Boris Johnson’s London Visa: Exceptional Talent Visas

On 8 September 2013, London Mayor Boris Johnson proposed a new “London visa” which would make it easier for talented tech experts and fashion designers around the world get jobs in the capital. Boris Johnson’s plan has been submitted to the Home Office and if approved, would see the best applicants given an endorsement that would speed their entry and help them bypass the often lengthy process of the UK’s current visa system.

Proposal: Boris Johnson’s Office to be Allocated Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visas

If the Mayor’s proposal to Home Secretary Theresa May is approved, City Hall will be given a yearly allocation of 100 of the government’s existing 1,000 exceptional talent visas. This category is open to world class or potential world class individuals in the fields of science and the arts.

As part of the application process, the applicant must receive an endorsement from a specified, designated competent body. Each body has its own specific criteria that must be met to be given the required endorsement.

Boris Johnson: Welcoming Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrants

Speaking to the Financial Times last month, the Mayor stated:

“It is a clear message to the elite of Silicon Valley or the fashionistas of Beijing that London is the place they should come to develop ideas, build new businesses and be part of an epicentre for global talent.”

Boris Johnson explained that if successful, the allocation of exceptional talent visas could be expanded.

Current UK Visa Options for Exceptionally Talented Migrants

The UK’s current Points Based System does provide options for young artists and tech individuals who are not considered exceptional or potential world class individuals yet.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur is the main option which is available for individuals who can demonstrate access to £200,000 or that they have access to £50,000 from regulated venture capital firms, specific UK entrepreneurial seed funding competitions or UK governments and will be able to create at least two full time positions over time within the UK business. It can be said that the financial threshold may discourage these individuals from coming to the UK.

Another option would be under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category which is open to MBA and other UK graduates wjo have been identified as having developed genuine and credible business ideas. It must be noted that 2,000 specific visa opportunities are available under this visa route.

Successful Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa Applications

Currently the London visa is under review but if you are interested in applying under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route, our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making this visa application. From our experience, we have found that the UK Border Agency are very strict when deciding applications under this route so if you consider yourself as having exceptional talent, contact us to arrange a consultation in which we will guide you through the process.

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