On 15 November 2017 the government has announced that the number of visas available to people who are considered leaders or show promise in the fields of technology, art, science and creative industries will be doubled.
This is a clear sign that, despite the general anti-immigration climate, the UK is open to host exceptional people who can contribute to the national economy.
Many potential applicants are put off by the apparently difficult requirements that need to be met to qualify under this category, but the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise, once understood, could offer entry into the UK for many professionals who excel in their sector.
Many young professionals, who are at the start of their careers but have shown potential in their chosen field, could benefit from a non-expensive visa which could be granted for a maximum of 5 years in one block and lead to settlement.
Whoever wishes to apply under this route, will have to obtain an endorsement from a recognised body and then apply for either entry clearance of leave to remain from the UKVI.
The first part of the application consists in obtaining an endorsement from on of the five endorsing organisations approved by the Home Office. These are Tech City UK, Arts Council England, The British Academy, The Royal Society and The Royal Academy of Engineering. In order to do so, a variety of documents need to be submitted, to show that the relevant criteria are met.
At present there is a high demand for experts or potential leaders in the field of digital technology, and applications can be fast-tracked if the applicant intends to work in the North of the UK such as in Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland or the surrounding regions.