Visa Sponsorship for Creative Workers

11 Jun 2024, 33 mins ago

If you are looking to employ an individual within the creative industry in the UK, including artists, dancers, musicians and actors, the candidate must apply for a Creative Worker visa. In order to hire talent under this scheme, you must hold a sponsor licence. 

Sponsor licences are granted by the Home Office to allow UK-based organisations to employ non-UK resident workers, either on a temporary or permanent basis (see our earlier related article here). We have helped organisations navigate smoothly the sometimes difficult process of obtaining a sponsor license, providing a comprehensive service from start to finish. We can also help with the ongoing management of the licence to ensure your organisation remains compliant with all requirements.

If you operate in the UK creative sector and you wish to employ an individual who is a non-UK resident, you should consider the following:

1. Does the role fall within the Appendix Creative Worker Codes of Practice?

a. There is a limited number of Creative Worker roles that can be sponsored in the UK. The Home Office have published a list of eligible roles in the Appendix Creative Worker Codes of Practice. If the role falls within the Appendix, then you must follow the instructions under each relevant code and document your every step. This is crucial because the Home Office may audit your business and if you are found to be non-compliant with the codes, your sponsor licence may be revoked.

b. The instructions in each code will cover the appropriate salary rate, the requirement to advertise the role to demonstrate that you have tried to recruit employees locally, the exemptions to the advertisement requirement and other additional requirements for each specific role.

2. What should you do if the role does not fall within the Codes of Practice?

If no code of practice applies to the role you are looking to fill, you will need to meet two requirements:

a. The role must correspond to a code listed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations. 

b. You must be able to demonstrate that both the individual you are looking to hire and the role itself will make a unique contribution to the creative life in the UK.

3. Who are you sponsoring?

It is common for Creative Workers to require their technical or support staff, also known as ‘entourage’, to accompany them to the UK. It is permitted to sponsor the Creative Worker’s entourage, provided that their employment is directly related to the work the Worker will be carrying out in the UK. However, this does not mean that the Worker can bring everyone in the entourage to the UK, certain restrictions apply.

4. Assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

When assigning a CoS to a Creative Worker, it is important to keep in mind that there is an extra step. You will need to “confirm how you have complied with the relevant creative code of practice (if applicable) or considered how the worker can make a unique contribution to creative life in the UK.” There is a 250-word limit, but you can provide further information as a Sponsor’s note to ensure that you have answered in sufficient detail.

 How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this article, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, or send us an e-mail. Don’t forget to follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this article 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.

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