Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, artists, performers and creatives who are EU nationals need to be aware of changes to travel regulations when travelling to the UK for work. Likewise, artists, performers and creatives who are UK nationals coming to Germany also need to be aware of the new regulations that apply to them from 1 January 2021.
Please find a summary of the different main scenarios below. Each section contains links to relevant websites where you can find further information.
Please note that the British Council does not give immigration or visa advice to individuals and cannot support visa applications for programmes it does not directly run itself.
1) Artists, performers and creatives coming to Germany from the UK for short periods of time
British citizens do not need to apply for a visa for a stay of up to 90 day within a timeframe of 180 days. However, please note that this only applies if no paid occupation is connected to the visit. British citizens need to present a valid passport when entering one of the Schengen countries, i.e. when entering Germany. They need to proof that they are in possession of sufficient financial means. Proof of sufficient health insurance is also needed (Please note that UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will no longer be accepted in the EU).
Touring Artists offers more detailed as well as individual advice to any organisations in Germany who might be inviting artists from the UK to work with them in Germany:
This applies particularly in the case of paid engagements.
(For individual advice, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
General information about visiting Germany from 1 January 2021 can be found here and and on the website of the German Embassy in London here.
The website of the German Embassy in London also has specific information for creatives here.
2) Artists, performers and creatives visiting the UK from Germany for short periods of time
EU nationals do not require a visa to visit the UK for short periods, including for some, clearly defined paid work (e.g. under the “permitted paid engagement” route).
Below please find a summary of the main routes for entering the UK as artists and arts professionals:
- Unpaid (e.g. conference/festival delegate)
If you are planning to visit the UK or to do e.g. unpaid work or visiting for certain business or academic activities, but not working in the UK, you will be able to do so as a Standard Visitor and will thus be allowed to stay for 6 months without need for a visa. This would apply e.g. to attend a conference or festival, but not receiving payment to do so. You will find more information through the decision tree feature on the UK government’s website.
- Paid (e.g. commission, paid performance)
i) Permitted Paid Engagements
You may be able to come to the UK without a visa if you’re invited as an expert in your profession for a ‘Permitted Paid Engagement’
You will need an official letter of invitation which you should present when passing the border. You will then be allowed to stay in the UK for one month without needing to apply for a visa. However, please note, that remuneration – if applicable – can only be made through a UK-based organisation.
You will find more information through the decision tree feature on the UK government’s website.
ii) Exempt festivals
Exemptions regarding a number of high-profile festivals in the cultural area apply. An artist, entertainer or musician visiting the UK to perform at one or more of the following permit free festivals may receive payment to do so. The relevant list can be found on this website. The organisers of permit free festivals will be able to help you with the necessary paperwork, so please contact them directly.
For long-term stays in the UK, you will need to apply for a visa. Please check the relevant immigration rules on the UK Visa and Immigration website. You will find detailed information about any visa requirements on the UK government’s website.
A clear Q&A structure will guide you through and inform you about a possible need for a visa. Information in connection with a holiday visit or short-term stay can be found on this website.