Government doubles visas for high-skilled creatives

Government doubles visas for high-skilled creatives

The government is doubling the number of visas available to high-skilled workers in the creative industries, following a warning from the Creative Industries Federation which said that the end of freedom of movement poses a "huge risk" to the sector.

As part of its "ongoing commitment" to welcome talented people from across the globe, and in recognition of the importance of these industries to the UK, the government is increasing number of visas available through the Tier One (Exceptional Talent) route from 1,000 to 2,000 a year.

The 2,000 visas will be made available to individuals who are recognised as "existing global leaders" or "promising future leaders" in the digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors by one of five UK endorsing organisations: Tech City UK, Arts Council England, The British Academy, The Royal Society and The Royal Academy of Engineering.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "I am delighted that we are able to welcome more talented people from across the world to our country. Increasing the number of visas for these sectors will make sure that we continue to be at the heart of world culture and forefront of digital and scientific advances.

"The UK’s innovative industries, including the thriving digital technology sector, are at the centre of our industrial strategy and making sure that businesses in these fields have access to exceptional talent from across the world is vitally important. That is why I will be meeting with technology experts to seek their input on making sure that our visa processes are as efficient as possible."

The CIF has welcomed the government’s decision, saying: "It is encouraging that the government recognises the importance of international talent to the creative industries, a point which the Federation has long been making on behalf of the sector." 

The CIF continued: "Access to international creatives is what makes our creative industries world class. They play a vital role in creative companies across the country - from the English National Ballet to Penguin Random House and videogames company Ubisoft. The UK visa system has long failed to meet the needs of the creative industries. This is only the beginning of the work needed to improve our immigration system. We will continue to push for further improvements, including the introduction of a visa for creative freelancers and scrapping the immigration skills charge. Alongside this we will lobby to improve education and skills for homegrown talent.

"The Federation will continue to hold the government to account in providing us with vital access to EU talent post-Brexit."