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Immigration rule changes spell good news for the fashion industry

Posted: 06/07/2018

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

From 6 July 2018 the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category is being widened to include those in the fashion industry.

This means that exceptionally talented individuals or those who show exceptional promise in this field will be able to apply for endorsement from Arts Council England. Arts Council England will in turn transfer the application to the British Fashion Council (BFC) for specialist assessment. If endorsed individuals will be able to apply to the UKVI for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa for up to five years. After which time the individual could apply for settlement.

In order to qualify individuals will either need to be established or demonstrate potential to become an internationally recognised expert in their field within the fashion industry, through the operation of leading designer fashion businesses.

The eligibility criteria for applicants can be found here. We recommend that potential candidates review the guidance early to ensure current work is in line with the BRC’s requirements.

Tier 2 (General)

The number of migrants that can enter the UK under the Tier 2 (General) category is capped, unless the individual is a high earner.  Previously this was never a major concern, as since the cap was introduced in 2011 there was only a short period in 2015 when the cap was actually reached. However, since December 2017 the cap has been reached every month which has resulted in many companies not being able to hire the skilled workers that they require.

While PhD level roles and those which are in shortage (such as nurses) obtain bonus points, for everybody else, the Home Office looks at salary levels to determine who is successful each month. With demand high, the salary cut off has been around £50,000-£60,000.  

The good news is that from 6 July doctors and nurses will be removed from the restricted cap allocation which in turn will free up space for others. Therefore, while it is expected that there will be a backlog of candidates, from July we should see a reduction in the minimum salary that is required which will be welcome news to those in the fashion sector who are trying to recruit overseas talent.

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