal Society, a fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists, will be able to endorse up to 300 candidates;
- Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, will be able to endorse up to 300 candidates;
- The Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain’s national academy for engineering, will be able to endorse up to 200 candidates; and,
- The British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences will be able to endorse up to 200 candidates.
We would like to encourage UK research institutions and industry to take advantage of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route to attract the best researchers from outside the EEA to the UK. I would therefore appreciate it if you could circulate details of the route within your organisation.
For further information on Tier 1, including eligibility and assessment criteria, please visit the UKBA’s website:
We would like to thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Philip Greenish - Chief Executive, The Royal Academy of Engineering
Robin Jackson - Chief Executive, The British Academy
Julie Maxton - Executive Director, The Royal Society