British Fashion Council to join forces with Arts Council England

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The British Fashion Council has announced a partnership with Arts Council England, the Home Office, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.

The partnership is intended to expand and promote the Tier 1 exceptional talent work visa to applicants from the fashion industry and attract new talent and creatives from abroad.

Fashion designers and other individuals from outside the EEA and Switzerland working in the fashion industry will be able to apply for a visa to work in the UK and the BFC will act as an independent assessor for Tier 1 exceptional talent visa applications.

The number of available visas in this category increased from 1000 to 2000 in November 2017, and half of these will be allocated on a demand-led basis. Both designers who wish to run their own brand and those who wish to take top creative positions at the UK’s luxury fashion houses will be eligible to apply.

The decision to extend this visa to the fashion industry was made amid fears that Brexit will negatively impact the pool of talent entering the UK from overseas.

Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, said: “The British Fashion Council were 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 continue to work as fashion designers in the UK and contribute to our growing industry. This is a great example of positive change to support the creative industries to improve access to the best international talent.”

Eligibility criteria and guidance for applying for the visa are available on the Arts Council website at

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