As evidenced by the record-breaking £6.27 billion spent in 2022, international production companies are drawn to the UK’s wealth of talent and diverse filming locations. For film producers looking to bring their international cast and crew to the UK, understanding the intricacies of the immigration process is crucial.
Visas and Sponsorship: The UK government’s points-based immigration system, implemented in January 2021, introduced the Creative Worker visa as the go-to route for production companies. This route encompasses all categories of creative workers, from actors and dancers to film crew members. Essential for eligibility under this route are a confirmed job offer, sponsorship by a Home Office-licensed sponsor, and adherence to the Code of Practice.
Certificate of Sponsorship: For non-visa nationals, a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) may be sufficient for short-term work on a film production not exceeding 90 days. Although possession of a CoS does not guarantee entry, it streamlines the process, requiring careful navigation of the Code of Practice and adherence to sponsorship duties.
Advertising Exemptions: Understanding exemptions from advertising requirements is pivotal. Documentation such as contracts, press cuttings and awards can substantiate a creative worker’s international status, thus expediting the visa application process. Additionally, exploring the shortage occupation list can offer shortcuts for roles considered in short supply in the UK labour market.
Global Talent Visa: For leaders in arts and culture, the Global Talent visa is an alternative route judged by the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT). This visa route requires a range of evidence of exceptional talent, including industry awards, nominations and contributions.
Conclusion: As UK film and television production continues to thrive, mastering the nuances of the Creative Worker Visa route becomes paramount for international film producers. Navigating visas, sponsorship and advertising exemptions demands careful planning and compliance with the ever-evolving immigration landscape. With the right approach, producers can ensure a seamless journey for their cast and crew, unlocking the full potential of the UK’s vibrant creative scene.
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.