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Tier 5 entertainment visa woes - your experiences

Only for UK Tier 5 (Temporary work) points system
Also includes the Youth Mobility Scheme Tier 5

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The Station Agent
Senior Member
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:51 am
Location: UK

Tier 5 entertainment visa woes - your experiences

Post by The Station Agent » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:19 pm

Hi all

I have noticed especially last summer and this year that the number of visa nationals applying for a tier 5 entertainment visas is broadening in scope. It used to be mainly South Asian pop and film acts, plus 'World Music' which usually got lumped in with folk and certain festivals. Now we have pop acts from Africa, Hip Hop acts from Asia, and rock acts from Russia; the scene is changing and more acts are being dragged into the work visa system. To say the system struggles is to understate things........the UK visa system is basically broken.

I have seen so many incorrect visa refusals in the last couple of years especially. The visa officers often refuse to honour CoS and don't include the sponsor at all in their processes (for instance.....officer can't see the date of a gig or wants clarification on a venue address - refuse the application rather than put in a simple call to the sponsor. This happens a lot). I've seen officers refuse whole bands (well established acts who've travelled internationally) on the feeblest of grounds. I've also seen the flipside, which is even more shoddy.........applicants who were coming here for just a few days being granted year-long BRPs in error (I know at least 4 cases of this and I just see the tip of the iceberg).

So, what are your experiences? I am trying to seek industry-wide support for a meeting with UKVI to address endemic problems with the way Tier 5 Creative CoS holders are dealt with when applying for visas. When I asked UKVI to address these issues last year they told me to shut up and stop moaning - they made out the visa system works just fine and all refusals must have been justified. They refused to look into the BRP errors unless I gave them the personal details of the holders (which I could not do; those people gave me that information in confidence and don't want the BRPs revoked). To sum up; they are in denial even after WOMAD and various other heavyweight arts festivals were also complaining about UK visa processing and costs. This year has seen another big increase in visa-national bands wanting to come here........they often have problems, pay too much for a shoddy service, and end up feeling let down by the system. I want to improve the system and I need your help to do that. Thanks.