The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent scheme that was previously only opened to science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology and the arts has now been extended to highly skilled and talented individuals in the Fashion industry and applications would be considered by the British Fashion Council.
In case you don’t know what the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa is, it is a visa scheme created by the UK to attract and retain exceptionally talented people in different fields to come live, work and stay in the UK. The visa will only be given to individuals who have been endorsed by a competent body (assigned by the UK Government). Successful applicants can get up to 5years 4months visa and have the opportunity to apply for residency after their 5years.
The Visa is spitted into two (2) categories; “Exceptional Talent” and “Exceptional Promise”.
Exceptional Talent: These are people with a lot of years of experience in their field and most likely have a lot of accolades under their belt to show for this. They are termed as “current leaders” within their field
Exceptional Promise: These are people who are also very talented in their field but are quite “new” in the field in terms of years and experience. They are termed “emerging leaders” within their field.
The interesting things is this; whether you get endorsed under the “exceptional talent” route or the “exceptional promise” route, your Visa will be the same! In my opinion, I think it is just required that you state which one you fall under so your documents can be looked at in that light. (I know this as a successful applicant and holder of the Tech Nation Exceptional Talent visa)
Previously, the Tier 1 Exceptional talent visa was only opened to 1000 selected applicants each year but as of November 2017, it doubled to 2000. Each Designated Competent Body assigned by the UK Government would have a certain amount of endorsement they can give out each year (Since there are 5 bodies, that’s 400 each) . The “arts” will now include talented fashion designers who either run their own fashion brand or wish to take up top creative jobs at the UK’s luxury fashion houses. This initiative will attract some really talented designers from around the world and make the UK a more competitive fashion scene.
Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council said this to the press when this was announced: “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.”
“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.” – Caroline Rush
Getting endorsed under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent scheme isn’t an easy thing (I remember when I applied to get endorsed under the Tech Scene and the things I had to show/prove), applicants for the fashion field might need to show that they have WON; OR, have received a nomination for, OR have made a significant and direct contribution to winning or being nominated for international awards for excellence such as The Fashion Awards, Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Awards, Elle Style Award, GQ Award, LVMH Prize, ANDAM Prize, Hyères Prize or another relevant major award or nomination.
Mind you, the above isn’t an exhaustive list. In the official guide, there are about 4 things that can be proved with applicants being able to pick two or more. (So, don’t get scared if those awards sounded “out of your league”) You should also checkout the Eligibility Criteria for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa
Some of the things successful applicants for the Fashion Exceptional Talent would have to proof includes:
- are professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been sold or exhibited internationally, either through catwalk presentation or exhibitions (if you are applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or which has had recognition with leading industry players (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria)
can show recent (within the last five years) and regular activity of being engaged professionally as a practitioner in your field; and
can show a substantial track record in more than one country (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) or developing track record in at least one country (if applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria) , one of which can be your country of residence.
The move to include Fashion as a field that can also be endorsed under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa marks a significant step for fashion, which brings about £29 billion into the UK economy each year.
Margot James, Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said this of the announcement, “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 all we can to support this hugely successful sector.”
“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 all we can to support this hugely successful sector.” – Margot James
I personally hold the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa for Tech as I was endorsed by Tech Nation in 2017 as a “World Leading Exceptional Talent In Digital Technology” and I have since been in the UK. Using my blog and love for content creation, I have been creating content around this Visa as I find it very intriguing. You can read my story on how I got endorsed on here “How I Got and How To Get The Tech Nation Visa”
I usually only blog about Tech but I was so excited when I read this news about Fashion Designers being added to the list of people who can get he tier 1 exceptional visa. I consider myself somewhat part of the Fashion Industry. I run a clothing and canvas art brand and I have been opportuned to attend some London Fashion Week and London Fashion Week Men shows and I have a strong base of Fashion forward friends who will be the next big thing in the fashion world. (Picture below from last London Fashion Week in Feb, 2017)
All the best to everyone who intends to apply under this Visa route, trust me – if you get endorsed, its one of the best Visas to be on! Freedom to create!