Applicants score points for being endorsed by one of four "Designated Competent Bodies". These are the:
There is an annual limit of 1000 visas and this limit will continue from the 6th April 2015 - 6th April 2016.
You must apply from outside the UK because it is not possible to switch into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent whilst in the UK with a different type of visa. Applicants do not need a sponsor or a job offer, and successful applicants may take any type of work.
Successful applicants will initially be issued with a visa for three years and four months, and are likely to subsequently extend their visa for a further two years and ultimately qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years' residence.
Find out more on the UKVI website.
Information last checked and updated 02.04.2015 MA