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.