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Index >> Working Visas in the UK >> Exceptional Talent >> Settlement (ILR) under Tier 1 >&g back button

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Exceptional Talent

Tier 1 exception talent settlement

The settlement form is called ‘SET(O) –Application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK in one of the categories listed in this form and a biometric immigration document’.  The form is available here:

You will need to meet some requirements which apply to all Points Based System settlement applications and some which are specific to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applicant.

Length of time in the UK needed to qualify –settlement 

You can apply for settlement under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) once you have completed 5 years’continuous leave in the United Kingdom under the route.

You can also qualify if you have less than 5 years’leave under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) but you have a continuous 5 years which includes leave you previously held as a:

  • Tier 1 Migrant (excluding as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant or Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Migrant); or

  • Tier 2 Migrant (excluding as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant).

Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application (for entry clearance orleave to remain) was approved.

You can apply for settlement up to 28 days before you will reach the end of the qualifying period and we will count that time towards your 5 years’ residence.Otherwise,your qualifying period will be the 5 years immediately before the date you apply for settlement.  If your initial application was approved more than 5 years ago, we will only consider the most recent 5 years.

Absences -settlement

You cannot have had more than 180 days’absence from the United Kingdom during each 12 months of the 5yearperiod.

You will need to list details of your absences from the United Kingdom, including the reasons for those absences, on the form but you will not need to provide any specified evidenceto support this.

Whatever the reason for absences from the United Kingdom, they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days (but see information about delayed entry to the UK below).  This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons.  The only exception is where you have been absent from the United Kingdom assisting with the Ebola crisis which began in West Africa in 2014 and you can provide evidence that this was the purpose of the absence.

You can include time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. 
Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within the relevant 12 month period. 

For example, if you entered the United Kingdom 100 days after you obtained entry clearance and have a further 81 days’absence during the remainder of that 12 month period, you will exceed the180 days you are permittedto be absentfrom the United Kingdom.You would therefore not qualify for settlement five years after the date you obtained entry clearance.  You would need to wait until a date where none of the previous 5 years (counting backwards) included absences of more than 180 days, before you could qualify.

If you have been outside of the United Kingdom for more than 180 days in 12 months, this will break the continuous period and you will need to start the qualifying period for settlement again.  If this happens, you may need to obtain a further grant of limited leave to remain to complete your continuous period in the United Kingdom.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) criteria -settlement

Settlement applications are made to the Home Office and you must meet the following criteria:

  • The Designated Competent Body that originally endorsed your stage 1 application has not advised the Home Office that this has been withdrawn; and

  • During your mostrecent period ofleave as aTier1 (Exceptional Talent)migrant, you have earned money in the UK as a result of employment or self employment in your fieldof expertise.  This isthe field for which theDesignated Competent Body endorsed you.

As with stage 2and extensionapplications, you will also be subject to General Grounds for Refusal.  This meansthat even if you qualify under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) rules there may be other reasons (such as your immigration history, whether you have previously provided fraudulent documents to the Home Office, whether you have been convicted of a serious crime,etc) that may lead to the application being refused. 

Knowledge of Languageand Life-settlement

When you apply for settlement,you are required to show that you have knowledge of language and life in the United Kingdom before you can be granted(unless you fall under an exemption).

You can demonstrate this by passing both the Life in the UK test and holding an English speaking and listening qualification at level B1 or above.


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