The Home Office of the UK had yesterday, launched a special visa program for outstanding architects. On the other hand, the Royal Institute of British Architects — RIBA — argues that Britain’s immigration legislation needs to be completely reviewed after Brexit to preserve the industry which is worth £4.8bn in the UK.
Effective yesterday, architects will be able to send in their applications for the Tier 1 visa which happens to be the first immigration category explicitly tailored to suit the needs of architects. This visa is also referred to as an exceptional talent visa.
Roger Gherson, boss at Gherson, an immigration law firm said the new immigration scheme was limited and would not serve a good number of people but that it ultimately was a “step in the right direction.”
RIBA published a research yesterday which revealed that 86% of architects consider the prospect of having access to foreign skills and talents as vital in shaping the future of the £4.8bn sector of the UK’s economy.
The prospect of Brexit scares EU architects
The report further revealed that close to 50% of architects in the UK who are from EU countries have considered leaving the country because of the Brexit referendum. Again, since 2016, the number of architects registering in the UK has dropped by 42 percent.
UK immigration regulations require that EU architects in the UK apply for the UK Tier 2 visa. From November 2017 and April 2018, only 5 percent of architects who applied for the visa were successful. For this reason, RIBA has warned that architecture might be in for an impending grave talent gap in the UK.
RIBA further recommends in its report that the government lifts the cap on the number of Tier 2 visas allotted each year and that immigration is handled jointly by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Home Office. Finally, RIBA recommends that there will be a minister of immigration and that same should be attending cabinet.
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