It has been announced that the Home Office are to relax the immigration rules for non-EU artists who are visiting the UK temporarily.
Currently, a “points-based immigration system” is in place, which effectively classes visiting non-EU artists as migrants and requires them to go through the visa application process; which has been heavily criticised by the art world.
However, it has now been announced that from April 6th, a “permitted paid engagements” entry route will come into effect, which allows non-EU artists a one month leave to enter theUK, without having to go through the points-based system – provided they’ve been officially invited to undertake engagements with a pre-arranged fee.
Under the new route, the UK organisation hosting the artists will no longer need to apply to become a licensed sponsor nor will they be required to keep the artist’s contact details, passport entry stamps or biometric details.
The director of the Contemporary Art Society, Paul Hobson, has called the new entry route “a move in the right direction” but has also warned there are still restrictions on artists, who for example may be invited to lecture at an art college for a whole term
In such a situation, the artists and the host institution need to apply through the existing points-based system; and should the initial visit need to be extended the artists will have to leave the UK and reapply through the “permitted paid engagements” scheme.