UK Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa for Architects

In order to be recognised as an exceptional talent, you need to obtain endorsement from a relevant UK body who recognize you as a leader (exceptional talent) or as an emerging leader (exceptional promise). You can be endorsed in one of the many fields like science, architecture, engineering, humanities, medicine, arts, fashion etc.

Exceptional talent as architecture

Architecture has been added only recently in the list of creative professionals who are eligible for UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.

This will allow successful architects applicants from overseas to stay in the UK for up to 5 years and four months with this visa. All architects must pass the RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects – assessment in order to establish that they are an internationally recognized expert in the architect field.

This requires the applicant to meet any 2 out of the following 3 criteria.

  • You must have substantial media coverage in more than 1 country;
  • You must have won at least one international award; and/or
  • You must have showcased your work through exhibitions or in other ways to your audiences across borders.

Those who are a promising talent in the field of architecture can also apply on the ground of exceptional promise.

How to apply?

First, you need to make an application to the Home Office. You need to apply as a leader or an emerging leader in the field of architecture. In the second stage after you have been endorsed, you can apply for the visa. You should note that under this visa category there are only 2,000 places available from 6th April to 5th April of the following year.

Documents to submit

When you apply for Tier 1 exceptional talent visa you must submit the following documents:

  • Your passport;
  • Your endorsement letter copy;
  • Your TB test results in case you come from a country where you have to take the test; and
  • If any of your documents are not in English or Welsh language then you need to provide a certified translation of those

You may also need to provide additional documents.

Time for decision on endorsement and visa application

You should get the decision on your endorsement usually within 8 weeks. You can get the faster decision also if you either hold an approved peer-reviewed fellowship or you are a senior academic or senior researcher at a college, university or a research institute in the UK. You can check with your employer about the eligibility of your role.

Once you get a successful decision on your endorsement required for UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa as an architect, you will receive an email from the Home Office in the UK with a copy of your endorsement letter which you need for the visa application letter. Without the endorsement letter, you cannot apply for the visa.

After you have received the letter of endorsement from Home Office, you must apply for the visa within 3 months’ time.

When you apply for the visa from the outside UK, you should get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks. But time may vary depending upon the country you apply from.

How long you can stay on Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa for architect

 If you apply from the outside UK then the maximum time you can stay in the UK is up to 5 years and 4 months and if you apply from the inside the UK then you can stay in the UK for 5 years. After the time period allowed you can also apply for an extension.

Contact Visa and Migration Ltd now to know more or apply Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa


Family Life as a Parent

Pre 2012 the route used to be called Right to Access the child and now this has been renamed to family life as a parent.

A non-British parent can exercise their right of access to their child/children (under 18 years) who are resident in the UK and are a British citizen or settled in the UK. A single non-British parent can apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family life with a British or settled child who is living in the UK. This application can only be made by a single parent/s. Those who are still in a relationship with the other parent cannot apply under the parent route they should rather submit an application under the partner route.

Family life as a parent visa

Those single non-British parent whose child is resident in the UK can apply for family life as a parent visa to join their child in the UK to raise them. However, such parent must have sole parental responsibility of the child or be normally living with the child, or they must have direct contact with the child.

Parent’s route requirements

The conditions to be met are:

  • You need to have the sole responsibility for the child; or
  • You need to have direct access to your child and in that situation, another parent of the child must not be your partner.
  • In order to prove direct access to the child, you must provide evidence from the court or agreed with another parent
  • You must be able to prove that you have an active involvement in the upbringing of the child.
  • You must also prove that you are able to meet maintenance and accommodation cost for yourself, the child, and any other children that you care for.
  • You must fulfill the English Language requirement at Level A 1 of the CEFR (only applicable to 5-year route).

You must meet the above conditions in order to submit an application as a parent in the UK. However, even if you don’t meet the above conditions still you can extend your permission to stay in the UK if:

  • Your child living in the UK is a UK British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years or more.
  • It would not be reasonable for them to leave the UK and continue their life outside the UK.

Once you apply for Family life as a parent visa and if your application is successful you will be granted a stay in the UK for 2.5 years. After this time period, you need to apply for an extension. Also if you complete 5 or 10 years continuously in the UK as a parent then you become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

If you are looking to submit an application under this route, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd for professional advice on your application and process.






Sole Responsibility

Generally, the concept of sole responsibility is only applicable where the parents may have separated or divorced. The responsibility of the child is such cases are with one of the parents who are in the UK. If the parent in the UK wants their child to join them in the UK then they will need to establish that they have the sole responsibility of the child.

If you are settled in the UK or on a temporary leave and want your child to join you from overseas then you will need to prove that you are solely responsible for the child. That means that you are the person who is the chief decision-maker in connection with the child who is currently outside the United Kingdom.

The UK based parent, in this case, is the sponsoring parent. Such parent must be able to show that he/she has been solely responsible for care and development of the child for a substantial period. Thus they will be establishing that they are the chief decision maker for the child’s well-being.

If the child is separated from sponsoring parent, then it will be expected normally that the child has been in the care of the sponsoring parent’s relatives rather than in the care of the relatives of the other parent outside the UK. And if it is found that the child has been in the care of the other parent’s relatives and also the other parent lives nearby the child and actively involved in the child’s welfare then such applications by sponsor parent for bringing their child to the UK under sole responsibility will be refused.

Sole responsibility test

A child under 18 outside UK cannot simply join his/her UK based parent unless the UK based parent passes sole responsibility test. A child under the age of 18 can seek leave to enter the UK to accompany or join a parent who is present and settled in the UK (someone who has obtained indefinite leave to remain or who has acquired British citizenship) and is solely responsible for the child’s upbringing.

Sole responsibility is a test invented for and exists solely in the immigration jurisdiction which has three main limbs: legal responsibility (for example legal custody of the child has been given to the UK parent), financial responsibility and emotional responsibility which mean they are making important decisions about the child’s upbringing and sending money for the child’s education and other needs.

Assessment of sole responsibility

While assessing the sole responsibility of a parent following factors are considered by Home Office:

  • Are the parents married / in a civil partnership?
  • If the marriage/civil partnership does not sustain and gets dissolved, in that situation which parent was awarded legal custody of the child, which includes the assumption of responsibility for the child?
  • When there is a legal custody order of the child is given in favor of the UK parent, the ECO should make sure that that the issue of a settlement entry clearance to the child will not contravene the terms of the custody order.
  • Is there a situation where the marriage / civil partnership subsist, but both the parents do not live together?
  • For how long has the sponsoring parent been separated from the child after he/she migrated to the UK?
  • If the sponsoring parent migrated to the UK, how was the child taken care of before and after the sponsoring parent migrated?
  • What has been the relationship between the sponsoring parent and the child if the sponsoring parent migrated to the UK?
  • Has the child been consistently supported by sponsoring parent directly or by personal care; or has there been a regular and substantial financial remittance by sponsoring a parent for the care of the child?
  • Who of the parents and in what proportions bore the cost of the child’s maintenance?
  • Who is the one taking the important decisions of the child’s upbringing, for example where the child lives, which school child studies, which religion child practices etc.?


However, there have been challenges when sponsoring parent tries to bring their child to the UK under sole responsibility.

The case of TD Yemen [2006] UKAIT 00049 is the Stare Decisis for establishing sole responsibility.

If you are looking for professional assistance in making the application for your child to join you in the UK, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd