This page explains the work permit criteria for actors: film from 2008. These criteria were agreed following consultation with Equity. This criteria is supplementary guidance to the published employer guidance notes and both sets of guidance should be referred to when making an application.
Work permits will only be issued to established actors. Work permit applications received for actors may be submitted to Equity for further information unless one or more of the criterion below apply. Please note that any consultation with Equity may take up to 10 working days.
To ensure that overseas actors are of a sufficient high quality and not displacing resident labour force in the United Kingdom it has been agreed with Equity that the employer must, in all cases, provide evidence of one of the following:
- The work is for continuity.
- For example the person has worked for a period of one month or more on the same piece of work overseas.
- Applications submitted under the criteria for continuity must supply proof that the overseas national is currently, or has recently been working on the same piece of work overseas (i.e. contracts or press reviews or other such documents) and has done so for at least one month.
- The person has international status.
- They are known worldwide, for example they are internationally famous in their field.
- This is different to being established overseas as that may only be in one country.
- The actor would not displace resident labour.
- Applications for actors who are of international status do not need to give details of a resident labour market search.
- From the information supplied in the application, it would not be reasonable to expect an employer to engage a European Economic Area (EEA) national. One example would be a role which requires particular attributes considered unlikely to be available from the EEA labour force.
- Where none of the above can be provided, evidence that the post has been advertised should be provided (see below for further information on advertising).
- Press reviews.
- Past programmes or other evidence such as video recordings of films or television in which the overseas national is credited.
Evidence required for first applications
In order to establish the level of previous experience, applications for entertainers must be accompanied by:
- A copy of the signed contract must be provided with all applications.
The UK Border Agency can also consider evidence from official websites. This evidence may not be required with future similar applications made within the next four years.
Where advertising is appropriate, posts must be advertised in an appropriate media that provides the best way of reaching suitably qualified resident workers allowing four weeks from the date the advertisement appears to receive applications.
The advertisement should have been placed within the six months before the application for a work permit. The employer must provide with the application:
- Evidence that a thorough and genuine search for a worker from the EEA was undertaken prior to casting an overseas national.
- Proof of a full resident search including lists of all actors auditioned and offered the part and confirmation letters from agents who were approached.
- Responses must mention the specific part which the auditions were to fill and must give valid reasons why any EEA national who was auditioned was not suitable or state if and why an actor considered for the part was unavailable.
Length of issue
The UK Border Agency normally give approval for the period as stated on the contract, up to a maximum period of five years.
Payment should be commensurate with Equity's guidance on salary levels. The current rates can be found on Equity's website and are based mostly on negotiations between Equity and the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television