From 9th August 2011 applications can be made under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) of the Points Based System
The Tier 1(Exceptional Talent) scheme will commence on 9.8.11. However the number of visas available in this category has been restricted to 1,000 a year. This route is for exceptionally talented individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the arts, who wish to work in the UK. These individuals are those who are already internationally recognised at the highest level as world leaders in their particular field, or who have already demonstrated exceptional promise and are likely to become world leaders in their particular area
An applicant will need a "Designated Competent Body" to endorse their application.
The Designated Competent Bodies recognised by the UK Border Agency for this purpose are:
• Arts Council – for arts and culture applications;
• The British Academy – for humanities and social science applications;
• The Royal Society - for natural sciences and medical science research applications; and
• The Royal Academy of Engineering – for engineering applications.
There are other additional requirements which can be accessed at