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Embracing the Future: Understanding the Creative Worker Route Changes

Jun 05, 2024

Updated sponsorship requirements will be in place for applications made on or after the 16th of May 2024. This impacts artists, entertainers and fashion models coming to the UK for work. Sponsors and applicants should be aware of these changes to ensure they address the new requirements.

Adjustments made to the Creative Worker route expand the sponsorship criteria, enhancing the route's relevance to the industry. Additionally, they are geared towards safeguarding workers and clarifying existing administrative procedures outlined in the Rules.

  • For Creative Worker applications made on or after the16th of May 2024a sponsor must ensure that the applicant:
  • Complies with the relevant Code of Practice where one exists for their occupation; or
  • Will perform a role in the creative industries that appears in Appendix Skilled Occupations and
  • can demonstrate they can uniquely contribute to creative life in the UK.

We hope that guidance will follow the new version of the Rules to provide further details on how applicants can demonstrate their contribution to the creative landscape in the UK.

Other changes to the Creative Worker route

  • Applicants must confirm the sponsor is paying expenses
  • An applicant must provide details of any transport, living allowances and other costs paid by the sponsor to the applicant and include details of whether the sponsor will seek to recoup these costs, either through payroll deductions or any other means.
  • In the case of indirect employment relationships, employers must communicate details of expenses and any recouped costs with the sponsor so that any necessary reporting can be completed.

Entourage applications

Certain entourage members can apply to accompany an entertainer or cultural artist to the UK as part of a group Creative Worker application.

Electronic Travel Authorisations for some short-term Creative Workers

If a Creative Worker’s nationality is not on the visa national list and they have engagements of no more than three months, they may seek entry at the border without first obtaining entry clearance.
However, the following non-visa nationals must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) in advance of travel to the UK:
• Bahrain
• Jordan
• Kuwait
• Oman
• Qatar
• Saudi Arabia
• United Arab Emirates
An ETA costs £10 and lasts for two years (or the expiry date of the person’s passport, if earlier). They must be applied for before travelling to the UK and are usually processed within three working days. A new ETA will be required when a person is issued with a new passport. Travelling to the UK while waiting for a decision is allowed.
Although the cost of an individual ETA is small, businesses intending to cover the cost of ETAs should ensure the volume is estimated and incorporated into the relevant budgeting process.

If you have any queries about this update or need assistance with a Creative Worker application, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 01403 801801 or [email protected]

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