Global Talent/ Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) ILR

This section focuses on ILR requirements specific to Global Talent, previously called Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent), visa holders. More information and a link to the online application form for Global Talent/ Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa holders is found on the Home Office website.

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The qualifying period is 3 years for those:

  • endorsed as a ‘recognised leader’ under Exceptional Talent;
  • endorsed in science, or under the UKRI Endorsed Funder route, (whether under Exceptional Talent, or Exceptional Promise).

The qualifying period is 5 years for those:

  • endorsed as an 'emerging leader' under Exceptional Promise in either arts and culture or digital technology.

Time under Tier 2 visas can be combined with time spent under Global Talent (previously Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/ Promise) to reach the relevant qualifying period.

Even if the main applicant is eligible to apply for ILR after 3 years, the qualifying period for family members who hold Dependant visas is always 5 years, under Dependant visas only.

When applying for ILR, Global Talent (previously Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/ Promise) visa holders must confirm that they are still endorsed. There is no requirement to evidence this, however, as if endorsement had been withdrawn they would have lost their visa.

Applicants are required to provide evidence that they have earned money in the UK working in their area of expertise since being granted their Global Talent/  Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/ Promise visa. This is normally evidence of employment, such as a letter from their employing department/ college, along with copies of payslips and bank statements covering at least three months. In some cases evidence of self-employment may have to be submitted instead.

As the University issues electronic payslips, a letter is required from the central University Payroll team verifying any payslips being submitted in support of an ILR application, please read the information on requesting a verification letter.


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Absences from the UK

To be eligible for ILR applicants must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 month period of the three or five year qualifying period. All absences from the UK are counted, whether for work, family or holidays.

A new rule (where periods of research outside the UK are not counted against the limit on absences) originally only applied to Skilled Worker/ Tier 2 visa holders working as researchers or lecturers, but now also applies to Global Talent/ Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/ Promise visa holders endorsed in science or under the UKRI endorsed funder scheme.

A stricter limit on absences from the UK applies under the 10 year ‘Long residence’ ILR route.

Only whole days are counted

Only full days outside the UK are counted against the 180 day limit. For example, travel on Monday to a conference held outside the UK on Tuesday returning to the UK on Wednesday would only be counted as one day’s absence from the UK.

Counting absences

The Home Office changed the way absences are counted in January 2018 but this change is not retrospective.

  • Absences under visas issued before 11 January 2018 - The 180 days limit is counted in 12 month blocks counting back from when the ILR application is submitted. This can make it possible in some cases to split longer absences across two successive 12 month periods.
  • Absences under visas issued after 11 January 2018 - The new rule introduced on 11 January 2018 states that the 180 days limit must instead be counted in rolling 12 month periods. This prevents longer absences being split across two successive periods.

More detail on how Home Office caseworkers count absences when assessing ‘continuous residence’ in ILR applications is found in Home Office guidance.

If an applicant thinks they are near or over the 180 day limit they should contact SIT to discuss further.


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