Question: in recent Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa guidance the authority has mentioned that this permanent residence for this talent visa can be obtained by the end of third year in the UK. I am applying exactly for this visa (not for Tier 1 Exceptional Promise). In this case, on the Stage 2 (Visa Stage) do I need to apply for only 3 years or to be safe and keep piece of my mind – still 5 years 4 months as it was previously established. What is your opinion?
Answer: You are completely right – Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa can be granted for up to 5 years. After this period a holder of this talent visa will be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK. However, due to the recent changes, there is a pure difference between talents and promises – in the visa duration.
I consider it will be correct to apply for 3 years if you are endorsed as Exceptional Talent (not Exceptional Promise).
According to the paragraph 84 on page 18 of the Home Office Guidelines, it is reasonable to think so.
However, from the practical point of view there is also another way. This is a trick for people with limited budget or an applicants with dependents which is more difficult financially than applying alone. An applicant can apply for visa just for 1 year and then after the 10.5 months – extend this visa to a couple years more. Or to a whole period (3 years or 5 years – depending on the visa type). Since I have applied in this way I have prepared a couple of articles about visa extension process and other issues on this way.