The latest industry news to your inbox.


I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


EU visa fee hike ‘would hurt European touring’

Live industry body Pearle* says proposals to increase the price of the common EU visa by 33% would add to the "already substantial costs for touring groups"

By Jon Chapple on 14 Mar 2018

EU visa

image © Marco Bono

Industry association Pearle* has warned that plans to increase the cost of short-stay visas for the EU by a third would negatively affect the “already vulnerable financial situation” of the European live entertainment sector.

Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe), which represents more than 7,000 live music and performing arts organisations across Europe, issued the warning today in response to the unveiling of plans for a new common EU visa policy by the European Commission.

While Pearle* largely welcomes the commission’s recommendations – which, among other things, would reduce the window for visa decisions from 15 to ten days, allow longer validity for multiple-entry visas and enable EU member states to issue temporary short-term visas directly at their borders – saying a “harmonised approach” towards visas is a “step in the right direction”, it “deplores” proposals to increase the visa fee from €60 to €80 (+33.3%), as the cost would fall on event promoters/organisers.

Commenting on the good news, Anita Debaere, director of Pearle*, says: “Europe is renowned for its great offering and access to culture, but artists increasingly experience difficulties coming to Europe for performances because of visa issues. It’s a waste of time, effort and investment for both the host and artists – and what a disappointment for the audience if an excellent artist can’t perform in Europe because of visa issues.”

“Artists increasingly experience difficulties coming to Europe for live performances”

On the proposed hike in costs, meanwhile, the association “calls upon the co-legislators [the European parliament and Council] to foresee an exemption in the case of visa applications by touring groups and maintain the initial fee of €60 in such cases.

“When the visa fee becomes a third more expensive it comes on top of the already substantial costs for touring groups – for example, an orchestra with 100 musicians, or a circus group with 80 artists and touring staff – including the travel, accommodation, subsistence costs, artists fees, promotional costs, technical costs and more.”

The European Commission contends, however, that even at €80 an EU visa would be priced “relatively low by international standards”, especially as compared to the United States, where a tourist visa is $160 (€133) – and a working visa is priced far higher, beginning at $460.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

More news

EFA, Pearle* release EU visa guide for managers The latest edition of 'The Ultimate Cookbook' shines a light on the visa application process for the European Schengen area
EU workers’ directive ‘could lead to t... An amendment to the posted workers' directive enshrining equal pay across the European Union "hardly takes into consideration" the needs of the live...biz, says Pearle*
Pearle* welcomes revised EU Blue Card The industry body supports the overhaul of 'Europe's Green Card', but says the EC should go further if it really wants to attract more skilled non-EU...artists
Hauliers push back against proposed European regs A revision of regulations 561/2006 and 1071/2009, which would further limit the amount of time truckers can spend on the road, would prove..."disruptive" to longer tours
Stage lighting: “Strong indications” o... The latest noises out of Brussels suggest the EU is reconsidering plans to axe the exemption for entertainment lighting in its new Ecodesign...regulations