It is not a subject that regularly attracts much attention, but musicians, artists, actors and related entertainers visiting the UK must, if they are from outside the EEA, apply for their own distinct category of visa, although they may also be able to travel under the terms of the more general Visit (standard) visa.

Range of Options

Depending on the duration of the artist’s stay in the UK different visa types may be applicable. For example, the standard visitor visa which came into effect on April 24th 2015 consolidated many niche visa routes, including musicians, writers and actors, provides the entitlement to perform for a period of up to 30 days in a single visit.

Of course, there are many artists/performers whose work will extend beyond that 30 day limit. In those cases a Tier 5 Temporary Workers visa may be more appropriate as this covers a period of up to twelve months. It also covers categories of ancillary work such as make-up artists, choreographers etc. Anyone working under these terms must be sponsored by a UK agency which has itself obtained a sponsorship licence. The Tier 5 Temporary workers visa is therefore more cumbersome than the Visitor visa.

For exceptionally talented individuals -those capable of obtaining an endorsement from a recognised body such as the Arts Council – the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is another alternative, although, clearly this is not for everyone.

Entertainer Visa

In contrast the Entertainer visa is open to both professional performers (and their entourages) and to amateurs seeking to participate in an event or festival in order to display their talents. The criteria under the terms of this visa category are quite strict – for example festival audience figures in excess of 10,000, indicate the degree of popular reach that the festival must achieve. As with other visa categories, UKBA have become notably strict in administering this category of visa in recent months.

Working out which category of visa is most suitable is not always obvious. YDVISAS will be delighted to answer your queries as to which category of visa is most appropriate for your visit.

YDVISAS specialise in all visa categories and are specialist immigration lawyers in the UK. Please contact the expert team at YDVISAS, should you need any professional help with your visa application.


Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.
Yash Dubal
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With over seven years of experience in setting up this company and advising over a thousand clients, Yash holds a great passion for the job he does and the results he wants to achieve for his clients. A man with 'In it to Win it' approach, he holds a strong acumen in terms of client requirements and getting things done with the maximum commitment providing 100% satisfaction.