This sub-category of Tier 1, introduced into the Immigration Rules in April 2011, opens on 9 August 2011. It has been designed for “those who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts and who wish to work in the UK”.
To succeed, applicants must be economically active in their chosen field, and must have received endorsement from a “Designated Competent Body”:
- the Royal Society, a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists, will be able to nominate up to 300 places;
- Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, will also be able to nominate up to 300 places;
- the Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain’s national academy for engineering, will have up to 200 places to nominate; and
- the British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences will be able to nominate up to 200 places.
There will be 500 places available between the 9 August and 30 November and a further 500 places available from the 1 December to 31 March 2012. The number of places will be reviewed at the end of March 2012.
Applicants will have to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English; but will be exempt from the PBS maintenance requirement. Settlement in this category is permitted after five years of residence.