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Spotlight on performing

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am a musician looking at the possibility of performing in the UK to get some international exposure. Please advise me, if I get some gigs to play, how can I visit the UK to perform?



Dear S.B.,

I am not sure whether you are an amateur or professional musician, as you have not indicated this. However, you may qualify as an entertainer visitor, if during your visit, you intend to take part as a professional musician in one or more music competitions. If you are occupied in specific engagements as an individual amateur entertainer or a member of an amateur group, you will also be considered an entertainer visitor. You may also be categorised as an entertainer visitor if you are involved in a cultural event or if you are included in the list of specific events to which this performance may apply.

Other criteria that may qualify you as an entertainer visitor can be if you take part in broadcasts or public appearances, provided you are not being paid or if you do an audition, provided this is not performed in front of an audience. You may also fall into this category if you are a member of the support staff of a visiting entertainer or if you are an official attending the same event as the visiting entertainer.

To enter the UK as an entertainer visitor you have to be able to show that you only intend to visit the UK for up to six months and that you plan to leave at the end of your visit. Also, you will need to have enough money to support and provide yourself with lodgings, without working or getting help from public funds. Alternatively, you can show that you will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends.

If you are entering as an amateur entertainer visitor, you will need to show that you do not intend to charge members of the public for your services and that you do not intend to study. Further, you should be prepared to show an itinerary of the particular events you intend to take part in and that any remuneration received will be for boarding and lodging expenses. You should also show that you are able to meet your return or onward journey when ready to depart the UK.

You should also be aware that the maximum time that you will be able to spend in the UK at any one time as an entertainer visitor is six months. However, if you are given three months' permission to visit, it may be possible for you to apply for an extension, as long as your stay will not go beyond six months.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises in Jamaica. He is a Supreme Court-appointed mediator and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Email: or