Expat musicians to be denied entry to the UK unless earning £30,000 or more

Published:  28 Dec at 6 PM
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Foreign musicians are to be banned from entering Britain post-Brexit unless they earn over £30,000 annually.

A new white paper released by the British government will dash the hopes of talented expat musicians wanting to perform with established bands as well as stifling the UK’s music sector. Foreign musicians will need to prove they’re earning at least £30,000 a year before they will be allowed into the UK on a five-year visa, according to the latest government white paper on Brexit.

The government believes the rule will ensure only higher-skilled musicians apply for longer-term visas. Short term visiting bands will still be allowed to participate in paid engagements, but the financial requirement will shut out a good number of talented musicians, songwriters and music producers from overseas whose average earnings i are traditionally around £20,500 a year. According to trade associations in the UK, harsher immigration laws will mean the end of diversity and creativity on Britain’s music scene as well as possibly leading to reciprocal harsh rules introduced by EU member states.

The policy will be a major negative for the UK’s music industry in both the classical and popular music sectors. On average, orchestral musicians earn just under the required £30,000, with the rule affecting talented young classical musicians hoping to get taken on by British orchestras. In the field of popular music, free movement is essential in order to promote new bands and get them recognised across the continent. The UK’s live music sector is growing fast, generating around £1 billion a year for the British economy, much of which is earned by touring. Costly bureaucratic requirements will make touring totally impractical for many promoters and may well stifle the development of world-leading British talent.
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