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Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Immigration Lawyers for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

The new Tier 1 (exceptional talent) visa was announced today, the UKBA has provided detailed legal guidance on how the rules will apply to immigration clients, immigration solicitors and immigration lawyers.

The key points are:

  1. The Tier 1 General / HMSP routes remain closed
  2. An applicant who applies for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent status is required to be certified by a Competent Designated Body (please contact Westkin for more details about this)
  3. There are annual limits for this category 700 for the sciences and 300 for the arts.

The full text of the immigration rule is set out below:

Tier 1 (exceptional talent) Migrants

245B. Purpose

This route is for those who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts and who wish to work in the UK.

245B Entry to the UK

(a) all migrants arriving in the UK and wishing to enter as a Tier 1 (exceptional Talent) Migrant must have a valid entry clearance for entry under this route. If they do not have a valid entry clearance, entry will be refused

245BB. requirements for entry clearance

To qualify for entry clearance as a Tier 1 (exceptional Talent) Migrant, an applicant must meet the requirements listed below.

If the applicant meets these requirements, entry clearance will be granted.

If the applicant does not meet these requirements, the application will be refused.

Requirements:

(a) The applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
(b) The applicant must have a minimum of 75 points under paragraphs 1 to 6 of appendix a.
(c) an applicant who has, or was last granted, leave as a student or a Postgraduate doctor or dentist, a student nurse, a student Writing-Up a Thesis, a student re-sitting an examination or as a Tier 4 Migrant and:

(i) is currently being sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency, or

(ii) was being sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency, and that sponsorship came to an end 12 months ago or less, must provide the unconditional written consent of the sponsoring Government or agency to the application and must provide the specified documents as set out in the Tier 1 (exceptional Talent) guidance published on the UK Border agency website, to show that this requirement has been met.

245BC. Period and conditions of grant

Entry clearance will be granted for a period of 3 years and 4 months and will be subject to the following conditions:

(i) no recourse to public funds,

(ii) registration with the police, if this is required by paragraph 326,

(iii) no employment as a doctor or dentist in Training, and

(iv) no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).

245BD. requirements for leave to remain

To qualify for leave to remain as a Tier 1 (exceptional Talent) Migrant, an applicant must meet the requirements listed below. if the applicant meets these requirements, leave to remain will be granted. if the applicant does not meet these requirements, the application will be refused. requirements:

(a) The applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal, and must not be an illegal entrant

(b) The applicant must have a minimum of 75 points under paragraphs 1 to 6 of appendix a.

(c) The applicant must have a minimum of 10 points under paragraphs 1 to 2 of appendix C.

(d) The applicant must have, or have last been granted, entry clearance, leave to enter or remain as a Tier 1 (exceptional Talent) Migrant.

245Be. Period and conditions of grant

Leave to remain will be granted for a period of 2 years and will be subject to the following conditions:

(i) no recourse to public funds,

(ii) registration with the police, if this is required by paragraph 326,

(iii) no employment as a doctor or dentist in Training, and

(iv) (iv) no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)

245Bf. requirements for indefinite leave to remain

To qualify for indefinite leave to remain, a Tier 1 (exceptional Talent) Migrant must meet the requirements listed below. if the applicant meets these requirements, indefinite leave to remain will be granted. if the applicant does not meet these requirements, the application will be refused.10

TIER I EXCEPTIONAL TALENT – What does it mean for immigration clients?

A new challenge for Immigration Lawyers and Immigration Solicitors is to manage is the Government’s proposed plan to introduce a new immigration route for exceptionally talented migrants, within Tier 1 of the Points Based System.

This replaces the soon to be removed Tier 1 General – Highly Skilled Migrant category.

Westkin Associates – Immigration Lawyers London are monitoring events and have added this page in order to provide a regular source of information on the new category.

Unlike, the wider immigration category of Tier 1 General, the new route is intended as a “niche” category for exceptional people in the fields of Science, Arts and Humanities who wish to migrate, work and eventually settle in the UK, both in London and beyond. Immigration lawyers and solicitors are clearly concerned about the express intent to reduce immigration numbers.

Tier 1 – Exceptional Talent will favour immigration status to those who are internationally recognised as world leaders in their field and those younger migrants who show exceptional promise and who are likely to become internationally recognised world leaders in their field.

As Immigration lawyers like Westkin are aware, migrants of this type will normally be eligible for entry through the normal routes within Tier 2 or Tier 5 of the Points Based System. They may choose to use those routes. The alternative ways in are not mutually exclusive, however the UKBA expect most migrants in this field to come through Tiers 2 and 5. Bearing in mind the number of migrants in this category are so small, those in such an exceptional field are unlikely to use anything other than the benefits that Tier 1 Exceptional Talent gives them.

As the Exceptional Talent category is within Tier 1, migrants will not need sponsorship by an employer, though they will need to be endorsed by a designated competent body. At the time of writing, (16th March 2011) the list of competent bodies has not been published.

Immigration Lawyers like Westkin suspect that this endorsement is likely to focus in proving the exceptional talent rather than the tying a migrant to a particular employer or sponsor.

Migrants will need to intend to pursue their occupation in the UK and continue to be active in it, but will not need a specific job offer. There will be no test on entry of the migrant’s previous or future earnings.

The Tier 1 – Exceptional Talent category should cover 3 situations:-

  • Migrants who hold a designated award — e.g. the Nobel Prize – who may apply without endorsement by a competent body.
  • Migrants who are internationally recognised in their field as world leading talent and who are endorsed by a designated competent body
  • Young Migrants who show exceptional promise and who are likely to become world leaders in their field and who are endorsed by a designated competent body

It is proposed that all migrants will need to show evidence that they can support and accommodate themselves in the UK, the current Tier 1 General rules will apply, and be subject to refusal under any General Grounds for Refusal in the Immigration Rules (e.g. previous immigration breaches or security issues).

Exceptional talent migrants will be granted leave for 3 years and 4 months, with the ability to extend for a further 2 years.

Applications from world leaders and migrants demonstrating exceptional promise will need a further endorsement from a designated competent body at this stage.

Holders of designated awards, world leaders and migrants demonstrating exceptional promise will be able to apply for ILR after 5 years: World leaders and migrants demonstrating exceptional promise will need a further endorsement from a designated competent body at this stage.

The numbers securing ILR may be subject to a numerical limit in due course, given how few are likely qualify under these rules, the immigration lawyers at Westkin believe that no numerical limit will actually need to be brought in.

The number of visas granted with in Tier 1 – Exceptional Talent will be limited to 1000 in 2011/12.

Applicants who are overseas should apply to the relevant visa issuing post using the designated form, complete with competent body endorsement where necessary. They will need to go through normal visa procedures such as biometrics. In-country should apply to UKBA. Applications will be referred to a central panel in the UK for approval and monitoring purposes. The panel will meet monthly.

Qualifying Criteria

Some questions have been raised on the qualification criteria for the Exceptional Talent immigration.

The following are some key issues the Government may need to address and some suggestions by the UKBA for consultation:

  • Should any awards be designated apart from the Nobel Prize?

As this will confer eligibility without the need for endorsement, any awards need to be truly global and exceptional.

  • Alternatively, should all applicants need to be endorsed by a competent body?
  • Should the UKBA attempt to define more tightly the applicable criteria? The UKBA’s view is that, apart from holders of e.g. the Nobel Prize, this is best left to peer review through the competent bodies.
  • Should an upper age limit be imposed on those granted entry under the exceptional promise provisions e.g. 30?

Designated competent bodies

  • Who should be the designated competent bodies? They should be UK- based public bodies with a general remit for the promotion of excellence in their respective fields. In the first instance the UKBA intend to limit the number of such bodies, to a list such as:

Royal Society
Royal Society of Medicine
Royal Society of Chemistry
Royal Society of Arts
Royal Society of Literature
Research Councils UK
The Arts Council
British Council

  • How would they be designated?

To establish the scheme, the UKBA would invite these bodies, and any others that are recommended to it, to express an interest in endorsing applications and to invite them to propose the criteria that they intend to operate in order to secure their endorsement of individual applications. These criteria would require UKBA’s agreement prior to the body issuing any endorsements.

  • What would be the role of a designated competent body? It would be for the endorsing body to decide how they wished to manage requests for endorsement from potential applicants.

The Limit

  • Should UKBA apportion the limit of 1000 between the various designated competent bodies? We think that at least in the first year of the scheme, it should be operated on a first come first serve basis. It will not be apportioned between nationalities.
  • Should a sub-limit be placed on the number of “exceptional promise” migrants, e.g. one third of the total of 1000?
  • Should the annual limit be apportioned on a monthly basis, like the interim limit for T1 General?

The UKBA Panel

  • What should be the role of the UKBA panel which reviews the applications?

The panel should avoid becoming a decision-making body. Migrants will be granted leave essentially on the strength of their competent body endorsement or the fact they have a designated award (and meet the applicable maintenance and General Grounds for Refusal criteria). The panel will monitor to ensure consistency and pursue any issues with the relevant competent body. They will also monitor numbers against the limit and instruct Posts to stop accepting applications once the limit is readied.

Call Westkin if more guidance is needed, or fill in the enquiry box on the left.

 

Westkin Associates

info@westkin.com

17 Hanover Square, Mayfair

London
W1S 1HT
United Kingdom

0207 1184 546

 

© 2015 Westkin – London Immigration Lawyers

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