Work Permit - Ireland vs. UK

A question from an actor moving from New York to London who studied and worked as an actor in Ireland for 3 years:

Q: In Ireland, I don't require a work permit to do acting work. Is it different in London? Will I need to apply for a visa?

A: UK immigration laws are always changing so it's best to check the UK Border Agency website for current details. I imagine you will need to apply for a work visa. When I first came to London as an American citizen (with no relatives with UK citizenship), I was on a visitor's visa which allowed me to 'seek' work i.e. meet with agents, go to castings, etc. but I could not actually get a job in the UK. To do that, I needed to get a work permit - the current categories are listed on the website above.

I've heard that if you're a student who has lived in the UK for a certain period of time - it used to be 4 years - you could apply for residency or a 'leave to remain' visa which allows you to work. A friend of mine who's an American actress from Colorado studied at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and is now able to live and work in the UK as a result. In the end I was able to stay and work here by marrying my British boyfriend (for love not a visa!) - it automatically granted me a 'leave to remain' visa. After 2 years I applied for and was granted an 'indefinite leave to remain' visa, which allows me to not only stay and work but also claim government benefits such as NHS.


I don't understand UK work permits. Nobody does.
Tim Burgess said…
The rules have changed and the Tier 1 scheme for Writers, Composers and Artists has closed. Also it's 5 years until you can get ILR.

The government are opening up this exceptional talent category which is, unfortunately, aimed at those at the very top of their relative professions. They have not yet released full details of it but some information is here:

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