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BB Canadian singer Allison Crowe refused entry to UK (83* d) RE: Canadian singer Allison Crowe refused entry to UK 31 May 09

This from Jacey Bedford:

Hi, guys,

I'm not a regular mudcatter but Barbara Brown alerted me to this thread and I've already posted extensive information about the new Certificates of Sponsorship on and (via Hugh McMillan) to the Maplepost
(Canadian) listserve.

Here's the information.

I'm not going to comment on Allison Crowe.

If you think of the Certificate of Sponsorship as an electronic replacement for the old paper work permit, you can't go too far wrong.
Artists entering to work must have a Certificate of Sponsorship just as (pre November 2008) they had to have a paper work permit. Previously anyone coming in to work without a work permit was also likely to be deported, so no change there.

The sponsorship system (a new points based system) took over from the old work permit system last November. It's well documented and the new system is up and running online. Sponsorship certificates can only be issued by a Licensed Sponsor (and I am one so I do know about this).
Licensed Sponsors have to jump through a few hoops and pay a whacking 400 for the licence and then we have access to an online application system. For sports and entertainment certificates we have to fill in an online application which requires the kind of information we used to have to give when applying for a work permit. (i.e. personal details plus gig list with dates and UK income details. It's time consuming but not difficult.).

Once the Certificate of Sponsorship has been processed (and paid for) a number is issued which corresponds to the file on the UK Border Agency's database. This is effectively an electronic work permit.

Artists from countries which do not require visas for UK visits (Canada/Australia/ USA etc) may enter for less than three months without any further requirements. All they need to do is bring the number of the certificate to the Immigration officials on entry into the UK. Artists from countries that require Visas (like - say - South
Africa) and all artists coming into the UK for more than three months must take their Certificate of Sponsorship number to the British Embassy in their own country and get Entry Clearance before travelling.

It's simple enough... Certainly not rocket science and certainly not 'a little known visa requirement' as the Allison Crowe artoicle in the newspaper suggests. Yes it's new, but anyone travelling to another country to work would always be well advised to check visa and work permit requirements before travelling.

Anyone who comes to the UK to work on a regular basis probably has a UK agent and all of us UK agents who regularly applied for work permits under the old system were contacted by the Border agency and informed of the change of regulations. I knew back in May 2008, though full details weren't available until autumn 2008.

Fow the purposes of making a sponsorship certificate application an agent stands in for the 'employer'

Yes, applying for the Sponsor's Licence was a bit of a pain in the arse as I had to jump through a lot of hoops and there are legal requirements that I must fulfil, but from the artist's point of view as long as they hook up with a British Licensed Sponsor, they can get that certificate easily enough.

For the record, my agency is not currently taking on new artists, but I can help with Sponsorship Certificates for legitimate touring performers, so if anyone has any questions email me at the agency

I've done sponsorship certificated for 17 performers this week - 12 South Africans and 5 Canadians. (That's Tanglefoot and The Mighty Zulu
Nation.) All were hassle-free.

Jacey Bedford

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