A new UK visa that should be of particular benefit to artists is due to be implemented next month in a move that has been welcomed by the creative community.
From April 6th, the Permitted Paid Engagements UK visa route will allow visiting professionals who will be undertaking specific fee-paid activities for up to one month to enter the country and take up employment legally, without the need to go through the points-based system or obtain the formal sponsorship of a UK-based employer.
While it will apply to most sectors, home secretary Theresa May suggested that the new category will be of particular use to authors, entertainers, lecturers and examiners.
Artists have welcomed the move, with Manick Govinda, a member of the Manifesto Club and head of the artists' advisory services at Artsadmin, stating that the new visa option is "a great short-term advance". However, he also told The Art Newspaper that the group will be keeping "a watchful eye".
The Permitted Paid Engagements route is only valid for individuals looking for work for up to one month. Applicants are required to demonstrate their plans to leave the country after this time and those that require a longer stay in the UK are still forced to go through a lengthy and uncertain procedure in order to obtain a work permit.