What are the rules for performing artists coming to the UK?

What are the rules for arts professionals visiting the UK from the EU?

  • having a genuine intention to visit the UK, not to live here;
  • only intending to carry out activities permitted by their documentation;
  • not receiving payment from a UK source, unless expressly permitted to do so.
  • giving performances as an individual or as part of a group;
  • taking part in competitions or auditions;
  • making personal appearances and taking part in promotional activities;
  • taking part in one or more cultural events or festivals on the Home Office list of permit-free festivals;
  • being a member of personal or technical staff, or a member of the production team of an artist, entertainer, or musician, and supporting the activities outlined above (must be employed to work for the artist outside of the UK);
  • being a member of a film crew (actor, producer, director, or technician) employed by an overseas company to take part in a location shoot for a film or programme or other media content that is produced and financed overseas.

Which engagements can be paid?

  • performing at one of the Home Office permit-free festivals;
  • completing a permitted paid engagement.
  • the engagement must be arranged before travelling to the UK and declared either as part of a visa application (visa nationals) or when requesting permission to enter the UK at border (non-visa nationals);
  • the engagement must be evidenced by a formal invitation from a creative (arts or entertainment) organisation, agent, or broadcaster based in the UK;
  • the engagement must relate to the applicant’s area of expertise and occupation overseas — this means that the individual must be a paid arts professional already.

What rules apply for longer-term performance engagements?

Sponsorship is cumbersome

Learn more about traveling to the UK as a performing artist

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