Tier 5 Temporary Workers

The Tier 5 route allows non-UK/EEA nationals to come to the UK to carry out temporary work or to undertake internship/work experience.  There are a number of sub-categories under the Tier 5 route, such as the Youth Mobility Scheme, the Government Authorised Exchange visa and the Creative and Sporting visa. To apply you must pass a points-based assessment.

The Youth Mobility Scheme allows individuals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan to enter the UK for up to 2 years to travel, study or work. To be eligible the applicants need to meet certain conditions such as being no older than 31 at the date of application and having evidence of £1,890 in savings. The applicants from Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea or Taiwan need also to have a sponsor (i.e. an employer in the UK who supports their application). A list of fees payable for immigration services for individuals is set out here.

The Government Authorised Exchange visa is a good option for those non-UK/EEA nationals who want to come to the UK for work experience or to do training or research. The visa needs to be sponsored via one of the approved government authorised exchange schemes and it can be obtained for a period of up to one or two years, depending on the scheme under which the visa application is filed.

The Tier 5 (Temporary worker) creative and sporting sub-category is for applicants in the creative and sporting sector who are entering the United Kingdom for short term contracts/engagements. Visas under this category are issued for up to 12 months. The creative worker visa can be extended in the UK for up to a further 12 months. You must have a prospective employer in the UK (i.e. sponsor) and a valid certificate of sponsorship (i.e. an electronic work permit) issued by your sponsor in order to apply.

To qualify under the sporting sub-category, your prospective employer in the UK (sponsor) will first need to obtain an endorsement for you from the appropriate governing body for your sport, confirming that you are internationally established at the highest level and/or your employment will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport at the highest level in the United Kingdom and the position could not be filled by a suitable UK/EEA/settled worker. Only after obtaining the endorsement, your prospective employer can assign you a work permit following which you can apply for your visa.

If you are a creative worker or their entourage operating in dance, theatre, or film and television, your prospective employer in the UK (sponsor) must commit to following the relevant code of practice for the particular creative profession as specified in the Immigration Rules. Your sponsor may also need to first complete the resident labour market test to ensure that there are no UK/EEA/settled workers who can fill the position to be able to provide you with a certificate of sponsorship.

Separate from the Tier 5 route, you may qualify under the Entertainer visa category if you are coming to the UK to take part in one or more specific performances as an individual amateur entertainer or as an amateur group, or to perform at a major arts festival or cultural event on the permit-free festival list, or to take part in music competitions. If you enter the UK on this visa category, you can only accept payment for performing at an event on the permit-free festival list or receive payment as prize money for taking part in a music competition.

For more information and how we can guide you through the process, please contact us.