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U.K. INTRODUCES NEW VISA FOR ARTISTS

July 28, 2011

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After a group of artists argued last month that the U.K.’s bureaucratic visa system was keeping top talent from entering the country -- causing particular damage to London’s struggling four-year arts festival the Cultural Olympiad -- the government has introduced a special new arts visa. The new Tier 1 category recognizes visitors “of exceptional talent,” offering 1,000 visas to arts leaders who are considered internationally recognized, the Times of India reports.

Applications are being accepted as of Aug. 9, 2011, as part of a pilot program for the initiative. The U.K. Border Agency has appointed Arts Council England, a national development agency, Royal Society, a scientists’ fellowship, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Academy, a humanities and social sciences organization, to nominate recipients, who will be allowed to stay for three years and four months unless they apply for an extension.

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