This page explains the work permit criteria for dancers: popular/ teachers/ choreographers from July 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 dancers of the highest calibre.
- In order to assess the status of the overseas national the sports and entertainments team, UK Border Agency may consult with Equity unless;
- The overseas national has been given international status by Equity on a previous application; or
- they are performing in a unique style.
- Please note that any consultation with Equity may take up to 10 working days.
- The term international status does not mean the same as being established overseas; rather, it means that a particular individual is a well-known star who would not displace resident labour.
Evidence required for first applications
In order to establish the level of previous experience, applications for dancers: popular/ teachers/ choreographers must be accompanied by:
- Publicity material (biographies are not normally sufficient). This should include:
- press reviews;
- past programmes or commercial video recordings;
Evidence should be from outside the United Kingdom and officially translated, if appropriate.
- A copy of the signed contract must be provided with all applications.
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 European Economic Area (EEA) was undertaken prior to casting an overseas national.
- Proof of a full resident search including lists of all dancers auditioned and offered the job is required in most cases.
- Responses must mention the specific job 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 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, Theatre Management Association and Independent Theatre Council.