Setting

The UK immigration system is categorised into different ‘routes’, the main ones being: Global Talent; Skilled Workers; Start-Up and Innovator; Students and Graduates; Sporting; and Creative. Of the many UK immigration routes for film and TV workers, Creative is the most appropriate.

The Creative Route

The Creative Route is the most appropriate for production companies engaging foreign cast and crew. It covers all categories of creative worker: actor, dancer, musician, and crew member.

Sponsorship under the Creative Route is open to cast and crew who:

  • Have a confirmed offer of employment.
  • Fit the other requirements, such as meeting the appropriate Code of Practice.

Non-visa countries

Nationals of countries such as the US, Canada, Australia and EU member states (i.e., ‘non-visa’ countries) coming for relatively short period (90 days or less) can apply for just a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This is a certificate number that we generate, and which is presented when they arrive in the UK. They receive a dated stamp in their passport, entitling them to work.

Key features of obtaining a CoS:

  • No appointment needed; all arranged over email.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Turnaround of approximately two weeks, subject to urgency.

visa countries

Nationals from countries such as India, China and South Africa (i.e., ‘visa’ countries) coming to the UK for any amount of time, or non-visa nationals required in the UK for more than 90 days, need a biometric visa before travel. This process involves both an appointment and temporary surrender of the passport. We issue their mandatory supporting CoS, collate the application paperwork, arrange the appointment, and manage the permit distribution.

Key features of obtaining a biometric visa:

  • Involves an appointment to submit biometrics (fingerprints, image, signature).
  • Costs vary according to requisite priority level.
  • Turnaround of 2 – 6 weeks, subject to urgency and associated costs.

The Creative Route

The Creative Route is the most appropriate for production companies engaging foreign cast and crew. It covers all categories of creative worker: actor, dancer, musician, and crew member.

Sponsorship under the Creative Route is open to cast and crew who:

  • Have a confirmed offer of employment; and
  • Fit the other requirements, such as meeting the appropriate Code of Practice.