From 6th July 2018, Fashion Designers have become eligible to apply for the Exceptional Talent Visa of the UK. The Exceptional Talent (Tier 1) Visa is for high-skilled individuals in the fields of:
The Designated Competent Body for Fashion Designers in the UK is the Arts Council. Applications are accepted by the Arts Council and then transferred to the BFC (British Fashion Council). BFC conducts a special assessment. Eligible applicants must meet the criteria outlined for the Exceptional Talent Visa. They should also have been nominated or should have won at least one international award for excelling in their field.
There are different types of fashion designers in the fashion industry. The BFC sets out 10 core fashion design areas which include:
As per the Arts Council criteria, an eligible fashion designer should be an internationally recognized expert in the fashion industry. They should be leading the operation of a designer fashion business and have relevant technical expertise as assessed by BFC.
However, more clarity is needed on the classification of a fashion designer. Though the core areas include Cosmetics and Perfumes, perfumers cannot apply under this Visa. As per the Arts Council, perfumers cannot be defined within the technical aspect of “fashion design”, as per Carter Thomas.
The inclusion of fashion designers has expanded the reach of the Exceptional Talent Visa. However, greater clarity is needed on the definition of fashion designer by the Arts Council.
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