Solicitor Cho's Blog

Solicitor-Advocate by day, Entrepreneur (co-Founder of Lawxero) by night and weekends. This blog contains 'everyday' law for all - Hurrah!

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Update: Here come the Fashion!

The long wait is finally over for you fashion bods. The most recent of the regular Home Office statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, announced from today JUNE 2018 (HC 1154) brings the welcome news. 

Those of you who are following my blog here on Tier 1 Exceptional Talent, you might remember my post from last year (March 2017, Tier 1 Artist Visa - Is my art covered?) which lists the areas of art that the Arts Council England is prepared to assess for the purpose of UKVI's Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Endorsement. The message from the Arts Council to date (including the most recent response I received from them at the end of May 2018) has been that most areas of fashion design are expressly NOT INCLUDED to be assessed. This has turned away many a saddened - but incredibly talented - fashion designers from attempting Tier 1 Exceptional Talent while their visual arts peers triumphed. BUT NO MORE! THE OPPORTUNITY for fashion designers is NOW WIDE OPEN folks!

Just to explain the changes, Appendix L of the Immigration Rules houses the relevant part of the rules on Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/ Promise which, following the change, should now say this: 

"5. The applicant must either: 

(a) be established (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) as, or demonstrate potential (if applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria) to become, a leading artist or an internationally recognised expert within the fields of arts and culture, encompassing dance, music, theatre, combined arts, literature and visual arts (including museums and galleries), as assessed by Arts Council England; or

(b) be established as a leading artist or an internationally-recognised expert within the film, television, animation, post-production and visual effects industry, as assessed by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT); or

(c) be established (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) as, or demonstrate potential (if applying under the Exception Promise criteria) to become, an internationally recognised expert in their field within the fashion industry through the operation of leading designer fashion businesses (encompassing relevant technical), as assessed by the British Fashion Council.”

So, this means that in terms of allocation of endorsement places, Arts Council will still be the umbrella endorsement body for both PACT and the British Fashion Council and they will hold min. 250 allocations for each year (to be used by Arts Council, PACT, and the British Fashion Council), plus a further number if Arts Council (or PACT or BFC) runs out of its allocation. (N.B. Just beware that at the time of writing, the policy guidance on Tier 1 exceptional talent v. 1/2018 and Appendix L have yet to be updated with the new changes but we should see an updated policy guidance and to the rules in the coming days).

You might guess from my overall tone, I am SUPER excited to share this with you and I would totally encourage those with a good track record of international exposure, vision, and eminent referees to start preparing your first application! Of course, I am here to help you through the preparation and the ultimate application - just get in touch. I will always be excited to hear from you! It couldn't have come at a better time to coincide with the release of the documentary, 'McQueen' I feel. Almost poetic.