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Research and Innovation Talent Visa

The Research and Innovation Talent Visa enables individuals with exceptional talent and exceptional promise in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, social science and humanities to live and work in the UK. An overview of the route, guidance for applicants and an FAQ document are available to download on this page.

The Royal Society is a Designated Competent Body (DCB) for the Research and Innovation Talent Visa, under the Home Office Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa route.

This means that the Royal Society is able to endorse applicants within the natural and medical sciences as either leaders in their field (Exceptional Talent) or as potential leaders in their field (Exceptional Promise).

When an application for endorsement for a Research and Innovation Talent Visa is made via the Home Office, the Royal Society assesses the application and advises the Home Office whether the individual is demonstrably ‘exceptionally talented’ or has ‘exceptional promise’. If an endorsement is granted, the final immigration decision rests with the Home Office. 

As well as the standard route for endorsement, the Royal Society operates two accelerated processes for exceptional researchers who have already undergone a stringent peer review process considered to be equivalent to that of the Society: 

  • for international awardees of specific peer-reviewed fellowships (see full list)
  • for appointments to senior academic and research positions at UK higher education institutions and eligible research institutes (see full list)

More detail on the accelerated processes is available in the guidance for applicants

Other DCBs include:

Further details of the route, as well as the criteria for each of the DCBs can be found on the Home Office website