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Visas

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of current visa requirements for short-term visitors on foreign artists, photographers and musicians seeking entry to the United Kingdom.

Photo of Baroness Browning Baroness Browning Minister of State (Home Office)

Foreign artists of various disciplines successfully use the different routes of entry which the immigration system provides for those coming to the United Kingdom, depending on their purpose in coming and intended length of stay. Tier 5 of the points-based system has a category specifically for creative artists coming for periods of up to a year where the purpose involves paid work. They may currently be granted an additional 12 months maximum period if the original sponsor requires the migrant to stay beyond the original period granted. Creative artists who are non-visa nationals entering the UK for a period of three months or less do not require a visa although they still need a certificate of sponsorship. Outside the points-based system, the entertainer visitor visa enables entry, for up to six months, for those coming to perform at or take part in important cultural festivals and for other specific purposes such as charity events and music competitions.

The Government are reviewing all immigration routes of entry. We are consulting currently on Tier 5 of the points-based system and will look at the issue of entry by short-term visitors as part of this work.

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