How To Apply For An Entertainer Visa In The UK?


If you want to come over to the UK for a short period without a work permit to take part in certain major arts festivals, music competitions and charity events, you can apply for an Entertainer Visa. The intention is to enable entertainers and their entourage coming to the UK for one of these purposes to do so outside the points-based system. Entertainers coming here to work will need to qualify to do so under either Tier 2 or Tier 5.

Entertainer visitors include:

  • professional entertainers coming to take part in music competitions;
  • internationally famous people coming to the UK to take part in broadcasts or public appearances, provided they are not being paid;
  • Those undertaking an audition provided this is not performed in front of an audience (either paying or non-paying);
  • amateur entertainers seeking entry as an individual performer for a specific engagement;
  • amateur entertainers seeking entry as part of a group, such as a choir or youth orchestra coming for a specific engagement;
  • professional entertainers taking part in a charity concert or show where the organisers are not making a profit and no fee is to be paid to the entertainer;
  • amateur or professional entertainers taking part in a cultural event sponsored by a government or recognised international organisation, or a major arts festival included in the list at VAT18.10;
  • members of the technical or support staff of amateurs or professionals, who are attending for the same event – examples of such staff include dieticians, bodyguards and press officers;
  • officials attending the same event as the entertainer – examples include choreographers, stage managers and designers.
  • The government intends to review the arrangements and criteria for festivals and cultural events that do not require participants to qualify to come to the UK under the PBS. Further guidance will be published before the expiry of the current list of permit-free festivals.

Entry requirements

Under paragraph 46S of the Immigration Rules an entertainer visitor must:

  • be genuinely seeking entry as an entertainer visitor for a period not exceeding six months
  • intend to leave the UK at the end of the period of the visit
  • maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately:
  • out of resources available to them without recourse to public funds or taking employment, or be maintained and/or accommodated by relatives or friends who can prove they are able and intend to do so, and are legally present in the UK, or will be at the time of their visit.
  • meet the cost of the return or onward journey
  • intend to do one or more of the following during their visit:

– take part as a professional entertainer in one or more music competitions

– fulfill one or more specific engagements as either an individual amateur entertainer or as an amateur group

– take part, as an amateur or professional entertainer, in one or more cultural event or festival on the list of permit free festivals

You must not:

  • intend to live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits
  • intend to take employment
  • intend to produce goods or provide services within the UK
  • intend to undertake a course of study
  • be a child under the age of 18
  • intend to marry or form a civil partnership
  • intend to give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • intend to receive private medical treatment
  • be in transit to a country outside the common travel area.


About the Author:

Don Magsino MBA is a student of Oxford Brookes University at Post-Graduate Degree in Law in Oxford, England, UK. He is a graduate of Ateneo De Manila University Graduate School of Business. He is a qualified and a practicing Immigration Lawyer in the UK. His mobile phone is 07446888377 / Direct Line: 0207 316 3027 Email is don@stanfordlawassociates.co.uk. His London office is located at Regus, 239 Kensington High Street, London W8 6SN. He is accredited by the Law Society in England and Wales and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Level 3: highest level in immigration professionals. He has represented clients in the First-tier Tribunal, Immigration Detention Courts and Deportation and Bail Hearings and to the Upper Tribunal and won many difficult cases in immigration law in the United Kingdom.

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