- Overview of Charity Visa Sponsorship
- What Is Sponsorship?
- What Are the Responsibilities of a Sponsor?
- Who Can Qualify for Charity Visa Sponsorship?
- What Is the Application Process for a Charity Visa Sponsorship?
- What Are the Fees Associated with Charity Visa Sponsorship?
- Charity Visa Certificate of Sponsorship
- Applying for the Charity Worker Visa
- How Can IAS Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of Charity Visa Sponsorship
A registered charity in the UK can sponsor non-UK citizens to enter and stay in the UK for a year or for the maximum period specified on the certificate of sponsorship. The Certificate of Sponsorship has a unique reference number that contains the personal details and the job the non-UK citizens will do for the sponsor’s charitable purpose when they get to the UK.
Charity visa sponsorship implies that employers will sponsor the relocation of the charity workers to the UK for at least one year but only work for that specific Charity organisation.
If you are an employer that needs to sponsor charity workers to come and work in the UK, you’ll need to pay for various sponsorship licences. However, the fees you will pay depends on the type of sponsorship licence you’re applying for.
What Is Sponsorship?
It is an individual’s or group’s position or responsibility for endorsing, advising, or helping to finance another person, group, initiative, or organisation. The primary visa pathways for non UK citizens working here under the UK’s points-based immigration system call for sponsorship by an authorised employer.
There are certain responsibilities you need to fulfil as a sponsor of a charity worker visa. You must:
- Verify that your foreign employees possess the expertise, credentials, or professional certifications required for their positions, and maintain copies of the documents attesting to this.
- Issue sponsorship certificates to employees when the position qualifies for it.
- Inform UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if any of your sponsored employees fail to abide by the terms of their visa.
It should be noted that if you fail to meet these obligations, your licence could be suspended, or revoked.
Other Responsibilities of Sponsors
Besides the above mentioned responsibilities, there are other responsibilities you should fulfil, including:
You need to monitor your employees by having HR systems that lets you:
- Keep track of the immigration status of your staff.
- Preserve copies of all pertinent documents for each charity worker, such as a passport and information about one’s right to work.
- Follow up on and document employee attendance.
- Update the contact information for employees.
- Report any issues to UKVI, such as if a worker ceases showing up for work.
Report Changes to Your Business
Within 20 working days, you must report any significant changes to your personal situation, such as if you:
- Cease operations or go bankrupt and drastically alter your company’s nature.
- Alter your relationship with any foreign companies that have sent employees to you as a result of a merger or takeover.
- Have any alterations to a contract involving service providers or secondment staff.
- Must report any changes of your information such as your address or assigned roles to the UKVI.
You must ensure that your foreign workers meet the following eligibility criteria. They should:
- Be over 18 years at the time of application.
- Have at least £1,270 available personal savings, or enough money in a bank account to sustain themselves in the UK.
- Have £600 (£285 for a partner and £315 for one child) and £200 for each additional child.
Who Can Qualify for Charity Visa Sponsorship?
To qualify to become a charity worker visa applicant sponsor (sponsor organisation), you should have:
- No certain crimes of money laundering or fraud or unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences.
- No revoked sponsor licence in the last 12 months.
- Some appropriate systems ready to observe sponsored employees and people to manage sponsorship in your business.
In order to employ volunteers to work for you from outside the UK, you’d need a certificate of sponsorship. You need to do the following to get a sponsorship licence:
- Know if your business is eligible.
- Know if your job can be suitable for sponsorship.
- Select the type of licence you would want to apply for. However, the type of worker you want to sponsor determines this.
- Choose who will oversee the sponsorship in your company.
- Apply online and make payment.
It should be noted that the UKIV may visit your business to verify your suitability for the sponsorship licence and carry out any other administrative review.
Once your application is approved, they’ll give you a licence rating and you can now issue certificates of sponsorship for eligible sponsorship jobs. However, your licence is only valid for 4 years and if you don’t fulfil the responsibilities as a sponsor mentioned earlier, you risk losing your licence.
Once you’ve applied online, send in your supporting documents and the submission sheet if you’re asked to.
Know that an independent person for example a Notary Public, Commissioner of Oaths, Justice of the Peace or solicitor has to witness any affidavits of statutory declarations you send.
You can send your documents to the email address provided on the submission sheet. Your files should:
- Be in JPEG, PDF, or PNG format.
- Bear descriptive titles, with 25 or fewer characters.
- Have high enough quality to be read.
You must include a certified translation if your documents are not in Welsh or English. You can contact UKVI through the contact details provided on the submission sheet if you cannot scan and send the documents by email.
What Are the Fees Associated with Charity Visa Sponsorship?
There are application fees you need to pay in order to apply for the tier 5 Charity visa sponsorship. However, the fees you will pay depends on the type of sponsorship licence you’re applying for.
The fees you need to pay for various sponsorship licences are represented in the table below:
|Type of licence||Fee for medium or large sponsors||Fee for small or charitable sponsors|
|Worker and Temporary Worker||£ 1,476||£536|
|Temporary Worker licence including an existing Worker licence||No fee||No fee|
|Worker licence including an existing Temporary Worker licence||£940||No fee|
If you need more clarification on the application fees or licence fees to pay, our IAS lawyers will help you out, just call us on 0333 305 9375.
Charity Visa Certificate of Sponsorship
When hiring workers through the UK charity worker visa route, the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is crucial. For applications for visas under the Worker and Temporary Worker categories, such as the Skilled Worker, Senior or Specialist Worker, and Scale-Up Worker pathways, the CoS is a necessary prerequisite.
If you are an employer or sponsor, you must issue a CoS to verify that the requirements of the applicable visa have been met before you can sponsor a non-UK national to come and do volunteer work in the UK. The employees will then submit their sponsored visa application to the Home Office using the CoS.
As a sponsor (licensed charity) you will give your volunteers a CoS. It is neither a paper document nor a certificate. It is a unique reference number that bears the personal details of your volunteers and the job they will do for you when they get to the UK.
The CoS are of two types, the defined and undefined. The defined CoS is used to employ applicants of Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK.
The defined sponsorship certificate requires employers or sponsors that have gained a sponsorship licence to apply through Sponsorship Management System (SMS). While the undefined CoS are used to employ applicants who are already in the UK.
Applying for the Charity Worker Visa
After you’ve obtained the type of licence you need, you’ll have to issue the CoS to the proposed charity worker. Then the charity worker can now apply for the Charity Worker visa within the UK or outside the UK.
Applying within the UK is simple; the worker can just extend the existing visa they have or switch to the charity worker visa as they’re already in the UK. It could take up to eight weeks to get a decision on this visa when they apply within the UK. In order to do that, they must pay £19.20 for their biometric information (photo and fingerprints) to be taken.
Applying while outside the UK will need the worker to prove their identity as part of their application and they must apply online for this visa. It could take up to three weeks to get a decision on this visa outside the UK. They will be directed on what to do when they’re applying. If they are required for an appointment, then:
- Their photograph and fingerprints will be taken at a Visa application centre. This will help them to get a biometric residence permit.
- They will use the ID Check app of UK immigration to scan their identity documents. In addition, they will sign into or create their UK Visa and Immigration (UKIV) account.
- They might be required to visit their nearest Visa application centre which could be in another country.
- Their centre might need to keep their documents and passport while their application is being processed.
You need to be a UK licensed employer in order to sponsor your volunteers to stay in the UK and do tier 5 charity work for your organisation in the UK. You’ll also need CoS which you must issue your volunteers for visa applications under the Worker and Temporary Worker categories.
As a company, you may not know how to get a sponsorship licence in order to be permitted to bring non-UK temporary workers to work for you in the UK. Also, you may not know all the processes involved to make a Charity Visa Sponsorship that has a minimum chance of refusal. Do not worry, IAS can help you with expert advice.
We are experts at handling Charity Visa Sponsorship and UK immigration laws in the UK. We will also help you to manage and complete your sponsorship applications to the required standard and help you to successfully submit them to have a faster decision. Our aim is to make the process of your Charity Visa Sponsorship stress-free.
With the help of our professional service, we can make your sponsorship licence application easier and increase the chances of its success. If you have other questions you want answered contact us. You can do so by calling 0333 305 9375 for more information or contact us online.
Last modified on July 26th, 2023 at 10:33 am
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There is no specific number of workers you can sponsor to come and work for your charity organisation in the UK.
As a company, business or an organisation, you are permitted to sponsor foreign temporary workers and hire them in the UK if you are an A-rated licensed sponsor and have a valid certificate of sponsorship.
It could take a defined CoS about one working day to be approved. However, if the Home Office needs more clarifications of the provider information then it could take a longer time.