The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa allows skilled individuals to come work, live and create in the UK. I got endorsed on May 23 2017 and since I moved to the UK, I have not only had the freedom to work on things that am passionate about but have been able to do so without worrying about the visa constraints which is always present in other types of visa. I have also made it my point of duty to create content around this visa that would be helpful to both current and future applicants, I have also opened my doors to providing guidances where neccesary to prospective applicants. From when I got endorsed in 2017, a lot has changed in the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa guidance and process and it is understandable because things like these cannot be set in stone.
(1) Price of Application.
When I applied in 2017, the stage 1 fee was £287 and stage 2 fee was $393 (I couldn’t find the exact £ figure and I do not not want to convert the dollars to pounds with today’s rate). I just checked the application document and saw that I applied for stage 2 the following day after I got my endorsement letter email.
That is funny to me because it shows how excited I was and how hungry I was to leave Nigeria to London. As of March 18 2019, the stage 1 fee is now £456 while the stage 2 fee is £152. The stage 1 is the stage where you apply to get endorsed while the stage 2 is the stage where you apply for your visa once you’ve been endorsed.
There has clearly been an increase in fee in just one year and I envision that it will gradually increase as the years go by but the fee is still very very reasonable considering the impact this endorsement / visa will have in the applicant’s life and career. Its worth every penny.
(2) Fields That Can Be Endorsed.
Back in 2017, there were only 6 fields that could get endorsed under this visa scheme and they were: science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology, and the arts but as of 2018 three (3) more fields have been added which are fashion, architecture, film and television.
This is good news for people who are skilled in those fields and this can somewhat be bad news for others as they might feel like the competition is now much stronger! Fear not, if you qualify to be endorsed, you will! I am very sure that the endorsing bodies get loads of applications on a weekly basis and a large percentage is from people who either do not apply following the guidelines accordingly or are not skilled enough to be endorsed as a “world leading exceptional talent” in their field.
So, do not fear, spend more time making your case and ensure you submit the best documents and evidences that puts you in the best light.
(3) Application process.
When I applied under Tech City (which is now Tech Nation), there were a lot of confusing steps. For one, you had to apply online and submit the soft copies of your documents / evidences to the home office dedicated portal, and then to the tech city online portal and finally, you have to send the printed hard copy documents to a designated home office address.
That was a little bit confusing, if we are asked to apply online, why do we have to send physical copies of the documents? But, who am I to ask questions? I followed the instructions to the letter and because my first application wasn’t successful, I had to do this process twice.
That meant I had to send the documents twice visa DHL to the UK from Nigeria. I chose DHL because I wanted the documents to get their on time and in good condition. So, the fee was a little bit steep. Remember, I had to do it twice!!! That was insane.
As of March 2019, you do not need to send hard copies anymore to the home office. The application is 100% online! (I have only confirmed this for Tech Nation applicant but I have a feeling it’s the same for all applicants) This is a much better way to do things. Its faster, less expensive and less clutter. In Conclusion.
These are the 3 notable changes from when I applied in 2017 to now. Is there any other change I missed? Please let me know in the comments below. I wish everyone who has applied or looking to apply for this visa the very best. I know how you must feel rightnow, I have been there twice! All I can say is – if you believe you have what it takes and you prepare your application the right way by following some of the free videos and articles I have created on this blog, you should be fine. Stay positive!
To learn more and stay updated with the new changes, be sure to check Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1)
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