The Joy of Sets! All Abroad!
This is the final week of looking at the EU states and the ease of which you can travel for temporary work for Exhibitions and Corporate projects. As always this does not include musical touring as some countries have better set ups for that element than temporary work.
I am travelling back to the UK from Italy looking for work as I write this, so lets hope the UK has more projects on the go than Italy currently does!
In amongst the gloom there is some great news from Lithuania, Ireland and Estonia.
As most of you will have summised this one should be easy. It's best to remember though that although an English speaking country, it is firmly in Europe for some issues including all goods and transporting of those goods.
There is an agreement between the UK and Ireland that recognises the common travel area (CTA) and this recognises the rights of citizens from both sides,
"Irish and UK citizens have the right to live, travel, work and study within the Common Travel Area."
This Agreement, that goes back a century has been reaffirmed in 2019 but only applies to citizens. If you have non citizens i.e non UK or Irish, on your project, you will need to contact the Embassy and apply for work permits or visas depending on the individuals circumstances. So thats a good start!!
Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus is part of the Commonwealth of Nations and as such has long working ties with the UK since it independence in 1960. The working status for contractors is that we would need to have work permits but there are some categories where this may not apply, if for example the company had an office in Cyprus under the "Special Categories of Employment" section 3, a company like Google for instance. There is information here for artists, and although not onerous as a task, it still requires paperwork to enter.
The London Embassy website is set up well and has many links for the information that you will need. When I contacted them they poinetd me to this site for information which in itself has contact details to get more information. There is also the link to the Cyprus Labour Ministry here.
One of the most advanced nations in the world when it comes to tech and connectivity and it has loads of information out there. The Embassy were very helpful and they replied with the below information.
"For UK citizens Schengen visa is not required when the period of stay in Estonia does not exceed 90 days within the 180 days period. During this 90 days period short term working is allowed. This rule does not apply for non UK citizens holding UK resident permit.
Starting from the 1st of April 2021, entering Estonia with the aim to work for a longer period, the Estonian long term D-visa has to be applied."
As I have said before, personal circumstances may make this void, but looks like Estonia is on the Good list!!
Latvia has a system for business visitors which most EU countries do not. There is a specific need for Business visitors to be invited and to inform the relevant authorities. This is not for work but just for meetings so be prepared for this difference. The Embassy were very forthcoming about the two part process required for temporary work, with a detailed reply which I have dropped in below.
"UK nationals who’s travel to Latvia involves paid activity must apply for a visa. The competent authority in Latvia in immigration matters is the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA). On their website you can find detailed information on how to obtain work visa https://www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/employment-foreigners
Embassy is issuing work visas based on the invitation approved by the OCMA. As soon as the invitation is approved, person may apply for a visa at the embassy. Information on the visa application process and required documents is available on the following website https://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/london/consular-information/entry-into-latvia "
They also went on to remind me that during Covid lockdowns, the isolation period after arrival is 14 days and non negotiable.
I got a very brief but imformative reply from the Lithuanian Embassy in london as below.
"hereby we confirm that citizens of the UK do not need visa to come to Lithuania in order to install a temporary Exhibition stand."
This is great news for us all, but as always personal or political change may stop this, so please check with Erika at the Embassy.
When you start looking for information on Malta you will be directed to Identity Malta Agency
This Agency is the official channel for all things Work. It too is a Commonwealth Nation and has good ties with the UK. I have yet to hear from the work agency for specific details but I will update when I do.
I had contact with the Brexit customer care team at Identity Malta and they sent me these details.
"After the 1st of January, all UK nationals coming on basis of employment need an employment licence.
If the job is less than six months you need to apply on firstname.lastname@example.org
If the job is for more than six months you need to apply on the email@example.com"
As I looked through the information there seems to be a will to make this process clean and quick, so I would get in contact with IMA.
The website from the Embassy has a lot of detail but none relevant to our work situation. The short message is , you need a visa. The artist exemption is just for artists that I can see and there is no other temporary category that I can find. I have looked on the visa websites, and to determine if you need one, i.e you are not Romanian,have a look here. The Embassy in London was less than forthcoming and I am waiting to hear from Bucharest.
The Embassy replied with confirmation that we will need to have permits etc. for temporary work. I have searched for exemptions but there are none for our side of the industry, not even as sponsored guests.
"In order to work in Slovenia, UK citizens will usually need to obtain a relevant work permit, as they are no longer entitled to the benefits of EU citizens. For more information on work and residence permits, please follow the link: https://infotujci.si/ "
The link above is fairly useless to us as it only states what you can have and prices. There are no exemptions to any of the categories that I can see.
As many of us have experienced, this beautiful country can deliver surprises! I have looked throught the details on the Embassy website and other independent sites and the Corporate and Exhibition markets are mentioned and named. This is a great result. It does, however require you have a C to attend an event and D class Visa to work . I have asked the Embassy to clarify whether that is a Schengen Visa. If it is, it is dull ,as our project timings wont be able to factor the visa application times I am sure.
There are no exceptions that I can see but lots of information here that points out the details you will need.
That's the lot with the temporary work status for EU member countries. I will put these into a document, minus the rants, and make them available to download. The information will change but the links I am sure will be useful. There are some useful numbers below which might get you quicker answers.
Helpline: - For Netherlands Italy, Latvia, Malta, Sweden is 0871 376 0023 from 08.30-17.30 Hrs (Monday to Friday).
For Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Hungary, Austria and Germany is 0871 376 2101
Norway: 0203 793 8635
Helpdesk: - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures: Shutterstock and Google images.