As professionals committed to the principles of internationalism and cultural exchange, we are dismayed by new Home Office regulations which will curb our invitations to non-EU artists and academics to visit the UK. All non-EU visitors now must apply for a visa in person and supply biometric data, electronic fingerprint scans and a digital photograph.
The Home Office’s 158-page document also outlines new controls over visitors’ day-to-day activity: individuals must show that they have at least £800 of savings, which have been held for at least three months prior to the date of their application; the host organisation must keep copies of the visitor’s passport and their UK biometric card, a history of their contact details; and if the visitor does not turn up to their studio or place of work, or their where-abouts are unknown, the organisation is legally obliged to inform the UK Border Agency.
We believe that these restrictions discriminate against our overseas colleagues on the grounds of their nationality and financial resources and will be particularly detrimental to artists from developing countries and those with low income. Such restrictions will damage the vital contribution made by global artists and scholars to cultural, intellectual and civic life in the UK.
Iwona Blazwick, director, Whitechapel Gallery; Antony Gormley, artist; Eddie Berg, artistic director, BFI Southbank; Sandy Nairne, director, National Portrait Gallery; David Lan, the Young Vic; John E McGrath, theatre director; Malcolm Purkey, artistic director and acting CEO, Market Theatre Foundation, South Africa; Nicholas Hytner, the Royal National Theatre; Nicolas Kent, Tricycle Theatre; Brett Rogers, director, the Photographers’ Gallery; David Barrie, director, the Art Fund; Jeremy Deller, artist; and 49 others.
For more information on the petition, please click here.
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/news/_1666