Designs for a better future – is immigration the key to preserving the UK’s post-Brexit architecture sector?

7 February 2019

The Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) have published a recent study outlining that the end of free movement post-Brexit could potentially jeopardise the UK’s £4.8 billion architecture sector as nearly half of EU architects have considered leaving.  However recent changes have been set in motion to help mitigate this by helping to attract new and upcoming talent in the sector. 
In the recent report from RIBA they highlighted that one in four architects working in the UK are non-British and of these individuals, 80% of them are from EU countries. Also detailed in the report was the fact that almost half of the  600 or so non-British architects surveyed would consider leaving the UK due to Brexit. With these statistics in mind, it is unsurprising that RIBA have their concerns about the UK ‘turning inwards and cutting itself off from the world’.  With these worries the UK government have recently sought to mitigate any potential negative impact that Brexit may have on this sector. 

Expanding the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Category

A significant immigration development announced is the expanded scope of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category which will now include architects. This change signifies the first visa of its kind to be dedicated to exceptionally talented architects and internationally recognised experts within the field of architecture. Those applying under this category will be subject to the specialist assessment from RIBA and those who are deemed to meet the criteria can work in the UK for a maximum of 5 years and 4 months.
In order to be eligible for this visa, the applicant must first make an endorsement application to RIBA where they must provide the following:
  • Evidence of the applicant’s exceptional talent within the field of architecture. 
  • This will include things like media recognition, published reviews of the applicant’s work, awards they have won and proof that their work has been published or exhibited in international exhibitions and galleries. 
  • Three endorsement letters from leading individuals in the architecture world, attesting to the individual’s exceptional talent. 
  • For individuals who fall short of satisfying the exceptional talent benchmark, there is also the Tier 1 (Exceptional Promise) visa. This visa route caters for those more junior in their career and the individual must evidence that they have the potential to become future leaders in their field. Therefore applicants of the exceptional promise visa will have to provide evidence that they have made a significant impact in the architecture sector.  The type of evidence that can be provided includes accolades that have been awarded on merit and potential rather than monetary awards like grants and bursaries that are typically awarded to more experienced architects. 

Recognising EU qualified architects in the UK

Another example of how the UK government will attract talent to the UK’s architecture sector is by confirming that they will maintain their recognition for individuals with EEA architecture qualifications, as long as they have access to their profession in their respective home country. This clarification will allow EEA qualified architects the possibility to continue practicing in post-Brexit UK as well as allowing future EEA qualified architects the option to work in the UK regardless of a no-deal future. 
Whether these recent announcements will have their intended effect in a post-Brexit UK is anyone’s guess however it is certain that these changes are small victories for such a vital creative sector in the UK.

Brexit Bulletin Board

Brexit Bulletin Board

Glitches in the EU Settlement Scheme

5 August 2019

Read more

The EU Settlement Scheme - a guide for EU citizens living in the UK

Click here to play video

Brexit - What EU citizens living in the UK need to know

Read More

Brexit - what British citizens living in the EU need to know


Kingsley Napley's immigration team sponsors Financial and Professional Services Post-Brexit Immigration Briefing


No-deal Brexit: transitional arrangements for EEA nationals arriving after 29 March 2019


EU Settlement Scheme - what you need to know

In this podcast, Gillian Brownlee and Felicity Woof discuss the new EU Settlement Scheme which is due to go live on 30 March 2019.

Listen to the podcast

Post-Brexit data sharing with EU regulators is key for FCA policing market abuse

Read News Item

No deal Brexit: what this would mean for extradition?

Rebecca Niblock blogs

What Brexit means for EU employees living in the UK and their families

View on YouTube

'Playing by their own rules?' - Brexit blog series

Our Public Law team blogs about secondary legislation and Brexit.

View the blog series

Mutual trust remains until we leave: notification of intention to leave the EU not an exceptional circumstance

Read the blog

Holiday home/Retirement planning: will Brexit wreck it?

A question you may ponder as you relax on that sunlounger in the weeks ahead is whether you need to review your arrangements for any EU based property in light of Brexit.

Read the blog

#Brexit: Further clarification on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK:

View Tweet

Brexit and the European Arrest Warrant (EAW): at least now we know what we don’t know

Read the blog

Brexit & Horse Racing

The UK is home to a myriad of sports employing foreign nationals and receiving investments from overseas companies. Learn how Brexit will impact horse racing and all who are part of it.

Read Blog Post

Brexit: "It was not this that I promised to do"

Read the blog

Blackberries, Baking and Brexit

Read Blog Post

Could Brexit send Geraint Thomas into a spin?

Hanging over this year’s Tour de France, at least for this British cycling fan, was the realisation that this is probably the last Tour pre-Brexit, and so there is an additional level of uncertainty about what the 2019 post-Brexit edition will look like.

Read the blog

Brexit and practising rights for lawyers

Two Solicitor friends of mine recently asked me to sign their applications to register with the Law Society of Ireland. I asked them if they were thinking of moving.

Read Blog Post

A change of course? Pondering the future of golf in Brexit Britain

As avid golfers focus their attention on the US Masters in Augusta Georgia next month, many at the 19th Hole will be pondering the impact of Brexit on their beloved game.

Read the blog

UK-EU security cooperation post #Brexit - ringing the alarm bell! | Part II of a two-part guest blog by EU Criminal Law expert Dr Debbie Sayers | #CriminalLaw

View Tweet

Brexit & Motor Racing

The UK is home to a myriad of sports employing foreign nationals and receiving investments from overseas companies. Learn how Brexit will impact motor racing and all who are part of it.

Read Blog Post

Post-Brexit language testing for EEA qualified healthcare professionals

On March 7 2018, the House of Commons Library published a Briefing Paper outlining the language testing requirements imposed upon healthcare professionals who qualified outside of the UK.

Read Blog Post

Kim provides the facts! #stayorgo

View Tweet

Beyond #Brexit: new anti-money laundering regime agreed

No sooner are we one year into the new regime under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 than a further EU instrument has been adopted.

Read Blog Post

No-deal Brexit and the impact on patient safety


Divorced, beheaded, scrutinised? SIs and Henry VIII powers under review

Read the blog

Share insightLinkedIn Twitter Facebook Email to a friend Print

Email this page to a friend

We welcome views and opinions about the issues raised in this blog. Should you require specific advice in relation to personal circumstances, please use the form on the contact page.

Leave a comment

You may also be interested in:

Close Load more

Let us take it from here.

+44 (0)20 7814 1200

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility