A UK immigration route designed to provide access to the UK for highly-skilled workers is to be extended to include fashion designers, the government has announced.
The Tier 1 “exceptional talent” visas will be awarded to leading figures in the fashion industry, as well as those in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology and the arts.
According to the UK visa rules, all applicants must be from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland and demonstrate that they have made or could potentially make a significant contribution to their field.
With the broadening of the scope of the award, the British Fashion Council will now be given the responsibility of assessing applications under the endorsement remit of the Arts Council England, which is one of just five existing endorsing bodies.
The Home Office has also confirmed that the UK visa route will be opened up to a broader pool of TV and film applicants, with a total of 2,000 “exceptional visas” available per year.
In response to the announcement, UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “Today's changes show that we are able to adapt to meet the demands of our frontline services and ensure we are able to attract people who can bring real benefits to our creative industries.”