Visiting academics and the UK

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If you host visiting academics to the UK, or are thinking of visiting, you might like to sign this petition…

To: UK Parliament

The UK Home Office has introduced new bureaucratic procedures for
organisations that wish to invite non-EU artists and academics to the UK. As
professionals committed to the principles of internationalism and cultural
exchange, we are dismayed by these new regulations – which will curb our
invitations to non-EU artists and academics to visit the UK for talks,
artist residencies, conferences and temporary exhibitions.

The system is costly to both the host organisation and to the visitor, and
has already meant a number of cancelled exhibitions and concerts. 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 guideline document also outlines new controls over visitors’
day-to-day activity: visitors must show that they have at least £800 pounds
of personal 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, and a history of their
contact details; and if the visitor does not turn up to their studio or
place of work, or their whereabouts is unknown, the organisation is legally
obliged to inform the UK Border Agency.

We, the undersigned, believe that these Home Office 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.

http://www.petitiononline.com/MCvisit/petition.html

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