Certificates of Sponsorship


background information

The following is a summary of Baile Escocia’s interpretation of the current regulations. It is not a definitive guide to Certificates of Sponsorship and should not be relied upon, especially as the rules can and do change without notice. For full information please see the UK Borders Agency website.

In 2008, UK Borders Agency introduced a new system of authorisation for people who want to work in the UK. In essence, it contracted out the process to organisations that it has authorised, called sponsors. It replaced work permits with Certificates of Sponsorship and the onus is on sponsors, such as Baile Escocia, to ensure migrants are eligible.

There is a specific category for the performing arts. There are several ways that artists can be authorised within that, but the main one Baile Escocia uses is that the artist has international status. Unfortunately, this means we are unlikely to be able to help with dancers on their first trip abroad. The authorisation is also aimed at performers rather than teachers and any artists coming into the country only to teach would require a different authorisation.

The application process is straightforward, subject to certain restrictions. For established couples only one application is required, though each individual will have their own Certificate. There are some small ongoing monitoring requirements once the artists arrive and we’d ask for your cooperation with those.

Note that artists with EU passports do not require Certificates of Sponsorship. If artists are here for more than one event please contact us for further information as there are other potential restrictions that may apply if they are in the UK for a while.

Prior clearance to enter the country may also be required. Currently Argentinians do not require this, so long as they are in the UK for less than 3 months. If they are in the UK for longer than that then they will require prior clearance from the UK Embassy in their country.

Please note that a successful application for a Certificate of Sponsorship does not guarantee artists entry to the country. Artists may still be subject to intensive questioning at immigration, especially Heathrow.  One couple has even been made to dance! So far, noone we have been connected to has been turned away though we know of several occasions where artists without Certificates have been denied entry.