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About the guide

First published in February 2021, the ISM's visa and work permit guide was the first comprehensive guide to examine the crossing of borders by musicians following the UK's departure from the EU. It has subsequently been used by thousands of organisations, promoters, agents and artists to facilitate and plan tours, and remains the most up-to-date and accurate guide available.

The individual country pages provide an overview of the different requirements for entry visas and short- and long-stay work permits for the 27 Member States of the EU together with Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. That includes details for non-Schengen Area countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania. For Schengen Area countries, stays not exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period (in one or several visits) are considered short stays and are generally subject to the EU visa code; stays exceeding 90 days in a 180-day period are considered long stays and are generally subject to national legislation.

The European Commission has an online calculator to help track short-stays.


The starting point for this guide was the government’s foreign travel advice page, which directs users to UK embassies. Where information on the embassy websites wasn’t easily available or clear, the next stage was to look at various in-country government department websites (immigration, labour and employment etc). Where legislation was referenced, we included this in conjunction with the website information. We were careful to avoid third-party websites or visa procurement agency websites, especially where the date of the information contained within them wasn’t clear or where we could not verify the information. Where embassy or government pages were most recently updated before 2020, we have made sure to highlight this. We also included information from the Visa Code Handbook and approached Mobility Information Points and embassies to verify our research.

Links are provided wherever possible to access further information and the details of all embassies are also included. We have collated this information from publicly available government sources for each country. In addition, for information on visas, we have referred to Article 6(3) of the Visa Code Handbook which can be found in Appendix 1 at the end of this document. We have also consulted with Mobility Information Point experts at (Czech Republic), MobiCulture (France), Touring Artists (Germany), DutchCulture (The Netherlands), Loja Lisbo a Cultura (Portugal) and Scensverige (Sweden) and are grateful for their additional input. Several European countries have Mobility Information Points (MIP) which aim to tackle administrative challenges that can be faced when working across borders, including visas, social security, taxation and customs. Finally, we have consulted with individual countries via UK Embassies.

For information and research that is not public domain. All rights are retained.


In response to a lack of clear, country-specific guidance and a need for our members to be able to access information for multiple countries as easily as possible, the ISM have tried our best to summarise a very complex issue. We believe the information provided is as accurate as possible considering the vast amount of material available from each member state. The information was last updated on 4th January 2022 and will be regularly updated to reflect ongoing developments. If you spot anything we have potentially omitted, we would be grateful if you would share this with the ISM for review via [email protected].


The information provided in this guide 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, you contact a suitably qualified migration expert for each individual country in good time prior to intended arrival.