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British Fashion Council to become assessor for fashion visas

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

9 Jul 2018


The British Fashion Council has confirmed that it is working with Arts Council England, in partnership with the Home Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to expand and promote the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa for fashion industry applicants.

The move will see the British Fashion Council working as an independent assessor for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa applications within the fashion industry, to secure what it is calling a “new route” for talented designers and fashion sector individuals to work in the UK.

According to figures released by the British Fashion Council, the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas that the government is willing to approve was increased in November 2017 from 1000 to 2000, and half of these will be allocated on a “demand-led basis”, in what it notes as a “significant opportunity” for the fashion industry in the UK to attract and retain key designers, talent and creatives.

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is available to individuals from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland who have been endorsed in their field in arts, humanities, engineering or science as a recognised (exceptional talent) or emerging leader (exceptional promise).

British Fashion Council to becoming independent assessor for fashion visas

Successful applicants will be granted five years in the UK, which is open to extension if the applicant can continue to prove their exceptional talent.

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council said in a statement: “In light of Brexit, the British Fashion Council were thrilled to work with the Arts Council and the DCMS to extend the opportunity for talented individuals to secure Tier 1 visas, allowing them to continue to work as fashion designers in the UK and contribute to our growing industry.

“This is a great example of positive change to support the creative industries to improve access to the best international talent.”

Margot James, minister of state for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport added: “The UK is a global fashion capital and home to world-renowned brands such as Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Ozwald Boateng. Our innovative designers and fashion houses not only showcase the nation's creative zeal but are also are a vital part of the economy.

“We are determined to do to all we can to support this hugely successful sector and these new visas will make it easier for brands to recruit the talent they need to continue to succeed in the future.”

Image: courtesy of the British Fashion Council