Personal Immigration
Business Immigration



The UK is a world-leading hub for the creative industries. Whether you are an actor, musician, dancer or other performing artist, our immigration barristers in Covent Garden are well versed in the full range of UK visas available to artists and entertainers who wish to visit or work in the UK.

Immigration routes for Artists and Entertainers

In order to undertake activities as an artist or entertainer in the UK, you will normally need to obtain a visa under one of the tiers of the points-based system. The points-based system has special categories and rules for those in the creative and entertainment industries. In most categories you will need to be sponsored by an employer. However, if you are going to be in the UK briefly, or for a single event or activity, one of the visitor visa categories may be more appropriate.

The main immigration routes available to artists and entertainers are:

  • Visit (Standard) – Business Creative
  • Permitted Paid Engagement
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative)

Employers and event organisers: if you are a UK organisation and are looking to employ an individual to work in the UK, you may need to sponsor them, unless they are only coming for a short period or they are eligible to come to the UK on a different basis which provides them with permission to work. To sponsor an employee, you will need to obtain a sponsor licence. If the individual will not actually be working for you then they may be eligible for one of the visitor visas mentioned below.

Festivals and Cultural Events: if you organise a festival or cultural event, it will be much easier and cheaper for your performers to enter the UK if your event is on the Home Office’s list of permit free festivals. If your event is on the list then your performers will be able to enter the UK with a Visit (Standard) – Business Creative visa and you will not be required to sponsor them under the points based system. To be included on the list, your event must have been established for 3 years, have an audience of over 15,000 people and have 15 or more non-EEA national performers each year.

How our immigration barristers can help

Our specialist immigration barristers work closely with creative and entertainment sector professionals, employers and event organisers across the film, television, music, performing arts and fashion industries to ensure that their immigration and visa requirements are met.

We can also assist with

  • Applications for Visit (Standard) – Business Creative Visas

    The Visit (Standard) – Business Creative visa is designed for non-EEA nationals who wish to come to the UK for the purpose of undertaking business activities.

    An artist, entertainer or musician may give performances as an individual or as part of a group; take part in competitions or auditions; make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities; and take part in one or more cultural events or festivals on the list of permit free festivals.

    Personal or technical staff or members of the production team of an artist, entertainer or musician may support the above-mentioned activities, providing they are attending the same event as the artist, entertainer or musician, and are employed to work for them outside of the UK.

    Film crew (actor, producer, director or technician) employed by an overseas company may visit the UK to take part in a location shoot for a film or programme that is produced and financed overseas.

  • Applications for Permitted Paid Engagement Visas

    The Permitted Paid Engagement visa is open to arts and entertainment professionals over the age of 18 who wish to come to the UK for a short paid engagement.

  • Applications for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visas

    The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category is for non-EEA nationals who are internationally recognised as world leaders in their field (exceptional talent) or recognised as having the potential to become world leaders in the future (exceptional promise).

  • Applications for Tier 2 General Skilled Worker Visas

    The Tier 2 General category is for individuals who have an offer of a skilled job in the UK from a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor. This category includes applicants coming to the UK to fill shortage occupations. You will need to have an offer of employment before applying for a visa.

  • Applications for Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Creative Visas

    The Tier 5 Temporary Worker category is for certain types of temporary worker whose entry to the UK will help to satisfy cultural, charitable, religious or international objectives. You will need to have an offer of a position before applying for a visa.

    The Creative and Sporting subcategory of the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) route is for individuals who have been offered work as a creative worker (including, but not limited to, actors, dancers, musicians and film crew) or sportspersons.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting with a member of our Artists and Entertainers visa team, contact our immigration barristers on 020 3617 9173 or complete our enquiry form.



Expert advice & representation from immigration barristers that you can rely on.

Google+ - Five Stars

Read the 400+ five out of five star Google reviews of our immigration barristers.