At the end of 2018, the Home Office published a Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, in which it was announced that a new category of ‘exceptional talent’ visa would be added for architects.
The new category within the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) immigration route will allow those who are “established (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) as, or demonstrate potential (if applying under the Exceptional Promise criteria) to become an internationally recognised expert within the field of architecture” to apply for a UK visa. The new Statement explains that “architecture” encompasses “design, technical and leadership skills relevant to the operation of leading architectural practices… as assessed by the Royal Institute of British Architecture”. This is the first time a bespoke category will be available for architects, and the change came into effect on 10 January 2019.
Our principal partner, Roger Gherson, spoke to CityAM about the introduction of the scheme. The same article pointed out that research by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and subsequent reports have been trying to highlight the importance of an internationally connected network of talent within the architectural profession. It is hoped that the new visa category will help in the face of challenges such as the cap on the number of Tier 2 visas (under which category architects would previously have needed to apply) and a decrease, of 42%, of new architects registering in the UK since 2016.
As mentioned above, applications will be assessed by RIBA. Some of the key requirements are set out by the new Immigration Rules as follows:
a) Be professionally engaged in producing work of outstanding quality which has been published, presented or exhibited internationally;
b) Show recent and regular activity of being engaged professionally as a practitioner in their field; and
c) Show a substantial track record in more than one country (if applying under the Exceptional Talent criteria) or a developing track record in one or more countries (if applying under Exceptional Promise criteria).
Potential applicants should note that under the Tier 1 route, there is an ‘Exceptional Talent’ and an ‘Exceptional Promise’ visa, the latter intended for applicants who are able to demonstrate the potential to become a world leader in their field.
Gherson has extensive experience with all types of applications for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas and also Tier 2 visas under the points-based system.
Please contact us for assistance with your application as we can assess your eligibility and advise if you qualify for fast-track consideration.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.