Just in: Leading artists will receive easier UK visas

Just in: Leading artists will receive easier UK visas


norman lebrecht

July 27, 2011

Foreign artists who have faced difficulty in entering Britain have been promised a smoother path, thanks to an initiative of the Arts Council and the TV producers’ organisation. PACT.

Between them, the two bodies have secured 300 visas for people who are “internationally recognised as world leaders in the arts” to stay in Britain for up to three years and four months without having to show that they have somewhere to work. It specifically co0vers artists who want to live in the UK for long period, not concerto fly-by-nights.

More details here. The commendable scheme is designed to curb recent embarrassments.



  • Sorry about this, but once again a clarification is in order. This covers leading artists who want to live in the UK. It doesn’t resolve in any way the problems of artists flying in and out of the UK for temporary engagements, who are expected to give up their passport for 15 days, have their biometrics taken etc. The initiative has come from the Home Office itself, who have switched off Tier 1 applications under the Points Based System but kept a limited number of places for ‘exceptional talent’ in the arts and sciences (as well as for “entrepreneurs”). Arts Council England’s role is to judge whether the applicant is genuinely “exceptional”.

  • Thanks, Mark. I’ll make that clear.