UK GLOBAL TALENT VISA: FASHION DESIGN
The UK Global Talent visa route is open to talented and promising individuals in the fashion design industry who wish to work in the UK. Applicants will be leaders in their field, or have the potential to be leaders, as determined by the British Fashion Council (BFC), acting on behalf of Arts Council England.
The British Fashion Council can endorse applications from individuals within the fashion design industry who have a leading design role in the fashion business.
There is no cap on the number of applicants that can be endorsed in the fashion industry sub-category of the Global Talent route.
UK Global Talent Visa Fashion Design Requirements
In order to qualify for a UK Global Talent visa in the field of Fashion Design, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are aged 18 or over;
- You have been issued with an endorsement letter by the British Fashion Council (BFC) or have been awarded a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes;
- Your application does not fall under the general grounds for refusal;
- You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Requirements for Endorsement by the British Fashion Council (BFC)
In order to qualify for endorsement by the British Fashion Council in the field of fashion design you will need to have a leading design role in the fashion business and be able to show regular professional engagement in the fashion design industry in the last 5 years.
You will also need to demonstrate professional engagement in producing outstanding work that has been sold or exhibited internationally through catwalk or other exhibitions and a substantial track record in more than 1 country (if applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or a developing track record in 1 or more countries and professional engagement in producing outstanding work that has been recognised by leading industry players (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).
Evidence Required for Endorsement by the British Fashion Council (BFC)
Your application for a Fashion Design endorsement by the BFC will need to include 3 letters of recommendation.
The letters of recommendation must be from established organisations with nationally or internationally recognised expertise in fashion.
If you are seeking to evidence exceptional talent in the field of Fashion Design then at least 1 of the letters will need to be from an organisation based in the UK.
Exceptional Talent Applicants in the Field of Fashion Design
If you are seeking to evidence exceptional talent in the fashion design industry, you will need to provide at least two of the following:
Awards: evidence of winning, or significantly contributing to winning, an international award for excellence; or
Media recognition: evidence from at least 2 countries (which can include your country of residence) of a minimum of 2 examples of significant media recognition for your individual work; or
Shows, presentations or exhibitions: evidence of catwalk shows, presentations or exhibitions considered internationally significant in the fashion design industry; or
Distribution and sales: evidence of extensive distribution and sales of your collections via internationally renowned retailers, your own retail outlet or your own e-commerce platform.
Exceptional Promise Applicants in the Field of Fashion Design
If you are seeking to evidence exceptional promise in the fashion design industry, you will need to provide at least 2 of the following:
Media recognition: at least 2 examples of recent UK or international media recognition for your individual work; or
Support and sponsorship: evidence of support and sponsorship through one of the following: (i) British Fashion Council support schemes; (ii) Fashion East support scheme; (iii)The Sarabande Foundation; (iv) The Centre of Fashion Enterprise; (v) an international counterpart of the British Fashion Council; or
Orders: evidence of at least 1 order placed by a luxury retailer or boutique; or
Industry recognition: evidence of recognition by leading industry players of an exceptional graduating collection.
Does the BFC Require Referees for a Fashion Design Endorsement?
You will need to provide the British Fashion Council with three letters of recommendation in support of your application.
The letters of recommendation must come from senior members of established organisations with a national or international reputation and recognised expertise in fashion.
If applying under Exceptional Talent criteria, at least one of the letters must be from a UK organisation which is well established nationally or internationally, works with many international designers and industry experts each year and is widely acknowledged as possessing expertise in fashion.
The letters should come from a senior member of the organisation who is familiar with your work and able to comment on your achievements. They will need to detail your achievements in your specialist field and how, in their opinion, you have demonstrated that you are, or have the potential to become, a leader in your field.
BFC Fashion Design Endorsement Application Decision Times
The BFC usually takes about 4 weeks in total from submission to make a decision on a fashion design endorsement.
- Global Talent Visa: Frequently Asked Questions
- Changes to the Global Talent Route in October 2021
- Global Talent & Exceptional Talent Dependants
UK Global Talent Visa Application Following Endorsement
Once you have your British Fashion Council endorsement, you will have a period of three months from the date of the endorsement letter to make your application to enter or remain in the UK in the Global Talent category.
An application to switch into the UK Global Talent route may be made from within the UK provided you do not currently have, or were not last granted, permission to stay as a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic worker in a private household or outside the Immigration Rules.
If you hold, or were last granted, leave in any of the above categories then you will be required to leave the UK and submit your application for a UK Global Talent visa from your home country.
Anyone who does not have leave in the UK, will need to ensure that they are abroad when they make their Global Talent visa application. However, the application can be made from anywhere in the world, so you do not necessarily have to travel to your home country to make the application.
In addition to showing that you have been endorsed, the Home Office will assess your character and immigration history to ensure that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
There is no maintenance or English language requirement in the Global Talent visa category.
Leave will be granted for the period that you request (in full year periods) up to five years. The amount of time that you request makes no difference to the application but will affect the amount that you need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge.
UK Global Talent Fashion Design Prestigious Prizes Route
If you have won a qualifying prestigious award, you will be able to fast-track the endorsement application and instead proceed directly to making a single visa application.
The list of prestigious prizes is set out in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes. This list is kept under review and updated from time-to-time.
How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help Your UK Global Talent Visa Application
Our immigration barristers have a wide range of experience assisting professionals in the fashion industry to prepare successful applications for endorsement by the British Fashion Council and to work in the UK. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for individuals in the fashion industry and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to clients as part of a professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Applications for extension of stay for Global Talent visa holders
In order to qualify for an extension of stay on the Global Talent route you will need to have earned money in the UK during your last grant of leave.
These earnings will need to have been linked to the field which led to your initial Global Talent endorsement (if your initial application was granted using an endorsement) or a field related to the subject matter of your prize (if your initial application was granted using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes).
You will need to provide evidence from an independent source that is verifiable by the Home Office.
If your initial application was granted using an endorsement you must also not have had your endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body and the endorsing body must continue to be approved by the Home Office.
The Home Office will also check your character and immigration history to check that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds.
Applications for settlement for Global Talent visa holders
If you continue to satisfy the requirements for an extension of stay set out above and demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK then you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of 3 years in the UK if:
- You were endorsed by the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or UKRI; or
- You were endorsed under the exceptional talent criteria by Arts Council England or Tech Nation; or
- You were granted your initial application using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes.
If you were last endorsed under the “exceptional promise” criteria for Arts Council England or Tech Nation you will need to spend a continuous period of 5 years in the UK before being eligible to apply for settlement.
The relevant continuous period can include time spent in the following immigration categories: Global Talent, Innovator, Tier 1 (excluding Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)), Skilled Worker, T2 Minister of Religion or T2 Sportsperson.
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the Global Talent category you will need to have spent not more than 180 days outside the UK during any rolling 12 month during the continuous period of leave relied upon.
Global Talent migrants who hold leave following an endorsement by one of the endorsing bodies for science, engineering, humanities and medicine and who have undertaken research overseas directly related to their grant of leave, will not have such absences counted when they apply for settlement. Partners of Global Talent migrants will be treated in the same way.
Fresh applications, Endorsement reviews and Judicial reviews for Global Talent migrants
If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Global Talent migrant has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If you believe that an error has been made in a decision on your endorsement, we can assist you in applying for an endorsement review.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.