The advice we give all artists is to speak directly with a professional visa agent and connect with artists that have successfully toured to the countries you are looking to perform in. Please use this section as a guide only.

Give yourself plenty of time for the application process as it can take months to process.


FOR ARTISTS SHOWCASING AT SXSW, the organisers recommend applying for a B visa to mitigate the unpredictability of ESTA. For more information, please consult the SXSW Support website.

These are types of visas you can apply for if you wish to tour the United States:

O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognised achievements in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.

P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group

To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognised level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual. (Also see the requirements for a P-2 visa if you’re taking crew members on tour.)

For more information on these visas: click here

Business (B-1) Visa

The B-1 visitor visa is for people travelling to the United States temporarily for business. Generally, the B-1 visa is for travellers consulting with business associates, attending scientific, educational, professional or business conventions/conferences, settling an estate or negotiating contracts.

For more information: click here

Here are some visa agents that we are happy to recommend, based on feedback from Australian artists that have used their services in the past.

EK Immigration Law

Eugenia Karavolas, P.C.
271 86th Street, 1st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209
+1 212 858 9993


Don Verdery
+1 860 567 2500

Global Access

Brande Lindsey
5670 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1970
Los Angeles, CA 90036
+1 323 936 7100

Szew Law Group

Andrea Szew
818 W7th Street, Suite 905
Los Angeles, CA 90017
+ 1 310 477 0047


Matthew Covey
20 Jay Street, Suite #402
Brooklyn, NY 11201
+1 718 254 0022

Traffic Control Group

18 East 41st Street, Suite 1201
New York, NY 10017
+1 212 431 3700


These are types of visas you can apply for if you wish to tour the United Kingdom:

Temporary Worker – Creative And Sporting Visa (Tier 5)

You must apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) visa if:

A creative worker is someone who works in the creative industry, for example an actor, dancer, musician or film crew member.

For more information: click here

Exceptional Talent Visa (Tier 1)

To get a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa, you need to be endorsed as a leader (exceptional talent) or emerging leader (exceptional promise) in one of the following:

  • science
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • medicine
  • digital technology
  • the arts
  • fashion
  • architecture
  • film and television

Read the eligibility and assessment criteria.

For more information: click here

Here are some visas agents that we are happy to recommend, based on feedback from Australian artists that have used their services in the past.

T&S Immigration Services

Tina and Steve Richard
P – 01557 339 123
F – 01557 330 567
E –
E –
W –

Tam Ray Touring 

Katie Ray
Suite 3, 177 High Street
London SE2 07P
+44 845 322 2504


Performance/Entertainment Visa

Members of rock bands or similar groups, including non-performing members accompanying the group (e.g. tour managers, sound technicians, etc.), must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to apply for a visa.

Entertainers who are travelling to Japan to dance must also obtain a Certificate of Eligibility to apply for a visa. Classical musicians, members of symphony orchestras, theatre groups, opera singers, professional sportsmen or women (golfers, tennis players surfers, etc.) , professional car racers and motor bike riders (including non-performing members accompanying the racers or riders such as car mechanics, trainers, etc.) who have been invited to Japan either to perform publicly for remuneration or to participate in a competition must also obtain visas. These applicants, however, may, in the place of a Certificate of Eligibility, present the following documents to apply for a visa.

Please note that if an applicant is unsure as to what category he/she falls under, the applicant should contact the visa section directly to save time and avoid confusion.

Telephone assistance is available from the Embassy Of Japan in Australia on +61 2 6273 3244, Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 9:00am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 5:00pm if you have any enquiries.

For more information: click here


China Work Visa (Z)

Chinese work visa, or Z visa, is issued to foreigners who are going to China for a paid job offer or to undertake commercial entertainment performances in China.

This Z visa itself only allows a stay duration of 30 days from the date of arrival in China, during which time you and your employer must seek a Temporary Residence Permit for the duration of your contract, to a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 5 years. Note that usually the work visa is a single entry, with the duration of stay being 000, which means the duration is to be determined by the Temporary Residence Permit you get after entering China.

For more information: click here

The ATA Carnet (pronounced “kar-nay”) is an international customs document, issued by a Chamber of Commerce within Australia, that permits duty-free temporary import/entry of goods into other countries for up to one year.

What is ATA Carnet?
“ATA” is an acronym of the French and English words “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission”, which is basically a process of bringing professional equipment – including musical instruments and equipment – in-and-out of a country to be exempted from import/export taxes and ease the customs process.

Why is ATA Carnet necessary?
ATA Carnet was established to prevent untaxed imports of goods into a country. It operates under the international Customs Conventions administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) that includes 77 member countries.

Although it is not necessary to apply for ATA Carnet, you must bear the risk of being fined and retained at the customs office at border control without one.

An ATA Carnet covers goods such as:

  • Commercial samples
  • Professional equipment
  • Goods for presentations, trade fairs, shows, exhibitions.

ATA carnets are not intended for goods that will not be returning to Australia, such as food products which will be consumed as samples at a trade show. In the case that goods registered under an ATA Carnet are not returned to Australia, the company responsible for those goods will have to pay duty.

How does an ATA Carnet work?
The ATA Carnet is a simple international customs document with two sheets for presentation for each foreign country you wish to visit (importation – re-exportation), and two sheets for presentation to customs when leaving and returning to Australia (exportation – re-importation).

You give importation sheet to the foreign customs officials when you enter their country and the re exportation sheet when you leave it.

For more information, see these websites:

Please review the information through this website for IMPORTANT updates on new IRS requirements for foreign entertainers performing in the United States.

If you are a member of APRA AMCOS, to claim royalties for performances outside of Australia/New Zealand, you’ll need to complete and submit an Overseas Performance Report. Once received, APRA AMCOS will contact the relevant foreign society on your behalf to claim any royalties. There is always a time lag between performances overseas and receipt of foreign payments. This depends on the frequency with which the society makes their distributions and can be up to two years after the performance took place.

Please note that payment for overseas performances is not guaranteed; claims are subject to the rules and practices of our affiliated societies. There is also a chance that by submitting a claim to a foreign society, the society will be prompted to seek to license a venue/promoter that was not previously licensed. This is particularly the case in countries with developing copyright industries such as in Eastern Europe or Asia. There are also several territories which do not yet have functioning copyright law or collecting societies and it is not worth filling out an Overseas Performance Report for these territories. If in doubt, please check with APRA AMCOS Member Services before submitting a claim.

For more information, or to submit an Oversea Performance Report, please visit this website.

APRA AMCOS members can access creative spaces in Los Angeles, London and Nashville.

APRA AMCOS LA Creative Space is now accessible on a short term basis with a reduced rate for extended bookings. The fully equipped recording studio/writing room is located in Studio City, Los Angeles. Members and their managers travelling to LA now have access to a creative space, as well as desk space at IgnitedSpaces in Hollywood.

In London, on top of offering hot desks, APRA AMCOS members can also access recording/writing rooms in the legendary RAK Studios, where artists including AdeleArctic MonkeysRadiohead and Midnight Oil have recorded.

Partnering with InDo in the heart of Nashville’s music community, APRA AMCOS offers desk space and business amenities and writers’ room and performance spaces.

To book creative or business spaces, contact the appropriate APRA AMCOS International Representative:

Bella Morris-Clarke

Mark Moffatt

UK/EUROPE (based in London)
Adam Townsend