Musicians: Visas and Work Permits

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 22nd July 2021.

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Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent progress he has made on (a) short term visa and (b) work permit requirements for touring artists and support staff since since the publication on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer on 25 May to Question 3150 on Theatre: EU Countries, what assessment his Department has made of the varying time limits placed on touring activities without needing visas or work permits offered by the 17 EU Member States.

Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to work with his counterparts in the EU member states that have more restrictive visa and work permit requirements than those of the UK, to ensure that artists from the UK can continue touring on a reciprocal basis.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

We have always acknowledged that the end of freedom of movement would have consequences for touring musicians and performers. That is why, as the Secretary of State has said, we have moved at pace and with urgency to provide greater clarity about the current position, including working with our friends in EU Member States, to support the creative sectors tour in Europe with ease.

Member States are principally responsible for deciding the rules governing what work UK visitors can undertake in the EU, and we have spoken to every Member State. We have established musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for short-term tours in at least 19 out of 27 Member States. This includes France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and many more. The length of tour permitted without a visa or permit varies across Member States. For many Member States it is for up to 90 days, which will capture the vast majority of tours.

We are continuing to speak to all Member States to encourage them to ensure their rules and guidance are clear and accessible. And we are now working closely with those Member States that do require visas or work permits for short-term tours to encourage them to adopt a more flexible approach, in line with the UK’s own rules which allow creative professionals to tour here easily. Formal approaches have been made to those Member States, and DCMS ministers will play an active role in discussions.

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