LONDON — In a bid to protect Britain’s place as a hub of international fashion talent, the British Fashion Council said Friday it will work with the U.K. government as independent assessor for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa applications, effective immediately.
The strategic move by the BFC in partnership with the Home Office and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is aimed at ensuring that the arts and fashion industries can retain international talent for the betterment of the U.K. creative economy, according to the BFC.
In November, the British government doubled the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa cap to 2,000 allocations on a demand-led basis.
“In light of Brexit, the British Fashion Council was 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 contribute to our growing industry,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC.
“This is a great example of positive change to support the creative industries to improve access to the best international talent.”
Applicants who are awarded the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa will be granted a five-year stay in the U.K. The news follows the creative industries sector deal agreement made between the U.K. government and the creative industries sector that was revealed in March. Under the agreement, the government has pledged to invest more than 150 million pounds into creative businesses across the U.K.
The creative industries are a major contributor to the U.K. economy, generating 91.8 billion pounds in 2016 and 3.04 million jobs in the sector and 5 percent year-over-year growth.