How can you apply for ILR if you are a Tier 1 (ET) holder?

To qualify for the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa, one of the most important requirements is that the applicant needs to obtain an endorsement letter from one of the following recognised Designated Competent Bodies: Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering or Tech Nation.

The Designated Competent Bodies have two sets of criteria: Exceptional Talent for applicants who have already demonstrated that they have made a significant contribution as a leader to their field, whilst Exceptional Promise is for those who are at the beginning of their careers and have shown the potential to make a significant contribution in their area of expertise.

How can you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you are a Tier 1 (ET) migrant?

Applicants might be able to apply for ILR once they have resided in the UK for a continuous 3 years period if the endorsement was granted under the Exceptional Talent criteria.

However, if the endorsement was granted under the Exceptional Promise criteria, applicants might be able to apply for settlement once they have resided in the UK for a continuous 5 years period.

Please note that applicants can combine the 3 or 5 qualifying period if they were a Tier 1 (excluding Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Post Study Work) migrant, a Tier 2 (excluding Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer) migrant or an Innovator.

Migrants can submit their settlement application up to 28 days prior to the end of the qualifying period.

Endorsement requirement

If the applicant wishes to apply for settlement under the Tier 1 (ET) scheme, the Designated Competent Body should not have withdrawn the endorsement when the migrant is submitting his/her application.

In addition, the migrant must show that he/she has earned money in the UK as a result of employment or self-employment in their area of expertise.

Absences requirement

Applicants cannot spend more than 180 days outside the UK during any consecutive 12 months of the qualifying period on a rolling basis.

English language requirement

Prospective ILR applicants need to meet the English language requirement at Level B1 in English speaking and listening, unless they are nationals of a majority English speaking country or holding a degree taught in English which is deemed by UK NARIC to meet the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD in the UK.

Life in the UK test

Applicants will need to pass the Life in the UK test prior to the submission of their application. Migrants need to book the test from the following website:

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.