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Tier 5 Visa UK – Apply for your Tier 5 Visa

If you wish to come to the UK to work on a temporary basis you may be able to apply for a UK Tier 5 visa. This visa category was set out with the aim to share knowledge and experience with temporary visitors from countries outside the UK and EEA.

There are six different Tier 5 visa categories, each specified to help people in a range of circumstances enter the UK to work temporarily. The rules and requirements for each of these categories differs slightly, and it’s important that you apply for the right one. The categories are:

Getting started with your UK Tier 5 visa application

Are you ready to apply for your tier 5 visa and would you like our expert help?

We can help you with your visa application, we can not help you find or apply for jobs.

Please note: A 30-minute consultation with one of our immigration experts can be held in our offices or over the phone or Skype. Please be aware that we do not offer free advice and will charge a non-refundable fee of £60 per consultation.

Tier 5 visa UK

Tier 5 Visa for temporary charity workers

Who is the charity worker visa for?

You could apply for the Tier 5 temporary charity worker visa if you have been offered an unpaid or voluntary job in the UK. You must also have a certificate of sponsorship from a UK charity, who must have a valid Tier 5 sponsorship licence.

Rules and requirements for the charity worker visa

The job has to directly relate to the work of your sponsor charity, else your application for a temporary charity worker visa will not be accepted.

You can either stay in the UK for up to twelve months, or the time given on your sponsorship certificate plus 28 days, whichever is shorter.

Whilst in the UK, you will not be allowed to take any payment for the work you do, take a permanent job, or access public funds.

If you want to know if you’d be eligible to apply for the Tier 5 charity worker visa, contact us today.

Tier 5 for temporary creative and sporting workers

Who is the creative and sports worker visa for?

If you are very highly skilled in your role as a sportsperson or creative worker such as a musician, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 5 temporary creative and sporting worker visa.

You’ll have to have a job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 5 sponsorship licence.

Rules and requirements for the creative and sporting worker visa

If you’re applying for this visa as a sportsperson, you must be internationally established at the top level in your sport, and/or the job you take must make a significant contribution to how the sport develops and runs at its highest level.

Whilst you’re in the UK, you will not be able to gain access to public funds, or start your own business.

You can remain in the UK for up to twelve months, or the time given on your sponsorship certificate plus 28 days, whichever is shortest.

To find out if you’re eligible for this visa category, contact our team of expert immigration solicitors today.

Tier 5 for temporary religious workers

Who is the religious worker visa for?

This visa category is for you if you have been offered a job in a religious environment, such as as a preacher, or in a monastery or convent.

You will have to prove that you have been asked to come to the UK by a licensed sponsor in the UK.

Rules and requirements for the religious worker visa

The work you do whilst in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor’s organisation.

You will be able to stay in the UK for up to 24 months, or the time given on your sponsorship certificate plus 28 days, but you may be sponsored for a shorter period than this.

You cannot access public funds at any point during your stay.

If you want to know more about this visa category and find out if you’d be eligible to apply, contact our immigration team today.

International agreement visa

Who is the international agreement visa for?

If you have a job offer which is covered by international law, such as as an embassy or diplomatic household worker, the Tier 5 international agreement visa is right for you.

Rules and requirements for the international agreement visa

You must be able to provide a certificate of sponsorship from an organisation with a valid Tier 5 sponsorship licence.

In most cases, you will be able to stay in the UK for two years, however in certain cases you can only stay for six months in any twelve month period.

Under this Tier 5 visa, you will be allowed to travel abroad and return to the UK.

You won’t be allowed to start working before you get your visa or access public funds whilst you’re in the UK.

Contact us today to understand more about the international agreement visa category. Our team can help you assess if you are eligible and help you apply.

Tier 5 Visa UK – Government Authorised Exchanges

Who is a Government Authorised Exchange visa for?

Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visas are for anyone coming to the UK on an approved work placement scheme.

The Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa is a category for temporary workers and is aimed at people who want to get work experience, take part in training or participate in a language programme in the UK.

You may also apply for this visa if you are looking to complete research or complete a fellowship.

Rules and requirements for the Government Authorised Exchange

You can apply for a Tier 5 visa under the Government Authorised Exchange category if you have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor, such as:

  • An organisation who run an approved exchange scheme
  • A higher education institution if you’re an academic, examiner or researcher
  • A government department or agency

If you’re in the scheme for sponsored researchers, you are eligible to apply to switch to a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. You may also be able to extend your visa for up to two years if you are wanting to partake in additional research or training.

Whilst you are in the UK on a Government Authorised Exchange visa you can’t take up a permanent job or access public funds.

To understand more about the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa contact us today. We can help you assess if you are eligible and help you apply.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

Who is the Youth Mobility Scheme for?

The Youth Mobility Scheme Tier 5 visa is for workers from the age of 18 up to 30 who want to live and work in the UK for up to two years.

The scheme is only available to people from a limited number of countries, and replaced the Working Holiday visa.

Rules and requirements for the Youth Mobility Scheme

If you are from any of the below countries, you can apply for the scheme:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan

The earliest you can apply for a Tier 5 visa using the scheme is six months before you travel to the UK, and you should get a decision within three weeks.

If your visa is granted, you’ll be able to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months. You’ll also be able to leave and come back at any time during that period.

Whilst you’re in the UK, you can study, work in most jobs, be self-employed and set up a company, although there are certain rules for the latter.

However, you cannot:

  • Work as a professional sportsperson, doctor, or dentist in training
  • Extend your stay
  • Access public funds
  • Bring family members to the UK on your application

Our immigration solicitors will be able to help you establish if you’re eligible for the scheme and assist you with your application. We can not help you find a job. 

General information about the Tier 5 visa UK

What Tier 5 visas allows you to do

The Tier 5 visa is not designed to bring unskilled workers to the UK, or to fill local job vacancies. This means that if you are planning to move to the UK to work full time, this visa is probably not right for you.

If you’re not sure what visa you need, just get in touch with our team. We’ll take you through all your options and guide you through the application process with ease.

Switching to a Tier 5 visa

You can only apply for a Tier 5 visa before entering the UK, unless you are currently in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa and you wish to switch over.

If you are in the UK on a Tier 4 general study visa then you have the option of switching to a Tier 5 visa as long as you want to do so to undertake work experience or an internship.

The Tier 5 application process

To apply for your Tier 5 visa you must meet the minimum requirements and score a minimum of 40 points on the points-based scheme.

If you don’t meet these requirements, then your Tier 5 visa application will automatically be rejected. Our solicitors can help you assess if you are eligible for this visa and guide you through the application process once you are ready.

It’s important to know that you may also be able to bring dependants with you on this visa, as you could be staying in the UK for up to two years. Dependants that would generally qualify would include dependant children and your partner.

Read more about Tier 5 dependent visas, or

General requirements for Tier 5 visas

The following apply to you if you are applying for a temporary charity, creative and sporting or religious worker visa, the international agreement visa or the Government Authorised Exchange visa:

Whilst in the UK you are allowed to:

  • Study
  • Work for your sponsor
  • Have a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to twenty hours a week
  • Have a job from the Tier 2 occupation shortage list for up to twenty hours a week
  • Bring family members with you

You should also be aware that the below apply to all Tier 5 visa categories:

  • You must not fill a genuine, permanent vacancy in the UK workforce
  • Your employment must conform to UK employment legislation
  • Any funding/salary you receive must meet the national minimum wage
  • Funding can come from any source, but you can’t fund yourself
  • If you are being paid for any work, you can be paid weekly, monthly, annually or in one lump sum

The earliest date you can apply for these visas is three months before you’re due to start work, and you should get a decision within three weeks of your application.

You will also have to pay the health surcharge as part of your Tier 5 visa application so that you can access the National Health Service whilst you’re here. The amount you have to pay will depend on whether you’re coming to the UK alone, or if you have dependents with you.

This may all sound very complex, but don’t worry. We can talk you through how you can meet each requirement of your Tier 5 visa category before you apply.

We will be by your side from start to finish, so we are here to answer any questions you may have.

Documents you need to provide

As part of your Tier 5 visa application you’ll need to submit the following documents:

  • Original bank statements proving that you have a minimum daily balance of £945 (if applying in the UK or overseas) for a continuous three-month period
  • Your current passport and any previous passports containing UK visas
  • Proof of your English language proficiency, such as a current IELTS certificate or your degree certificate
  • Two recent passport photos on a cream or light grey background

Before you apply for your visa: securing your Certificate of Sponsorship(CoS)

Anyone who wants to come to the UK through the Tier 5 route – apart from via the Youth Mobility Scheme – must be issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the relevant licensed sponsor first. It is up to the sponsor to request your CoS, not you.

You can’t apply for your Tier 5 visa more than three months before the CoS starts, and it must be used within three months of being assigned.

Remaining in the UK after your Tier 5 visa

After your stay in the UK on the Tier 5 visa you may be eligible to switch to a different visa category. Whether this is possible for you will depend on what Tier 5 visa route you originally took.

For example, if you entered the UK on a Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa then you can apply to remain in the UK with a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. This allows you to stay in the UK for up to five years, after which you can apply for permanent residence.

For more information about extending your stay in the UK, contact our immigration team today.

Immigration solicitors in Manchester

No matter what your immigration needs may be, our solicitors are here for you. We know that it isn’t always easy to understand which visa is right for you, and how you would meet the minimum requirements, but you don’t need to worry.

Our immigration experts can explain this all to you in easy to understand language without any of the legal jargon. To find out more, get in touch today.

We can help you with every aspect of your Tier 5 visa application, and help arrange for your partner and children to come too.

If you want expert support applying for your Tier 5 visa, whichever category it may be, our highly skilled immigration solicitors are here to help.

We can help you with your visa application, we can not help you find or apply for jobs.

Please note: A 30-minute consultation with one of our immigration experts can be held in our offices or over the phone or Skype. Please be aware that we do not offer free advice and will charge a non-refundable fee of £60 per consultation.

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