Important Information regarding Work Permits
Before Tier 5 Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) can be issued please ensure you're aware of the following:
- CoS can not be issued unless there's work in the UK (concerts, plays, recordings, filming etc) already confirmed.
- There cannot be more than 14 days between work dates (or more than one CoS will be needed).
- CoS are almost always issued on the basis of an artist / act having an international reputation (see checklist for some suggested criteria). This is to avoid what's referred to as the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).
- Visa nationals (or non-visa nationals on a CoS that spans more than three months) will need a visa in addition to their CoS. The visa will be based on their CoS and sufficient time should be allowed for the visa issuance but also for any appeal process should the visa be incorrectly refused by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
The Work Permit Process
- CoS are provided by UKVI licensed sponsors. That sponsor might be directly involved with the work that the CoS are for, or be a third party sponsor (such as CME Artist Services).
- CME Artist Services will determine whether to take on a case based largely on the criteria listed in our checklist.
- Once a case is accepted we will provide a sponsorship invoice and agreement (this document is split in two if the party paying us is different from the party signing our agreement).
- The invoice includes a security deposit fee that's returned after the CoS holder has left the UK and provided we have received the copies of the entry stamps (see below).
- The sponsorship agreement needs to be signed by someone representing the party that's responsible for the CoS holder/s' work in the UK (e.g. the purchaser, promoter, UK booking agent, record label etc). That person or organisation has to be based within the EEA.
- The sponsorship agreement has a section that lists any and all information still required for us to release the CoS.
- Once all the required information is received, our agreement is signed and our services are paid for we will release the CoS as a PDF document.
- When there is more than one CoS holder we will also release an Excel spreadsheet summary of the CoS (this contains group name, individual names, CoS numbers and passport numbers).
- If the CoS holders require a visa (see: government checklist) they should make their application using the CoS number and information through the UKVI online application link.
NOTE: Sponsors, not the UK Government, provide CoS. The UK Government, not sponsors (or anyone else), provides visas. Anyone or any company that purports to obtain visas is merely charging to fill in the UK Government's online visa form from the link above. *
- On arrival to the UK CoS holders need to show their passport and CoS number to UK passport control. See Entry Instructions for examples and more information on this process.
Non-visa holders will receive two entry stamps: the port entry stamp and a leave to remain endorsement stamps that, for our CoS, will have "CME Artist Services" written in.
Visa holders will just have their visa stamped with the port entry stamps.
- CoS holders, or their UK representation, take photographs of the entry stamps (non-visa and visa nationals both) and email these to CME Artist Services ON ARRIVAL.
NOTE: It is a condition of Sponsor's licence that we receive copies of entry stamps for our CoS immediately (and retain indefinately)
- After all the work on the CoS has been completed and the CoS holders have left the UK, the UK representative confirms this with us and we return the security deposit.
For more detail on the above and for CoS in general please see our FAQs.
*Some British Consulates have exclusive arrangements with third party companies to process their visa applications and some visa priority services are also via third party companies but in each case they are the only organisation officially providing that service on behalf of that particular consulate.