Home Office announces details of new ‘exceptional talent’ route

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On 20 July, Damian Green announced that the new ‘exceptional talent’ route will open on 9 August 2011 and will facilitate 1,000 individuals into the UK who have either been recognised as leaders in their respective fields or have the potential to become one.

The Home Office presents the introduction of this new route as a measure to “encourage exceptionally talented leaders in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, and the arts to come to the UK.” This move follows the reworking of Tiers 1 and 2, aspects of which are subject of the currently running UKBA settlement consultation.

The Home Office press release details that the route will be overseen by specially selected ‘competent bodies':

  • The Royal Society, a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists, will be able to nominate up to 300 places;
  • Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, will also be able to nominate up to 300 places;
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain’s national academy for engineering, will have up to 200 places to nominate; and,
  • The British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences will be able to nominate up to 200 places.

Migrants seeking entry under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category will not need to be sponsored by an employer but will need to be recommended by one of the competent bodies.

It will be for each of these bodies to select those who will qualify for recommendation.

While the government has allotted a number of places to each body it will be open to the bodies to transfer additional places to those with more demand if this becomes necessary.



UKBA press release (20 July 2011)

UKBA Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) of the Points Based System – Policy Guide (pdf file)

For a critical look at these measures, check out Ruth Grove-White’s (MRN) blogs

“Government moves with ‘unnecessary haste’ to rework Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System (Nov 2010) and

“New Exceptional Talent route launched – but will it be enough?” (July 2011)