What is the Temporary Worker Visa
The Temporary Worker Visa (T5) is a work visa that grants you permission to work in the UK Temporarily. Previously known as the Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa, the T5 Visa has a number of different categories. The time that you can stay in the UK for on a Temporary Worker Visa varies depending on the category that you apply for and ranges from 6 months to 2 years.
You can apply for this visa if you want to come to the UK for temporary seasonal, sporting, religious or charity work as well as for work experience, training, or for an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme.
Whilst in the UK on a Temporary Worker visa you will usually be able to work in the job described on your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), study, take a second job for up to 20 hours a week and bring certain family members with you as dependents.
- What is the Temporary Worker Visa?
- Types of Temporary Worker Visas
- Creative Worker Visa and International Sportsperson Visa
- Government Authorised Exchange Visa
- International Agreement Worker Visa
- Charity Worker visa
- Religious Worker Visa
- Seasonal Worker Visa
- Youth Mobility Visa
- Eligibility requirements for a Temporary Worker Visa
- How to apply
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently asked questions
Types of Temporary Worker Visas
There are different categories of Temporary Work Visas and the category most appropriate for you will vary depending on which type of role you are intending to fill in the UK.
There are 7 types of temporary worker visas available as part of the T5 visa category, including the:
- Creative Worker Visa and International Sportsperson Visa – two separate visa categories for sportspersons and creative workers
- Government Authorised Exchange visa – for overseas nationals coming to the UK through approved exchange schemes
- International Agreement Worker visa – for overseas nationals doing work in the UK covered by international law
- Religious Worker visa – for individuals undertaking religious work including as a preacher, pastor or non-pastoral religious work
- Charity Worker visa – for those undertaking voluntary work for registered charities in the UK
- Seasonal Worker visa – for overseas nationals undertaking farm work in the UK
- Youth Mobility Visa – for young people from certain nations who wish to experience life in the UK
Creative Worker Visa and International Sportsperson Visa
If you are coming to work or perform in the UK for up to 12 months as a sportsperson, entertainer or creative artist you can apply for a Temporary Worker Visa under the Creative Worker Visa or the International Sportsperson Visa.
Previously, the two routes were joined together and known as the Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Visa, but they are now separated.
It is important to note that sportspeople must fulfil the following criteria for an International Sportsperson Visa, they must be:
- Internationally established in their field; or
- Their job must make a significant contribution to the development and running of their sport at the highest level.
To apply, you must have a sponsor and a valid certificate of sponsorship with an endorsement from a recognised governing body. This category is not for people who are already in the UK as entertainers or sports visitors.
Government Authorised Exchange Visa
The Government Authorised Exchange category is for people coming to the UK through approved schemes. People in this category must aim to share knowledge, experience, best practice and to experience the UK’s social and cultural life.
To be eligible for the Government Authorised Exchange Visa you must be coming to the UK for one of the following:
- Work experience or training
- An Overseas Government Language Programme
- Research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange programme
You will need to be sponsored by a licenced UK sponsor for this visa and your work, training or research in the UK must relate to the activities of your sponsor organisation.
The Government Authorised Exchange Visa will allow you to stay in the UK for either 12 or 24 months depending on the scheme that you are applying for.
International Agreement Worker Visa
The International Agreement Category covers people coming to the UK under contract to do work that is governed by international law, this can include roles such as working for a foreign government or providing a service under contract as a contractual service supplier.
You could be eligible for the International Agreement Worker Visa if any of the following apply:
- Your work is covered by either the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) or similar agreements between the UK and other countries
- The work is for an overseas government or international organisation
- You will be working as a private servant in a diplomatic household or in the household of an employee of an international organisation
The length of stay on an International Agreement Worker Visa varies depending on what you will be doing in the UK. If you are working for a foreign government or as a private servant in a diplomatic household then you can stay for up to 2 years.
If you are providing a service under contract then you can stay for 6 months in any 12 month period. You can stay for 12 months if your work is covered by the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement or 12 months within a 24 month period if the work is covered by the Temporary agreement between the Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) and the UK on services mobility.
Charity Worker Visa
The Charity Worker Visa is a temporary work visa for overseas nationals who plan to undertake voluntary work for a charity in the UK. All activities on the Charity Worker Visa must be unpaid and temporary.
The Charity Worker Visa grants you entry to the UK for up to 12 months.
Religious Worker Visa
The ‘Religious Workers’ category is for people coming to the UK for preaching, pastoral or non-pastoral work, or work in a religious order such as a monastery or convent.
Unlike the Charity Worker Visa, Religious Worker Visa holders can be paid for their work. The Religious Visa is valid for up to 24 months.
Seasonal Worker Visa
The seasonal worker visa allows foreign nationals to come to the UK for up to 6 months to do agricultural work, this includes jobs such as packaging fruit and vegetables as well as other farm work.
Seasonal Worker Visas were first piloted in 2019 and 2021 saw an extension and expansion of the scheme. This year there are 30,000 seasonal worker visas available, triple the amount compared to 2020.
When in the UK on a Seasonal Worker Visa you can work in the job that your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned for and you can also study however you cannot work in a permanent job or take on a second job.
Youth Mobility Scheme
The Youth Mobility Visa is a type of Temporary Worker Visa, but this visa differs from the other T5 Temporary Worker Visas. The Youth Mobility Scheme is for young people from participating countries and territories that want to experience life in the UK. These countries include Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.
Youth Mobility Visa holders can stay in the UK for up to 2 years, however, the visa cannot be extended and you cannot bring any relatives with you to the UK on this visa.
Unlike other Temporary Worker Visas, the Youth Mobility Visa does not require applicants to have a job offer in the UK. Instead, your national government will be your sponsor during your stay. You will need to score 50 points based on your nationality, age and maintenance funds. You must also be outside the UK to apply.
Eligibility requirements for Temporary Workers
The requirements for a Temporary Worker Visa vary depending on the category that you are applying for. Generally, you will need to be endorsed by a UK Sponsor, who can grant you a Certificate of Sponsorship.
The Temporary Worker Visas are part of the UK’s new points-based system, you will need to score 30 points in order to be eligible for a Temporary Worker Visa. 30 of these points will come from your Certificate of Sponsorship.
To score the remaining 10 points you will need to provide evidence that you can support yourself financially whilst in the UK. You’ll usually need to have £1,270 available in your bank account. The money will need to have been available for at least 28 days in a row and those 28 days must be within 31 days of your Temporary Worker Visa application.
Whilst having a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship is one of the main requirements for a Temporary Worker Visa, a select number of countries whose nationals apply through the Youth Mobility Scheme can gain UK entry clearance without a job offer.
How to apply for a Temporary Worker Visa
You must apply online for a Temporary Worker Visa and can do so by filling in the form for your category on the gov.uk website.
When applying you will need the following:
- Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number
- A valid passport or another form of ID
- Evidence that you are able to meet the maintenance requirement such as bank statements
- Your Tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you have to take the test
Depending on the category of Temporary Worker Visa that you are applying for you may also be expected to provide other documents. If you plan to bring family members to the UK you will need to provide evidence of your relationship.
As part of your Temporary Worker Visa application, you will need to have your biometric information, this is your photo and fingerprints, taken at a visa application centre. These will be used for your Biometric Residence Permit that you can use once in the UK to demonstrate your right to live and work here.
How can IAS help you apply for a Temporary Worker Visa?
Understanding which visa category is best for you can be a difficult process. Whatever your circumstance or profession, the expert lawyers at IAS can help you. We will find the right Workers Visa for you and ensure that you meet all the specific requirements to make an application.
Our services include a full document check and completion of all the relevant application forms. A Letter of Representation will also be provided along with your application. This letter will present the details and merits of your case, as well as referencing any relevant UK immigration laws which back up your case.
Get in touch on 0333 305 3750 or make an enquiry online to begin the process of applying for your Temporary Worker Visa. You can contact us at our offices in London, Manchester, or Birmingham, or use our office finder to find your closest branch.
Last modified on August 14th, 2023 at 10:20 am
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A Temporary Worker Visa is a type of work visa that allows you to live and work in the UK for 12 months or less (Except the Youth Mobility Visa). There are 7 categories of T5 Temporary Worker Visas which includes categories for seasonal farmworkers, sportspersons, religious workers and more.
You can apply for a UK Temporary Worker Visa by filling in the online application form available on the gov.uk website.
To be eligible for a Temporary Worker Visa you will need to have a job offer and receive a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK sponsor employer. You will also need to meet the maintenance fund requirements.
The Youth Mobility Scheme allows you to come to the UK to work without having a job offer. Only young people from participating nations are eligible. Applicants do not need a job offer but must be sponsored by their national government.