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CREATIVE VISIT VISA

CREATIVE VISIT VISA

The Creative Visit Visa is for amateur and professional artists, entertainers and musicians (and their personal and technical staff) who wish to visit the UK to undertake permitted unpaid creative activities for a period of up to 6 months.

The Creative Visit Visa is a sub-category of the Standard Visitor route, which is a route for persons who wish to visit the UK for a temporary period of up to 6 months.  

The route does not lead to settlement in the UK and all visitors must make a separate application, even when travelling as part of a group.

Requirements for a Creative Visit Visa

In order to qualify for a Creative Visit Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

  • You are a visa national (a non-visa national can normally seek entry as a Visitor on arrival at the UK border);
  • You are genuinely seeking entry to the UK for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes;
  • You will not undertake any prohibited activities;
  • You have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit (including travel, maintenance and accommodation costs) without working or accessing public funds;
  • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit;
  • You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home;
  • Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your Creative Visit Visa application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our UK Visit Visa lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

Visa National Requirement

A visa national is someone who, by reason of their nationality, requires a Visit Visa in order to enter the UK as a Visitor.  Visa nationals must generally apply for a Visit Visa before travelling to the UK.

The Home Office has published a list of nationalities that are required to apply for a Visit Visa prior to travelling to the UK as a Visitor.  The list includes a number of exceptions, which allow certain visa nationals to seek entry as a Visitor on arrival in the UK.

A non-visa national can normally seek entry as a Visitor on arrival in the UK.   A non-visa national must still satisfy the requirements for entry as a Visitor and so, on arrival, should be prepared to explain, for example, the purpose of their visit and how they will be maintained and accommodated in the UK, as well as their return travel arrangements. 

EU citizens are non-visa nationals and can seek entry as a Visitor on arrival in the UK without needing to apply for a Visit Visa.

As well as preparing Visit Visa applications for visa nationals, our barristers regularly assist non-visa nationals to satisfy the requirements for entry as a Visitor on arrival in the UK.

Visit Visa for Artists, Entertainers and Musicians

An artist is defined as anyone coming to the UK to undertake an activity that is connected to the arts (literature, performing arts, visual arts, culinary arts).  Examples include, but are not limited to, poets, film crew (including crew for online media content, for example YouTube), photographers, designers, artists, musicians, writers and conductors are all qualifying artists. Both amateur and professional artists can qualify for a Creative Visit Visa.

An entertainer is anyone coming to the UK to undertake an activity that is connected to the performing arts, for example dancers, comedians, members of circus acts, members of film crew or those participating in e-sport competitions.

Personal and Technical Staff

Personal or technical staff or members of the production team who are attending the same event as an artist, entertainer or musician can also qualify for a Creative Visit Visa provided they are employed to work for the artist, entertainer or musician outside the UK. Examples include, but are not restricted to, choreographers, stage managers, make-up artists, personal bodyguards and press officers.

Creative Visit Visa Permitted Activities 

In order to qualify for a Creative Visit Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that you are genuinely seeking entry to the UK for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes and will not undertake any prohibited activities.

Artists, entertainers and musicians may undertake the following permitted activities with permission as a Creative Visitor:

  • 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;
  • Take part in one or more cultural events or festivals on the Permit Free Festival List.

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

Because the Creative Visit Visa is a sub-category of the Standard Visitor route, Creative Visitors may also undertake other activities that are permitted under the Standard Visitor route.

Intention to Leave the UK Requirement for a Creative Visit Visa

In addition to satisfying the Home Office that you are genuinely seeking to enter the UK for a permitted purpose and that you satisfy the additional eligibility requirements, as part of your application for a Creative Visit Visa you will also need to satisfy the Home Office that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit and will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home.

In assessing your application, the Home Office will consider a range of factors including:

  • Your previous immigration history, including visits to the UK and other countries;
  • Your financial circumstances as well as your family, social and economic background;
  • Your personal and economic ties to your country of residence.

Factors which may cause the Home Office to doubt that you are a genuine visitor include having few or no family and economic ties to your country of residence, whilst having several family members in the UK, previous attempts to deceive the Home Office in an immigration application and discrepancies between statements made by yourself and your sponsor.

Creative Visit Visa Financial Requirement

You will need to have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit (including travel, maintenance and accommodation costs) without working or accessing public funds.

Your funds will need to be held in a permitted financial institution.

Your travel, maintenance and accommodation costs may be met by a third party if the third party has a genuine professional or personal relationship with you, they are not, and will not be, in breach of immigration laws and they can support you throughout the duration of your stay as a Visitor.

Creative Visit Visa English Language Requirement

Creative Visit Visa applicants do not need to satisfy an English language requirement.

Creative Visit Visa Validity Period

If you wish to enter the UK for the purpose of a Creative Visit you may apply for a Visit Visa that is valid for either 6 months, 2 years, 5 years or 10 years.  

You may enter and leave the UK multiple times during the validity period of your Visit Visa, unless your Visit Visa is endorsed for a single or dual entry.

Each visit to the UK must not exceed 6 months.

Creative Visit Visa Right to Work

Creative Visitors are not permitted to work in the UK or, with few exceptions, receive payment from a UK source for any activities undertaken in the UK.

This means that Creative Visitors cannot take employment, establish or run a business as a self-employed person, work for an organisation or business in the UK, undertake a work placement or internship in the UK or otherwise provide or sell goods or services in the UK.

However, artists, entertainers and musicians visiting the UK can receive payment for performances at one or more of the festivals listed on the Permit Free Festival list.

Creative Visitors are permitted to undertake activities relating to their employment overseas remotely whilst they are in the UK, such as responding to emails or answering phone calls.  However, the main purpose of your visit to the UK should be to undertake a permitted activity, rather than specifically to work remotely from the UK.

Creative Visitors are also permitted to come to the UK to seek employment and attend job interviews. However, if successful in obtaining employment, you will be expected to leave the UK and seek the appropriate entry clearance prior to commencing work.

If you wish to work in the UK as a creative artist you should consider applying for a Skilled Worker Visa, a Global Talent Visa, a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa or a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa instead.  Download our Guide to Immigration Routes for Artists and Entertainers.

Creative Visit Visa Application Fees

The Home Office application fee for a Creative Visit Visa for a short stay of up to 6 months is currently £100.

If you wish to apply for a Creative Visit Visa that is valid for either 2 years, 5 years or 10 years then the Home Office application fee will be £376, £670 or £837 respectively.

How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help

Our immigration barristers are experienced in assisting international artists, entertainers and musicians to secure visas to visit the UK.

Whether you are seeking advice on the merits of applying for a Creative Visit Visa, assistance with preparing a Creative Visit Visa application or legal representation to challenge a decision to refuse an application for a Creative Visit Visa, our immigration barristers can assist.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our client’s needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to our clients as part of a professional and friendly service.

We can also assist with

  • Applications for Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visas

    The Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visit Visa is available to certain professionals and experts, including artists, entertainers and musicians, who wish to visit the UK for up to 1 month in order to undertake a paid engagement relating to their expertise and occupation.  

    In order to qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You are at least 18 years old;
    • You are a visa national (a non-visa national can normally seek entry as a Visitor on arrival at the UK border);
    • You intend to do one (or more) of the permitted paid engagements set out in the Immigration Rules;
    • Your permitted paid engagement is pre-arranged, evidenced by a formal invitation from a UK-based organisation or client and relates to your area of expertise and occupation overseas;
    • You will not undertake any prohibited activities;
    • You have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit (including travel, maintenance and accommodation costs) without working or accessing public funds;
    • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit;
    • You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home;
    • Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for Temporary Work - Creative Worker Visas

    The Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa is for individuals who have been offered short-term work in the UK for up to 12 months within the creative sector.

    In order to qualify for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You have an offer of a job as a creative worker from a sponsor that holds a valid Temporary Work – Creative Worker sponsor licence (which requires a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role you wish to undertake);
    • You will be paid the minimum salary as set by Equity, PACT or BECTU (except for models, musicians or circuses);
    • You genuinely intend, and are able, to undertake the role for which you are being sponsored and do not intend to undertake other employment;
    • You have personal savings to support yourself in the UK;
    • Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
    • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for Global Talent Visas

    The Global Talent Visa is open to talented and promising applicants within the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) who wish to work in the UK.

    In order to qualify for a Global Talent visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You are aged 18 or over;
    • You have been issued with an endorsement letter by a Home Office approved endorsing body or have been awarded a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes;
    • Your application does not fall under the general grounds for refusal;
    • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

     

  • Applications for Skilled Worker Visas

    The Skilled Worker Visa is open to individuals of all nationalities (except British and Irish) who have an offer of an eligible skilled job in the UK from a Home Office-approved sponsor.  The route can lead to settlement and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

    In order to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You are aged 18 or over;
    • You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do;
    • Your job offer is a genuine vacancy;
    • Your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge;
    • Your job is at an appropriate skill level;
    • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
    • You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both a general salary threshold and the ‘going rate’ for the occupation;
    • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
    • You have provided a criminal record certificate, if required; and
    • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Fresh applications and Judicial Reviews following Visit Visa refusals

    If your application for a Visit Visa has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the refusal decision.

    In many cases, a professionally prepared fresh application will be the quickest and most economical way of securing a Visit Visa following a refusal decision.  Our immigration barristers have an excellent track record of securing Visit Visas for clients who have previously been refused a Visit Visa following a self-prepared application.

    If the decision to refuse your Visit Visa application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can advise on merits of applying for Judicial Review of the decision, draft grounds for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.

WHAT CAN WE HELP YOU WITH?

To discuss your Creative Visit Visa application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our Short Stay Visit Visa team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.




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