Overseas Artists

Sofie Kramer - DFphotography

Permit Free Status

Make sure you have checked the most up-to-date information in regard to quarantine restrictions before making plans to travel to England. The most up-to-date government guidance can be found here.

Brighton Fringe welcomes national and international acts. Every year for the last eight years, Brighton Fringe has been granted permit-free status. Listed festivals can invite performers under the Standard visitor route without the need for formal sponsorship under the points-based system. 

As in previous years, visa nationals will require a visa in order to gain entry to the UK. 



Since 1 January 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals are now non-visa nationals. Please see below for requirements for non-visa nationals.


If you are a Visa National, you will need to obtain a visa before travelling to the UK. The type of visa you should apply for is a STANDARD VISITOR VISA.

This applies if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People's Republic of China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (North), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe


Any country not listed above including citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to Brighton Fringe.

Non-visa nationals should seek entry at the border as a Standard Visitor and will need supporting documents. This is different to applying for a Standard Visitor Visa, which needs to be done in advance.

Details on supporting documents can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visitor-visa-guide-to-supporting-documents/guide-to-supporting-documents-visiting-the-uk.

In addition, we would recommend that performers should have an invitation letter confirming their scheduled performance at the Permit Free Festival. Brighton Fringe can provide a supporting letter confirming your participation in the festival.

How and where do I apply for my visa?

The application for a Standard Visitor Visa can be made at any UK visa application centre or online. Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa

A Standard Visitor visa costs £95.

If your country does not have an online application facility, please complete a Visa Application Form. This needs to be signed and presented in person at a Visa Application Centre.


All visa applications will require you to attend your local Visa Application Centre (VAC) to submit your biometric details (10-digit fingerprint scans and a digital photograph) as part of your application process. Your application cannot be assessed until these details have been submitted.

How long will it take to process my visa?

You can apply for a visa up to three months before you travel and you should allow weeks rather than days for the process to be completed. You will need to submit your passport as part of the visa application process.

To find out processing times for the country that you are applying from, please visit:


What documents will I need to support my application?

When you fill in your visa application form either online or on paper, it will outline exactly what supporting documentation you will need, including passports, evidence of funds, photographs & proof of booked accommodation for your stay.

You will also need a letter of invitation and you should contact your venue to obtain this welcome letter. Please send an e-mail to [email protected] if you need help with this. The letter of invitation from your venue should state that you are performing with them as part of Brighton Fringe and should include the following information:

  • Event name
  • Company name and address
  • Venue name and address in which you are performing
  • Dates and times of Brighton Fringe performances
  • Names, dates of birth and passport numbers of performers and production team who will be attending Brighton Fringe
  • Main contact details while you are in the UK

To support your visa application, you may also want to present your venue contract which confirms that you are booked to perform.

Brighton Fringe can also provide a letter confirming that you are registered with Brighton Fringe.

For individual advice, you should contact your local UK embassy or consulate or an immigration lawyer.

Foreign Entertainer Unit Tax (FEU)

If you are a company with non-UK resident performers OR are a non-UK resident performer, then you may be liable to pay Foreign Entertainers Tax. 

 Unless you expect to earn more than £12,570 in UK income for 2023/24, you are unlikely to owe anything. If you could potentially earn over that threshold, please complete a FEU8 Reduced Tax Payment Application form as soon as possible. 

We recommend that you send a reduced tax application (FEU8) to HMRC as it is likely that your taxes will be reduced.

If you have calculated that your expected income will be less than £12,570 you will not be required to file a FEU8 form.

If you fail to complete a FEU8 form and do earn over the threshold, you will be taxed the maximum amount of 20% on any earnings above the threshold of £12,570.

Useful notes for completing an FEU 8 form:

  • Your estimated expenditure should include venue hire costs, your event registration fee, marketing and publicity costs, travel costs, accommodation costs, living costs and any other expenses relevant to your performances.
  • As a guide, we suggest that your estimated income is one-third of your possible ticket sales revenue.
  • Your estimated income refers solely to the total amount of your box office receipts and any other income received in the UK.
  • For declaring the date you will receive payment, remember that Brighton Fringe will pay your box office settlement in 6 weeks of the festival ends, but your venue may pay you at a later date, refer to your contract with your venue.

Step 1) Visit the FEU section of the HMRC website here: www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/feu8.pdf

Step 2) Fill out the FEU8 form here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/foreign-entertainers-application-for-a-reduced-tax-payment-feu8

Step 3) Fill out the form online and send to the HMRC FEU tax department. In the 'Your Income' section please state Brighton Fringe Ltd as your PAYER.
Our address is: Brighton Fringe Ltd, Yacht Werks, 28-29 Richmond Pl, Brighton BN2 9NA

Step 4) Email Artist Services and let us know that we may be expecting an FEU application from the HMRC. Email: [email protected]

Step 5) If you are exempt from tax you will be sent a FEU4 form, a copy will also be sent to Brighton Fringe.

We recommend that you send the FEU8 form as soon as you have registered your event. If your application to the HMRC arrives late and it turns out you are not liable to pay FEU tax you will need to contact the HMRC directly to claim the funds back.

Generally, only a handful of shows have to pay FEU.

Unless we have received FEU4 advising otherwise, Brighton Fringe will withhold 20% of all settlements over £12,570. If you have any questions regarding your application or whether you should be completing an FEU form, you can contact:

HMRC Personal Tax International
Foreign Entertainers Unit, SO708
PO Box 203
L69 9AP

From inside the UK: 0300 322 7877

From outside the UK: +44 300 054 7395

[email protected]


Unfortunately, Encore Insure, our recommended insurance provider, are unable to cover events from artists without a UK address. We suggest either purchasing Public Liability Insurance from an insurer/broker in the country you reside in, or check out https://www.performersinsurance.com/ who offer overseas event insurance.


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