This category is designed to attract exceptionally talented people. The applicant should be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. There are 2,000 visas available annually under this category.

The applicant must have exceptional talent in the following fields:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Medicine
  • Digital technology
  • The arts
  • Fashion
  • Architecture
  • Film and Television

The application process takes place in two stages. Firstly, the applicant should apply to the Home office for the endorsement in the relevant field as a recognized leader (exceptional talent) or an emerging leader (exceptional promise). Secondly, after the endorsement, the applicant can apply for the visa.

The visa is issued for 5 years and 4 months if applying from outside the UK and 5 years if applying from inside the UK.

The applicant will qualify for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years if endorsed under the Exceptional Promise criteria and after 3 years if endorsed under the Exceptional Talent criteria.