Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route

If you’re from a country outside the European Economic Area, you can apply to come to – or remain in – the UK via the Tier 1 visa route.

Who can apply for a Tier 1 visa?

You should be an exceptionally talented individual in the field of science, engineering, humanities and social sciences or the arts.
You must be able to demonstrate that you’re:


Benefits of applying for a Tier 1 visa

A Tier 1 visa offers you more flexibility than other UK immigration routes. You can:

You can apply to switch to a Tier 1 visa if you’re already in the UK on a:

Accelerated application process

If you hold one of the awards listed below, you’re guaranteed an endorsement of your Tier 1 application (see the ‘Stage 1: Endorsement’ section below). If you hold a Wellcome grant that isn’t on this list, you can still apply for a Tier 1 visa, but your endorsement is not guaranteed.

How to apply for a Tier 1 visa

There is a two-stage application process.

Stage 1: Endorsement

You need to apply via the Home Office for endorsement as a leader or an emerging leader in your particular field. You must complete the ‘Application for endorsement' form and submit this to the Home Office.

Your application will be considered by one of the five recognised Designated Competent Bodies, who will decide if you have the skills, abilities and achievements to be endorsed. You can find out more about the Tier 1 visa on their websites.

The five bodies are: 

Stage 2: Immigration application

Once you’ve been endorsed, you can apply to the Home Office for your visa. You must apply for the visa within three months of being endorsed.

Contact details

If you have any questions, email grantenquiries@wellcome.ac.uk.

Contact us

Contact our information officers if you have a question about funding.