How to get an International Agreement Worker Visa
You may be eligible for an International Agreement Worker Visa if one of the following applies to your situation:
- You are being contracted to carry out work which is covered by an international law or treaty
- You will be working on behalf of a foreign government
- You will be working as a private servant/ member of a diplomatic household
- You intend to provide a service under contract as a contractual service supplier or independent professional
As well as these conditions, you must the other eligibility requirements of the International Agreement Worker Visa.
This visa replaced the former Temporary Worker – International Agreement Worker Visa (T5). As part of the new points-based immigration system, this visa was established in December 2020.
The agreement was established under international law and the UK is a signatory of this agreement.
This page outlines how you can apply for this visa and other relevant considerations.
Who Can Apply For The Temporary International Agreement Worker Visa?
As well as meeting the above conditions for the nature of your work, you must also meet additional eligibility criteria.
The conditions you must meet include:
- You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship reference number
- You have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK (at least £1,270)
- You are aged at least 18 years old
The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
The nature of the work you intend to carry out must be one of the following:
- Covered under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
- Covered according to a similar agreement between the UK and other countries
- Working on behalf of an overseas government or international organisation
- Working as a private servant in a diplomatic household
If you are working in a role with a relevant occupation code for a UK sponsor which is also a licensed student sponsor, you may also be required to apply for an Academic Approval Technology Scheme (ATAS) certificate.
As well as this, your employer must be a valid sponsor with the power to issue Certificates of Sponsorship.
Proof of financial maintenance
It is a requirement of the International Agreement Worker Visa that you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days in advance of your the International Agreement Worker Visa application date.
Two reasons why you may not need to show proof of financial maintenance may occur if:
- You have been living in the UK for the last 12 months
- Your employer has agreed to cover your costs up to £1,270 during your first 30 days in the UK
In the latter instance, the Certificate of Sponsorship must indicate the employer’s intention to do so.
This can be found under the section titled ‘sponsor certifies maintenance.’
It may be possible to bring dependents with you on this visa route. Your dependent partner or child includes one of the following:
- Your husband, wife, civil or unmarried partner
- Your child aged under 18 years old
- Your child aged over 18 (if they are currently your dependent in the UK)
To be able to list your partner as a dependent, you must provide proof of your relationship (e.g., marriage certificate) or proof of cohabitation as part of your relationship for at least two years.
As well as this, your child aged over 16 years must meet the following requirements:
- They live with you (unless they are staying at an educational institute)
- They are not married and they do not have children
- They depend on you for financial support
In order to be eligible for this visa, your partner and child must also meet a financial requirement. These include:
- £285 for your partner
- £315 for the first child
- £200 for each additional child
For example, for the visa applicant (£1,270), their spouse (£285), and child (£315), the total funds needed would total £1,870.
Documents Needed For The International Agreement Worker Visa Application
There are a number of required supporting documents that you must submit with your application. These include:
- Valid passport or travel document (your passport must have at least one blank page)
- Your unique reference number on your Certificate of Sponsorship
- Proof of personal savings to meet the maintenance requirement
- Proof of relationship with your dependent partner/ child (where relevant)
- Clean tuberculosis certificate (where relevant)
- Valid ATAS certificate (where relevant)
Please note that you will be required to submit a certified translation of any documents not in English or Welsh.
You will be notified whether you need to submit your biometric information at the time of your application.
The Application Process For Obtaining The International Agreement Worker Visa
To apply for the International Agreement Worker Visa, you must follow the below steps to apply:
- Receive an eligible job offer from an approver sponsor
- Have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre for your biometric residence permit OR
- Use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to submit your biometric information
- If your intended stay is over six months, you may be required to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge for you and any dependents
- Have your Certificate of Sponsorship number available while completing your application
- Gather your supporting documents
- Submit your application online on the uk visa application page
- Pay the visa application fee
- Wait for a decision to be issued on your application
There is no way to ensure a successful application, but you can maximise your chances by working with a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer.
An immigration specialist will give you the knowledge required to submit the strongest possible application.
Can you extend the International Agreement Worker Visa?
The International Agreement Worker Visa can be extended for a maximum period of 24 months at one time, or the time period stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 28 days (whichever is shorter).
This may be extended for 24 months at a time for a total of five years if you are a private servant in a diplomatic household.
A contractual service supplier or independent professional may stay for up to six months in a 12-month period unless the following instances apply:
- You are providing services under the Temporary Agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the UK on Services Mobility (where the visa can be granted up to 12 months in a 24-month period)
- You intend to provide services under the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (where they may be granted a visa for a maximum of 12 months)
If you have any questions about your extension, contact IAS for further information about your personal circumstances.
Is It Possible To Switch From Other Visas To an International Agreement Worker Visa?
If you are currently in the UK on another visa or immigration permission, you will typically not be permitted to switch to the International Agreement Worker Visa.
You may be eligible to switch to this category if one of the following situations applies to your case:
- You have a valid work permit
- You work for an overseas government or international organisation
Note that you must apply in advance of the expiration of your current visa.
However, it may be possible to leave the UK, apply for the visa while abroad and return if it is granted.
Otherwise, it is not possible to switch to this visa from another.
Sponsoring International Agreement Workers As An Employer
Sponsoring International Agreement Workers as an employer involves facilitating the entry and employment of foreign workers under international agreements. In the UK context, this primarily refers to workers from European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries following the end of the Brexit transition period.
Here’s what you need to know about sponsoring international agreement workers as an employer:
- Eligibility: To sponsor international agreement workers, your organisation must be a licensed sponsor under the UK’s Points-Based System (PBS). This typically involves applying for a sponsor license from the Home Office.
- Types of International Agreement Workers: Depending on the specific international agreement in place, different categories of workers may be eligible for sponsorship. For instance, in the context of the UK, this can include workers under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
- Sponsorship Responsibilities: As a licensed sponsor, you have several responsibilities, including ensuring compliance with immigration rules, maintaining accurate records, and reporting certain changes in a timely manner.
- Resident Labor Market Test: Some international agreement worker categories may require you to conduct a Resident Labor Market Test. This involves advertising the job to settled workers in the UK before offering it to a foreign worker.
- Certificate of Sponsorship (COS): Before international agreement workers can apply for a visa, you must issue them a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). This document contains information about the worker, their role, and your organisation.
- Worker’s Application: After receiving a COS, the international agreement worker must apply for the relevant visa. They will need to meet the eligibility criteria, including demonstrating their qualifications and the genuine nature of their employment.
- Compliance and Record-Keeping: As a sponsor, you must maintain meticulous records of your sponsored workers, including their contact details, immigration history, and right-to-work checks. These records should be kept up-to-date and made available for inspection as needed.
- Compliance Visits: The Home Office may conduct compliance visits to ensure that you are adhering to sponsorship obligations. Be prepared for these visits by maintaining accurate records and ensuring compliance with immigration rules.
- Renewal and Reporting: Sponsor licenses typically have a validity period. Ensure you renew your license when required. You should also promptly report any changes in the circumstances of your sponsored workers or your organisation.
- Legal Assistance: The process of sponsoring international agreement workers can be complex. It’s advisable to seek legal advice or consult with immigration experts to navigate the intricacies of the sponsorship system and remain in compliance with the law.
How Can IAS Help With The International Agreement Worker Visa?
Our team of specialist immigration advisers can guide you through each step of your application process for an International Agreement worker visa in the UK. Our services include:
- liaising with you in person, via phone or Skype at a time that suits you;
- assessing your eligibility;
- checking your documents to ensure that they are sufficient for your visa application;
- preparing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application;
- liaising with the Home Office until your case is resolved;
- completing each part of your application form to the highest standard.
Get in touch with IAS online or on 0333 363 8577 today.
Last modified on September 6th, 2023 at 2:48 pm
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The application fee for the International Agreement Worker Visa is £259 per person, and there is no difference between applying from inside the UK or outside.
There are additional costs involved, including the healthcare surcharge (where relevant) which costs £624 per year.
As well as this, you pay be required to pay to submit your biometric information (usually £19.20).
You must also show that you meet the minimum financial requirement.
In general, most cases will be processed within three weeks from outside the UK, or eight weeks if the application is made within the UK.
It may be possible to pay for a faster decision under the priority processing time. You will be told if this is an option for you at the time of your application.
If you are an employer in the UK wishing to employ a worker, you must hold a valid Sponsor Licence. This qualifies you to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship and legally employ foreign nationals.
Some of the foreign worker visas include:
- Skilled Worker Visa
- Temporary Worker Visa
- Sportsperson Visa
- Minister of Religion Visa
- Permitted Paid Engagement
- Youth Mobility Scheme
- Frontier Worker Permit
Speak to a qualified immigration lawyer if you need support with applying for a Sponsor Licence to hire foreign workers.
Additionally, if you require assistance with your Sponsor Licence renewal, speak to our friendly client care team today to set up an appointment.
As experts in immigration and international law, we have the expertise to assist you.
Call 0333 305 3612 for an immediate discussion about how we can help you and your business.