BFC to assess visa applications for fashion designers

The British Fashion Council has announced it will become an independent assessor for fashion visas as a new rule, that makes fashion professionals eligible for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, comes into effect.



The BFC has been working with Arts Council England in partnership with the Home Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to promote this new route for talented international designers and professionals to work in the UK.

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa was previously available only to applicants across science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology and the arts. Since November 2017, the government has increased the number of visas it is willing to approve to 2,000, and half of these will be allocated on a demand-led basis.

"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,” said Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council.

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.”

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is only open to individuals from outside the European Economic Area & Switzerland who have been endorsed in their field. The BFC will become an advisory partner for these visas, and conduct an independent assessment on each application.

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