International work permits OISC ILPA

What is an entertainer?


An entertainer is someone who comes to the UK to perform as an amateur or professional.
Most entertainers need work permits and a genuine offer of employment [whether it is a concert, sports tournament, film or otherwise]

In some cases, you should enter the United Kingdom as a business visitor rather than an entertainer. Business visitors do not need work permits. Entry as a business visitor would allow you to:

  • negotiate contracts or discuss sponsorship
  • perform at auditions only and you are not being paid to do so
  • make personal appearances and promotions (for example, TV Chat Shows or interviews)

You can come to the UK as an entertainer without a work permit if you hold a genuine invitation to perform at one or more specific events. You must not use your engagement to establish yourself in the UK. You must not intend to stay in the UK for more than 6 months. If you wish to stay for longer then we can assist in a full sponsored work permit.

You may qualify for an entertainment visa if you fall into one of these categories:

  • professional entertainer coming to take part in music competition;
  • Sikh religious entertainer;
  • amateur entertainer seeking entry as an individual performer;
  • amateur entertainer seeking entry as part of a group: for example, a choir or youth orchestra coming for a specific engagement;
  • amateur or professional entertainer taking part in a cultural event sponsored by a government, a recognised international organisation or a major art festival; There is a festival list, updated yearly.

    Festivals can apply to be added to the list if they:

    • - have been established for more than three years;
    • - make a significant contribution to cultural life in the UK;
    • - employ a significant number of non EEA performers; and
    • - have an expected audience of more than 10,000.
    • professional entertainer taking part in a charity concert or show where the organisers are not making a profit and no fee is to be paid to the entertainer.

To proceed call our office to speak to an expert in this visa who will discuss this on a no-obligation basis. Alternatively, complete our contact form

Call us or complete our contact from for free, no-obligation assistance