UK GLOBAL TALENT VISA: FASHION
The UK Global Talent visa route is open to talented and promising individuals in the fashion industry wishing 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 industry who have, or have had, a leading design role within a fashion business.
There is no cap on the number of applicants that can be endorsed in the fashion industry sub-category of the UK Global Talent route.
Requirements for endorsement by the British Fashion Council
In order to qualify for endorsement by the British Fashion Council you will need to be involved, or have been involved, in a leading design role within a fashion business.
You will need to be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been sold or exhibited internationally, either through catwalk presentation or exhibitions (if applying under Exceptional Talent criteria) or which has had recognition with leading industry players (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).
You must have been regularly engaged as a professional practitioner in your field within the last 5 years and be able to show 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 (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).
The British Fashion Council will consider up to 10 documents which relate to media recognition, award nominations, support or sponsorship, recognition by leading industry players, international distribution and sales, catwalk shows or other exhibitions which occurred in the 5 years before the date of application.
At least two of the below criteria must be met:
If applying on the basis of Exceptional Talent in the field of fashion, you will need at least 2 examples of recent significant international media recognition for your work. The media recognition may be online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews from high profile national publications or broadcasting companies. The proof must originate from at least two countries, one of which can be your country of residence.
If applying on the basis of Exceptional Promise, the British Fashion Council will be looking for at least 2 examples of recent UK or international media recognition for your work in the field of fashion. The media recognition may be online or in print such as features, articles and/or reviews of your collections from national publications or broadcasting companies or on social media if from prominent bloggers or key opinion leaders.
Exceptional Talent (but not Exceptional Promise) applicants within the field of fashion can provide evidence that they have won or been nominated/shortlisted for or made a significant and direct contribution to winning at least 1 international award for excellence.
Examples of suitable international awards for excellence would include: The Fashion Awards, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Awards, the Elle Style Award, the GQ Award, the LVMH Prize, the ANDAM Prize, the Hyères Prize. Other relevant major awards or nominations may also be considered.
Catwalk shows, presentations and exhibitions
Exceptional Talent (but not Exceptional Promise) applicants within the field of fashion can provide proof of catwalk shows, presentations and/or exhibitions which are recognised as internationally significant in the fashion field.
Distribution and sales
Exceptional Talent (but not Exceptional Promise) applicants within the field of fashion can provide proof of international distribution and sales through internationally renowned retailers and boutiques, or through their own physical retail outlets or their e-commerce platform.
Exceptional Promise (but not Exceptional Talent) applicants within the field of fashion can provide proof that they have received support and sponsorship through the British Fashion Council’s support schemes, the Fashion East support scheme or the Sarabande Foundation. They can also rely on proof that they are supported by the Centre for Fashion Enterprise or an international counterpart to the British Fashion Council.
Exceptional Promise (but not Exceptional Talent) applicants within the field of fashion can provide evidence of one or more orders placed by UK or international luxury retailers and boutiques.
Exceptional Promise (but not Exceptional Talent) applicants within the field of fashion can provide evidence of recognition by leading industry players of an exceptional graduating collection. Leading industry players would include internationally renowned fashion designers, fashion media, retailers, brands and Graduate Fashion Week.
Does the British Fashion Council require referees?
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, institutions or companies 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.
How do I make a visa application if my British Fashion Council Endorsement is successful?
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.
You can only make your application from within the UK if you were last granted leave under Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) (sponsored in the Government Authorised Exchange subcategory in an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers) of the points-based system or under the Start-up or Innovator categories.
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.
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 expert field which led to your initial endorsement.
You will need to provide evidence from an independent source that is verifiable by the Home Office.
You must also not have had your endorsement withdrawn by the endorsing body.
Applications for settlement for Global Talent visa holders
Global Talent migrants who 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 are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of 3 years in the UK if their last endorsement was given:
- under the “exceptional talent” criteria for any endorsing body;
- under the “exceptional promise” criteria for the endorsing bodies for science, engineering, humanities and medicine.
- under the UKRI “endorsed funder” fast track criteria.
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) and Tier 1 (Post-Study Work)), Tier 2 (excluding as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)).
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.