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New home office rules for artists entering UK from Ireland

The Home Office has established new rules that allow non-EEA creatives to enter the UK via Ireland for up to three months without a visa

A new entry process for non-EEA artists, musicians travelling from Ireland to the UK, has been launched by the Home Office today (Thursday 28 February).

It will be free to use and mean that eligible individuals in creative industries will be able to work in the UK for up to three months, bringing into line their entry conditions when arriving from other destinations.

These new arrangements will allow musicians from countries such as Australia and America to apply for leave to enter remotely, putting an end to their requirement to apply for a visa to perform in the UK when entering through Ireland.

Individuals will be required to have a Certificate of Sponsorship under the Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Creative and Sporting) route, which has been in existence since 2008. It provides an option for those non-EEA, non-visa nationals in the sporting and creative sector to undertake short-term engagement in the UK without being required to hold a visa to enter the UK.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:

“Our creative industries are world leading. Not only do we produce elite talent, but we also host some of the most exciting live events in the world.

“Ensuring the best international talent can perform in the UK is vital for the creative industries continued success and that is why we launched this new process, ensuring creative talent can easily arrive to perform in the UK directly from Ireland.

“I look forward to continuing to work with UK Music and the wider sector so our leading live music industry can continue to thrive.”

UK Music’s CEO Michael Dugher said:

“I am delighted to have worked, alongside our Live Music group, with the Home Office to identify a solution so that non-EU artists and their crews can still enter the UK via Ireland under a Certificate of Sponsorship.

“The live music industry, which contributes around £1 billion to the economy, will put this into practice so that we can continue to attract the biggest and most talented global artists to perform at our world-leading concerts, festivals, and venues.”

This change follows months of meetings between the Home Office, UK Music, and the UK Live Music Group, after UK Music and UK Live co-wrote a letter last October urging the government to reconsider these regulations. According to the letter, the rules had come into place in April 2017 with little to no notice to the industry.