Britain’s Open Invitation To The Most Talented Expats

A deep love of the arts, science and culture is encouraging some of the world’s top talent to come to Britain as expats.

The government has made moving to Britain simple for ‘exceptional people’ and a standing invitation remains open for others to move to the nation.

The application is made via a tier 1 exceptional talent visa, which many say is a simpler and more straightforward visa application than those offered by many other countries.

Hugo Desmarias, a Canadian circus artist, chooses to live and work in Britain because of an innate ‘appreciation of the arts’.

Sarah Ndgaire is a Ugandan musician who has come to the UK because of how the nation embraces so many cultures.

What are UK Tier 1 Visas?

Britain offers 1,000 places until April 5 2014 under the tier 1 application route.

To qualify an expat moving to the UK has to win endorsement from one of four organisations –

The Royal Society; the Arts Council England: the Royal Academy of Engineering or the British Academy.

Not everyone has to qualify for entrance to Britain – the exceptions include:

  • Nationals of a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland;
  • British overseas territories citizens
  • Commonwealth citizens with permission to enter or stay in the UK because at least one of their grandparents was born in the UK
  • Someone with no conditions or time limit attached to their stay.

Desmarias explained that two factors would have made his application even easier – keeping a file of press reviews and other performance information to prove his background and experience and employing a lawyer with expertise in immigration to smooth the process.

Freelance performers

Now he has settled in the UK as a freelance circus performer, Desmarias teaches circus students on a degree course part-time, while performing at cabarets and circuses throughout the country.

“Applying for the tier 1 visa is a lot simpler in Britain than many other countries,” he said. “The process involves a lot of different steps, you have to build a file with different aspects of your life and work outside and inside the UK.”

Sarah Ndgaire suggests making contacts is one way of winning a tier 1 place.

“I would advise any artists who has never been to Britain but want to come here to perform to develop links and work with other artists through social media,” she said.

“I found their advice invaluable. Also consider working with the British Council in your home country as they can put you in touch with a whole range of contacts in the UK.”

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