Short-term EU work permit arrangements for UK musicians

On 24 December 2020, the UK and EU agreed a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement to govern the future trading and security relationship now that the UK has left the EU.

All UK nationals holding a valid passport (with at least six months' validity) can travel for up to 90 days in a 180 day period in the Schengen area under the visa-waiver regime. However, from 1 January 2021, UK nationals seeking to work in the EU will be considered third-country nationals and may need a work permit to do so. These rules are set by each member state. This will have huge implications for UK musicians, as the ISM’s most recent Brexit report found that 78% of musicians visit EU/EEA at least once a year to perform.

Below is an overview of the different requirements for short-stay work permits of each country in the EU/EEA area. Where relevant, links are provided to access more information and performer exemptions as well as notification requirements for some states. In addition to the 30 EEA countries (EU27 plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) and Switzerland, we have included details of some non-Schengen area countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania).

The following information is for your reference only and does not constitute legal or immigration advice
. The ISM recommends that if you have any doubts about your eligibility to enter any country, that you contact a suitably qualified migration expert for each individual country in good time prior to intended arrival.

Short-Term Work Permits for UK Musicians working in the EU

Austria

No permit needed for up to 30 days.
The organiser of the event must notify state authority before the activity takes place.

Austrian Artist Mobility

Belgium


For artists of international renown, no permit needed for up to 90 days. Longer stays are depend on employment type & remuneration.

Performing Artist Permit

Otherwise, it may be necessary to apply for a work permit. Check the situation of the employee.

Bulgaria

Freelance workers must obtain a Freelance Activity Permit for up to 12 months prior to arrival.
A decision will be reached within 30 days of receipt of documentation.

Apply for a Freelance Activity Permit
Check work routes for foreigners.

Croatia

A Stay and Work Permit is required for between 6-30 days per year.

Stay and Work Permit

Cyprus

A Work Permit is required prior to arrival. Residence Permit needed for stays over 90
days.

Work Permit for Artists

Czech Republic

No permit is needed for those whose performance does not exceed 7 consecutive days or 30 days in a 12 month period

Exception from Work Permit for Artists

Denmark

A Special Individual Qualification application is required for exemption of a work permit for up to 90 days.

A Special Individual Qualification application may not be required if ‘you are of paramount importance to a significant artistic event’.

Apply for Special Individual Qualification
Details of application exemption for renowned artists participating in noteworthy artistic events here

Estonia

Registration for long-term visa for short-term employment is required prior to arrival.

Once registered, no permit needed for up to 90 days.

Long-stay visa for short-term employment
Find out how to register for short-term employment here

Finland

No permit needed for up to 90 days if ‘you have been invited to work in Finland or you have signed a contract to work in Finland’

Right to work without a resident permit

France

No permit needed for up to 90 days in a 12 month period.

Work permit exemptions

Visa requirements for UK nationals from 1 Jan

Germany

Arrangements are under review. UK nationals will ‘most likely fall under the [visa-free] ETIAS program, once it goes fully operational in 2021’.

Qualifying for ETIAS means that no permit is needed for 90 days.

Germany Visa for Cultural, Film Crew, Sports, and Religious Event Purpose
Details of the 62 countries with visa-free arrangements with Germany, here

Greece

Apply for residence/work permit after arrival. Depending on type of employment, this will be valid for between 1-5 years.

Entry visa and then residence/work permit

Hungary

Apply for a residence permit to pursue paid self-employed work.

Single application procedure

Iceland

No permit needed for up to 90 days for musicians (excluding musicians who are due to perform in catering establishments).

Notify the Labour Directorate before entry to undertake short-term work.

Short term work permit exemptions for artists and musicians
Find out how to notify the labour directorate here

Ireland

Ireland will continue to fall under the Common Travel Area from 1 Jan 2021 and allows UK nationals to live, work and study in Ireland.

Italy

A short-term work permit for up to 90 days is required before entry for artists of ‘well renown artists and his/her entourage or artists invited by renown Italian institutions or theatres’.

Other artists should 'write an email to the Visa Office ([email protected]) if you do not belong to the category of well renown artists or if you are not invited by a renown Italian Institution or theatre'

Entrances for self-employment and entertainment for periods of 90 days or less

Latvia

No permit is needed for artists whose performance does not exceed 14 days or fewer in a 12 month period.

Exemption from work permits for artists

Lithuania

A visa for work purposes must be obtained before entry.

Obtaining a visa for work purposes

Liechtenstein

A short-term work permit is needed for up to 12 months.

Short-term work permits

Luxembourg

No permit is needed for up to 90 days for the entertainment industry.

Work permit exemption for less than 90 days

Malta

An ‘employment license’ is required before entry to work.

Employment Licence for third-country nationals

Netherlands

For musicians and artists who are going to work for a maximum period of 6 continuous weeks within a period of 13 weeks, they submit an application for work in paid employment. For paid employment in specifics job in art and culture, individuals or employers must apply for a Single Permit (consists of a residence document and an additional document which states the conditions of work).

Employees working in arts and culture

Norway

No permit is needed for artists whose performance does not exceed 14 days or fewer in a 12 month period.

You or the client must notify Norway police before entering.

People who can work in Norway without a permit for up to 14 days

Poland

No permit is needed for artists whose performance does not exceed 30 days in a 12 month period.

Work permit exemptions for artists for up to 30 days

Portugal

A temporary stay visa is required for self-employed work purposes valid for 90 days.

Temporary stay visa for independent work purposes

Romania

A work permit is needed for short-term employment in Romania.

Work permits for third-country nationals

Slovakia

No permit is needed if the work does not exceed 30 days over a 12 month period. The employer or contract holder must inform the authorities of the visit.

Entry for work and stay in Slovakia (see page 34)

Slovenia

A single permit is issued for employment and self-employment lasting longer than 90 days.

Single permit

Spain

A work visa is required for self-employed work. This is valid for one year.

Work visa

Sweden

No permit needed if the work is 14 days or fewer over a 12 month period. An invitation from established organiser is required.

Work permit or exemption

Switzerland

No permit needed for up to 90 days over a 12 month period.

Switzerland and the UK agreement on mobility of service suppliers