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    Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa

    What is a Tier 5 visa?

    A UK Tier 5 visa is a type of visa that permits the holder to legally reside and work in the United Kingdom. There are six types of Tier 5 visas, each of which will be reviewed in greater detail below.

    The key difference between the Tier 5 and other work permit visas is that the Tier 5 visa is a short term work visa, designed for those who intend to come to the UK for a temporary work stint. In the majority of cases, obtaining this visa is related to international training programmes and quick overseas working experiences. Sometimes, this visa is also used for research-related trips.

    Tier 5 visa is easier to obtain than a Skilled worker visa that requires sponsorship from the employer. In contrast, the Tier 5 visa is sponsored by an approved organisation, higher education institution, or a government agency or department.

    Types of Tier 5 visa

    As mentioned earlier, there are six different types of T5 visa. The idea behind all of them is the same, while the main difference is related to the field of work that is planned for the visit. The types of the document are:

    • Tier 5 Charity Worker visa. For people coming to do voluntary (unpaid) work for a charity in the UK. The work must be directly related to the sponsor organisation’s work.
    • Creative and Sporting visa. For people coming to the UK to work or perform as sportsmen, artists or creatives.
    • Government Authorized Exchange visa. For people coming to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice, and to experience the UK’s social and cultural life.This category must not be used to fill job vacancies or to bring unskilled labour to the UK.
    • International Agreement visa. For people coming to the UK under contract to do work that is covered under international law. This includes workers under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and similar agreements, employees of overseas governments and international organisations, and private servants in diplomatic households.
    • Religious Worker visa. 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.
    • Youth Mobility Scheme visa. For young people from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco, Republic of Korea and Taiwan who want to come and experience life in the UK.

    It is pertinent to note that with any of these visas, it would be impossible to get a long term job in the United Kingdom. Instead, they are all designed for workers who visit the country for a short period of time. The exact time frame varies between these types of visas.

    Tier 5 visa requirements

    There are some unique requirements associated with different types of this visa mentioned in the previous section, although the general terms are the same. Firstly, the applicant must have a sponsor and, accordingly, a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the Tier 5 visa. During the application process, it will be necessary to submit the reference number of your certificate: the sponsor should provide you with it.

    The second requirement common for all Temporary Worker visas in the UK relates to the ability of the applicant to support themselves financially throughout the period of their stay in the United Kingdom. According to the official website of the Home Office, £1,270 is the sum required, however, it may be adjusted depending on the duration of your stay in the country.

    In case the applicant is going to be supported by the sponsor throughout their stay in the UK, it won’t be necessary to provide evidence of financial sustainability. However, this fact should be reflected in the Certificate of Sponsorship.

    The list of approved sponsors includes organizations running on approved exchange schemes, government departments or agencies, or higher education institutions, in cases where the applicant is coming to undertake research.

    How to apply for a Tier 5 visa?

    There are two available options to obtain a Tier 5 visa in London or other cities of the United Kingdom: by applying from outside of the country or by doing it from within the UK. With the overseas application, the procedure is quite straightforward. The application itself has to be made online, although a visit to the visa application center will most likely be required. It is necessary to provide the Home Office with your biometric data. There might be some slight variations in the process, depending on the country of applicant’s origin, but the difference is not significant.

    While applying for this visa from within the UK, it is possible to either extend an existing visa or switch to the UK temporary work visa from another visa.

    What is the Tier 5 visa processing time?

    The processing time for a temporary working visa mostly depends on two factors: the location of the applicant and the necessity of having an appointment at the visa application center. For submissions made within the United Kingdom, the processing time rarely exceeds eight weeks. For overseas applications, the time frame is usually within three weeks.

    Needless to say that submitting the documents incorrectly may significantly prolong the process or even result in the application being rejected. The submission can be made up to three months before the work is scheduled to start. The date is calculated based on the information obtained from the Certificate of Sponsorship, so it might be worth it to clarify the dates with your sponsor.

    How much does a Tier 5 cost?

    The fee for the UK seasonal work visa itself is £298, which is charged for each person who is submitting their documents. As with all other visas, it will also be necessary to pay the healthcare surcharge, which is in most cases £624. Note that the former fee is annual and it is paid in advance based on the duration of your planned stay in the country.

    How long can you stay in the UK?

    The duration of your permitted stay in the country depends on which Short-Term Working visa you have in the UK. The document might be limited to ten, twelve, or twenty-four months, depending on its type. It is important to understand that these are only the maximum limits possible, implying the document won’t be necessarily issued for that term.

    The validity duration of your visa is based on the term of work stated in the Certificate of Sponsorship. The holder is typically given two weeks before the work starts and two weeks after the work is scheduled to finish, in addition to the term stated in the certificate.

    Can I switch from Tier 5 to Skilled worker (Tier 2)?

    Tier 5 is a temporary visa. In most cases you won’t be able to switch from Tier 5 visa to Skilled worker visa (previously Tier 2). You will have to leave the UK and apply for a skilled worker visa from outside the UK.

    How can we help?

    The process of obtaining the Tier 5 visa might be tricky, but Sterling Law is always ready to help. Our team of professional immigration lawyers has a rich experience with Tier 5 visas, and will provide you with all the assistance you need to maximize the chances of your application being approved.

    Our office is based in London, but in case you apply from overseas, it is also possible to have a consultation online. Feel free to submit the form on this page and our solicitors will reach out to you in no time.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa?

    The Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa is a UK visa category that allows individuals to come to the UK for a temporary period of time to work in a variety of different roles. There are six types of Tier 5 visas: Charity Worker visa, Creative and Sporting visa, Government Authorized Exchange visa, International Agreement visa, Religious Worker visa, Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

    Who is eligible for a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa?

    To be eligible for a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer that is willing to sponsor your visa application, be from a country that is eligible for the visa, have enough money to support yourself during your stay in the UK and meet the other requirements of the visa category.

    How long can I stay in the UK on a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa?

    The length of your stay on a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa will depend on the type of work you are doing and the length of your contract. The visa can be issued for up to 24 months, depending on the category you apply under.

    What is the process for applying for a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa?

    The process for applying for a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa involves completing an online application, submitting supporting documents, attending a biometric appointment, and paying a fee.

    How long does it take to process a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa application?

    The processing time for a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa application will depend on the category you are applying under and the specific circumstances of your application. Generally, it can take between 3 and 8 weeks to receive a decision.

    Can I extend my Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa?

    It may be possible to extend your Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa, depending on the category you are applying under and the details of your employment contract. Extensions can be granted for up to 24 months.

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