The Joy of Sets! “I will never play the Dane”

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Following last weeks missive I have looked at 5 other markets in the 26 member states in the light of the temporary install of Exhibition stands. Having looked at 10 of the member states now, It certainly appears that the overall message is that “taking our country back” has backfired for anyone who is not a student, a professor in the sciences or a religous volunteer. Some of the smaller countries have problems of their own from what I can see from their government immigration websites and foreign workers are not to be encouraged, unless performing urgent equipment repairs or training others to do so or highly qualifed professionals. By analysing the temporary work market I am uncovering alot of countries who do allow Artists however, and their teams, but the restrictions are quite specific. This site seems to capture up to date information for Musicians and Artists. Tim Brennans hard won petition of over 280,000 signatures for visa free touring is being debated today 8th Feb in Parliament so hopefully the Exhibition and Corporate Event markets can coat tail from it.

Anyway here are 5 more countries to look through and please bear in mind your personal situation will change some of the permits required.


Denmark has no provision for temporary working and the install of Exhiition stands. It is one of the few countries that also makes no provision for the artists support network that I can see. The websites are not clear and the Danish London Embassy just pointed me to the immigration site which has a clunky series of boxes that do not apply to our industry in the slightest. There is a codicil in the Artist section that says “The scheme is aimed at, but not exclusively limited to, artists, athletes and specialised chefs among others.” You should ask your nearest Danish consulate for advice for your particular project.

Bottom line, you have to be invited by a Danish company and be vital to their economy and even a recognised artist has to deposit its earnings in a Danish bank account. This is possible nowadays with banks like Transferwise where you can create numerous accounts on line but I don’t know if that would be considered a Danish account or very practical for freelancers.


Once again I’m afraid, there is no provision for temporary work to install stands. There is no specific mention of our industry in any category that I can see on the Belgian immigration portal. There is the mention of Artists and unusally they have different categories rather than just one Artist umbrella, but Exhibitions are not mentioned here either. The Belgian FPS , replied from their Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation department and assured me there is no system in place and a work permit will be required.

When looking please bear in mind that Belgium is considered to be three distinct labour markets,(according to their labour portal) Walloon, Flanders and Brussels and each area has different rules for what is deemed to be required employment by third nation workers, although they follow the national guidelines.

The type C visa would seem to be the way to go if you need to get work done in Belgium and this site is the definitive authority on the Belgian work visa sent to me by the FPS.


Nope, Nej, Niente!! Nothing to report that is useful for Exhibitions and corporate installs. The artist side is well covered but after a good look through there is no specific mention of anyone else that is not involved with an Artist being exempt.

A possible way around it is to be invited in by one of the listed companies, convoluted, sure , but worth investigating I think, but I have no knowledge of what the requirements from one of these companies would be to make it worth their while.


The Polish Embassy and immigartion portals are very heavy with Withdrawal Agreement sections that rely on you having a copy to hand and understanding the terminology. The bottom line is that there is no temporary work solution for Exhibition and corporate installs but there is an allowance for artists. There are some grey areas on the Polish immigration portal which may help,

Section 5. “performing artistic services, solo or in troupes, lasting up to 30 days in a calendar year;”

Section 8 “performing work in relation with internationally prominent sporting events directed by a relevant international sport organisation;” for those of you working in boxing or football for instance.

The best information I got was actually from a Czech website which has a clear list of exemptions but Exhibitions and corporate installs are not on it but section 12 may be of use for some areas of the industry.


Familiar ground for many of us, with Carnets being normal and each Canton having different work regulations and tax and Vat requirements. The immigration office has lots of useful information on the work processes in each Canton. In short it is the employing companies responsibility now to inform the local Canton and receive permission for a third nation national to work in Switzerland. The permits are detailed here but I would imagine it would be a call to your nearest consulate in the UK or use the contacts here to get the most relevant detail

The Swiss and UK Governments signed a temporary agreement on the mobility of supplier services between the two countries. Quite remarkably as in the WA there is no mention of exemption for anything that is artistic in nature except for tour managers under the tourism section, which I can only think is not the type of tour manager we would think it is !

C-19 update

As always the current Pandemic raises its head and all the above countries either have closed borders or restrictions on Visa applications or both, so be prepared for added complications and re scheduling and only refer to their Embassies for up to date information.


A quick update on the system that comes in for non EU nationals in 2022. I have had direct correspondence with the European body who are implementing the ETIAS rollout. They got back to me merely to smudge a clarification that I was after.

I enquired as to the meaning of ” although it can also apply as a visa waiver to study or work for stays of maximum 90 days.” which is a snippet from the ETIAS guide. Their answer to my question as to what constitutes work was “The visa waiver can be used for transit, tourism, and business travel, although it can also apply as a permit to some short-term academic studies or work-related meetings/events that are no longer than 90 days.”

I am none the wiser as the use of the word “events” is confusing, so I have sent a question back to ask for more clarification, as it states elsewhere that it is not for work purposes.

I was trying to think of a way that I could bring some levity into these posts as its drier than sand in the Sahara, but it is truly a complete disaster for many companies and freelancers so please bear with me as I grind through the 26 states and hopefully this information will help steer some vital decisions that need to be made by you sooner rather than later. I’ll get onto more interesting but equally relevant subjects I promise.

Photos :


Use of google images where “no copyright infringement is intended”

Make em Laugh photo by

Opening quote: Withnail and I ” It’s the most devastating moment in a young mans life, when he quite reasonably says to himself, “I shall never play The Dane!” It is at that moment that all ambition ceases to exist. Bruce Robinson

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