This page explains the work permit criteria for Ballet. These criteria were agreed following consultation with Equity by correspondence in July 2007 and will be reviewed in July 2008. 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 qualified ballet dancers of the highest calibre.
- Work permit applications received for dancers may be submitted to Equity for further information. Please note that any consultation with Equity may take up to 10 working days.
- press reviews;
- past performance programmes or actual video footage of ballets in which the overseas dancer is credited must be supplied with the application;
Evidence required for first applications
In order to establish the level of previous experience, applications for entertainers must be accompanied by:
- where it is not possible to obtain the required publicity material, proof of the dancer's status may be provided by the school or company where the individual qualified (for example the Bolshoi ballet school), usually in the form of a reference letter;
- a copy of the signed contract must be provided with all applications.
- Evidence of a resident labour market search is only necessary for corps de ballet and female soloists.
- Posts must be advertised in an appropriate media that provides the best way of reaching suitably qualified resident workers, or with details of open auditions held, or contact made, with all appropriate ballet schools and companies. Four weeks should be allowed 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 European Economic Area (EEA) was undertaken prior to casting an overseas national; and
- proof of a full resident search including lists of all ballet dancers 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 a ballet dancer 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 Society of London Theatres and Theatre Management Association.