25 September 2019 #Immigration
The UK has a dynamic, creative and unmatched reputation in the arts and culture sector. Applicants who consider themselves to be the very best in their field are encouraged to apply under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route to enrich Britain’s art and culture sector.
In order to apply under for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, an applicant would firstly need to obtain an endorsement from the relevant Designated Competent Body (DCB).
The Arts Council is the Designated Competent Body (DCB) in the UK for fields of art and culture, including:
Who assesses the application?
The majority of applications under this sector is assessed by the Arts Council itself. However, there are specific fields in which other organisations assess the applications on behalf of the Arts Council.
All applications from the film, television, animation, post-production and visual effects industries will be assessed by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) on behalf of the Arts Council. Further to this, applications from the fashion design industry will be assessed by the British Fashion Council (BFC) and applications from architects will be assessed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on behalf of the Arts Council.
Exceptional Talent only
There are two categories within the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route which include ‘exceptional talent’ and ‘exceptional promise’. The exceptional talent route is for those who are recognised as a leader in their field, whereas the exceptional promise route is for those who are early in their career and can demonstrate that they have the potential to be a leader in their field.
However, there are certain fields where only the exceptional talent route is available (the exceptional promise route is not available) and these include:
Endorsement for Arts and Culture applicants
In order to receive an endorsement, applicants must be able to meet the mandatory criteria.
An applicant can meet this requirement by demonstrating they are:
Evidence for Arts and Culture applicants
There are a number of documents an applicant will need to submit to demonstrate that they should be endorsed in their field. However, in most fields there is a limit on the number of documents that can be submitted and therefore carefully selected documents should be submitted which best portray the applicant’s skills and experience.
Most of the fields within the Art Council’s remit, limit the number of documents to 10. Although it is to be pointed out that an applicant does not necessarily need to submit 10 documents as they can submit less. It is the quality of the documents which matter, rather than quantity.
In order to demonstrate an applicant meets the mandatory criteria they must provide at least two of the following:
Letters of recommendation for Arts and Culture, Film and Television and Architecture applicants
All applicants must provide three letters of endorsement, which must comply with specific Home Office guidelines.
Stage 2 – Visa Application
It is important to remember that the endorsement alone does not provide an applicant with the right to reside in the UK alone. Once an applicant receives an endorsement, they will be required to make a visa application to the Home Office. Applicants should also note that an endorsement does not guarantee a Tier 1 visa. This is because the Home Office can ultimately refuse an application on their general grounds of refusal, for example an applicant can be refused on the basis of criminal convictions.
It is highlighted that each discipline will have its own separate guidance in relation to the endorsement criteria and therefore it is essential that an applicant refers to this before applying.