Personal Immigration

Exceptional Talent ILR Application Guide

Since January 2018, those in the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa category have been able to apply to settle after spending three years in the category, even if they entered before this change. This article will look at how to make the application for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent ILR after three years, for those endorsed as exceptionally talented, or after five years for those endorsed as exceptionally promising.

Time Spent in the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category for ILR

As mentioned, the relevant time period for Exceptional Talent ILR is either three years for exceptional talent, or five years for exceptional promise. However, this period does not need to be exclusively spent in this category. You can combine time spent with leave as a Tier 1 (General), (Entrepreneur), (Investor) or Tier 2 (General) migrant, providing the most recent period of leave is spent as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent or Promise migrant.

During the relevant period, the applicant must have no more than 180 days absent from the UK in any 12 month period relied upon.

Earnings in your field for Exceptional Talent ILR

In order to settle you must show that since your last grant of leave in the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category, you have had earnings, in the UK, in the expert field for which you were endorsed, and that the endorsing body has not withdrawn their endorsement.

The immigration rules for Exceptional Talent ILR set out specified documents to prove that your earnings have been in the UK, which vary depending on the method of payment. The specified documents have to be provided, which therefore means that the payment should be made in such a way as to comply with the specified evidence requirements.

The documents that the Immigration Rules set out include payslips for those in employment, HMRC documents showing earnings, dividend vouchers, a letter from an accountant with accounts or documents from a sponsoring institution. In order to show that the work is in the UK and in the relevant field, a contract for service/work with a UK institution or employer must be provided, or a letter confirming the work in the relevant field.

The rules for Exceptional Talent ILR do not specify a set amount of work that must be completed over the five/three year period, and nor do they specify a particular amount of earnings that must be made from the activity in your expert field.

There is no restriction on any work that is completed, so individuals in this category are permitted to work outside of their expert field if they wish to do so, but must ensure that they do this in addition to, and not instead of earning money from their relevant talent.

To discuss your Tier 1 Exceptional Talent ILR application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our Tier 1 Exceptional Talent ILR lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

English Language and life in the UK

Although there is no English Language Requirement to enter the category, there is one when you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Applicants will need to show that they have achieved level B1 either through taking a UKVI approved english language test, being from a majority english speaking country, or having a degree which was taught in English. People who have previously spent time in other categories in the UK, such as Tier 2, or Tier 1 Entrepreneur, may also be able to meet this requirement, without taking a further test.

Exceptional Talent ILR: General Grounds for Refusal

The general grounds for refusal apply to all applications, and cover a wide variety of matters, including criminal activity, immigration offending such as breach of conditions or deceptive activity. If any of these might apply to you, it is important to seek immigration advice about your options.

Conclusion on Exceptional Talent ILR

If you are able to meet all the requirements, then it will be possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after the relevant three or five year period in the UK.

Contact our Exceptional Talent ILR Immigration Lawyers

For advice about extending your stay in the UK as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/Promise migrant or for ongoing advice and support throughout your period of leave, reach out to our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.


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