Entertainer visitor visas
Entertainers, whether professional or amateur, can travel to the UK for a short period without a work permit to take part in certain major arts festivals, music competitions and charity events. The Immigration Rules contain a specific category for the issue of entertainer visit visas. The visa will be valid for six months and the intention is to allow entertainers to travel to the UK without having to qualify under Tier 2 or Tier 5 of the Points Based System.
Entertainers coming to the UK include those intending to take part in one of the following:
• A music competition as a professional entertainer;
• An audition whether paid or unpaid, as long as the audition is not taking place in front of an audience;
• An internationally famous person wanting to take part in broadcasts or public appearances without being paid for doing so;
• An amateur entertainer travelling to the UK for a specific engagement. The examples provided by UKBA are a choir or youth orchestra;
• A professional entertainer taking part in a charity concert or show. However, the event organisers must not be making a profit and that the entertainer is not receiving a fee.
• A professional or amateur entertainer taking part in a cultural event sponsored by a government or recognised international organisation, or a major arts festival
• Members of technical or supporting staff, for example, press officer, who is attending the same event as the entertainer;
• Officials such as designers or stage managers attending the same event as the entertainer.
The UK Border Agency confirms in their guidance the meaning of an ‘amateur’ entertainer. An amateur engages in a creative activity solely for personal enjoyment and who does not intend to earn a living, in whole or in part, from their activities. Whilst amateurs may not receive fees or sponsorship, they may receive cash prizes as well as board, lodging and living expenses. As with all visitor categories, an entertainer must meet the following conditions in order to be granted leave to enter:
• The applicant is aged 18 or over;
• The applicant will not remain in the UK beyond six months;
• The applicant intends to leave the UK at the end of the visit;
• The applicant is able to support and accommodate themselves during their visit without the need to work or relying on public funds;
• The applicant can meet the cost of their onward journey; and
• The applicant is not in transit to a country outside the common travel area.
Once an entertainer has been granted a visit visa, conditions of stay are imposed prohibiting study, marriage or entering into a civil partnership, receiving private medical treatment, taking employment whether paid or unpaid, producing goods or providing services to members of the public.
For advice and assistance with an application for an entertainer visit visa contact our immigration barristers and lawyers in Covent Garden, London direct on 0203 617 9173 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.