Global Talent Visa Requirements for Fashion Designers
The Global Talent immigration route is for individuals who are leading in their field of expertise or have the potential to become leading in their field. The Global Talent Fashion Design route is open to talented and promising individuals in the fashion design industry who wish to work in the UK. Applicants must be leaders in their field or have the potential to be leaders, having been endorsed by the British Fashion Council (BFC), acting on behalf of Arts Council England.
The British Fashion Council can endorse applications in the fashion design industry who have a leading design role, and there is no cap on the number of applicants they can endorse under the Global Talent route.
Requirements for Global Talent Visa Fashion Design Endorsement
To qualify for endorsement by the British Fashion Council in the field of fashion design you must have a leading design role in the fashion industry and be able to show regular professional engagement within the industry throughout the past five years.
In addition to this, you will be required to evidence professional engagement in producing outstanding work that has either been sold or exhibited internationally through catwalk or other exhibitions. You must show a substantial track record in more than one country if applying under Exceptional Talent. If you are applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria, you must show a developing track record in one or more countries and professional engagement in producing outstanding work that has been recognised by industry leaders.
Evidence Required for Global Talent Fashion Design Endorsement
You will need to include three letters of recommendation, and these letters must be from established organisations with nationally or internationally recognised expertise in fashion. If you are applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria, at least one of the letters must be from an organisation based within the UK.
Referees for Global Talent Fashion Design Endorsement
The authors of the letters of recommendation must be senior members of established organisations with a national or international reputation, and recognised expertise in fashion.
If you are applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria, as explained above, at least one of the letters must be from a UK organisation, which is well established nationally or internationally, works with multiple international designers and industry experts each year and is widely recognised as retaining expertise in fashion.
Your referee should be a senior member of the organisation, should be familiar with your work, and able to comment on your achievements. They will need to detail your achievements, providing their opinion on how you have demonstrated that you are, or will become, a leader in your field.
Exceptional Talent in 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 ecommerce platform.
Exceptional Promise in 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.
Global Talent Visa Fashion Design Endorsement Decision Waiting Times
The British Fashion Council usually takes around four weeks from the date of submission, to make a decision on endorsement.
Global Talent Fashion Design Visa Requirements
Once you have been successful in your application for fashion design endorsement, you will have three months from the date of your endorsement letter to make your application to enter or remain in the UK on the Global Talent route.
An application to switch into the 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 Global Talent visa from your home country. You can submit your endorsement application from within the UK, but you must leave the UK and make your visa application from your home country, or any country in which you are lawfully resident.
If you do not hold valid leave in the UK at the time you come to make your visa application, you must make your application from outside the UK. As above, you must make your visa application from your home country, or any country in which you are lawfully resident.
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.
Global Talent Visa Fashion Design Prestigious Prizes
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 Global Talent 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.
Extension of Global Talent Visa: Fashion Design
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.
Settlement under the Global Talent: Fashion Design Visa Route
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 granted leave under the Exceptional Talent criteria. If you were granted under the Exceptional Promise criteria, 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, T2 Sportsperson or Scale-up. As such, if you were resident in the UK under any of these routes prior to obtaining your Global Talent visa, you are able to count time spent in the UK under these routes, towards the relevant continuous period (of either 3 years or 5 years, depending on which criteria you were endorsed under).
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.
Contact our Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance with a Global Talent Fashion Design application, contact our business immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.