Tier 5: An Overview
The Tier 5 immigration route is made up of both the Temporary Worker categories and the Youth Mobility Scheme. Please find the relevant information regarding Temporary Work visas below, or scroll down further to find information about the Youth Mobility Scheme.
Temporary Worker Visas
How do you qualify?
The full list of Tier 5 Temporary Worker visas includes:
- Charity Worker visa - for individuals who wish to come to the UK to conduct unpaid voluntary work for a charity.
- Creative and Sporting visa – for individuals who have been offered work in the UK as a sportsperson or a creative worker.
- Government Authorised Exchange visa – for individuals who want to come to the UK for a short time for work experience, or to do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme.
- International Agreement visa - for individuals who want to come to the UK to perform contracted work covered by international law, such as working for a foreign government.
- Religious Worker visa - for individuals who want to come to the UK to conduct religious work, such as preaching or working in a religious order.
EU nationals applying for the above Tier 5 visas, from certain EU countries, are entitled to a slight fee reduction when applying for the visa, but must meet the same criteria as all non-EU and non-EEA applicants.
If you are looking to come to the UK on any of the Temporary Worker visas you will need to have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor. A list of current sponsors can be found on the gov.uk register.
You must also evidence at least £1,270 in savings, to show that you can support yourself whilst in the UK. In some situations this is not required, as long as your fully approved (A-rated) sponsor states on your certificate of sponsorship that they will certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim any benefits during your stay.
How long are they granted for?
For Charity Worker and Creative and Sporting visas, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 12 months, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 28 days, whichever is shorter. You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your sponsored employment.
For Government Authorised Exchange, International Agreement and Religious Worker visa holders, you can stay in the UK for up to 24 months. However, this is depending on the scheme you are applying for. You will be able to enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your sponsored employment.
What restrictions are there?
You are allowed to study on a Temporary Worker visa, although for some courses you will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
You will be able to work in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship, and are able to do a second job for up to 20 hours per week, as long as it is in the same sector or on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list. However, those on a Charity Worker visa are not allowed to receive any payment for work.
If you are on a Temporary Worker visa you are also not allowed to get any public funds (state benefits such as housing benefit, child benefit).
Can you bring family members with you?
On all Temporary Worker visas you are able to bring dependants with you to the UK if they are your partner, your child under the age of 18, or your child over the age of 18 if they are already in the UK as dependants.
In addition to your own £1,270 maintenance (unless you are exempt), your dependents must also evidence their own money to support themselves. You’ll need to evidence:
- £285 for your partner
- £315 for one child
- £200 for each additional child
Dependants will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for each year their visa is granted. This is in addition to your own IHS payment.
Does time spent on a Temporary Work visa lead to ILR?
Not directly – however any time spent on a Temporary Worker visa can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) through the Long Residence route. You are eligible to apply for ILR through long residence when you have been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years.
Youth Mobility Scheme
How do you qualify?
The Youth Mobility Scheme is designed for those aged between 18-30 who want to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. To be eligible for the scheme you must be between the ages of 18-30 and from one of the following countries:
Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, San Marino.
Applicants must also have £2,530 in savings to evidence they can support themselves in the UK.
You can’t apply for the scheme if you have children who live with you or who you are financially responsible for. If you have already been in the UK through the scheme, or in the former ‘working holidaymaker’ category you will also be unable to apply.
How long is the visa granted for?
The Youth Mobility Scheme allows you to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months.
You can enter the UK at any time whilst your visa is valid, and leave and return as much as you like. If you turn 31 whilst you’re in the UK, you are able to stay for as long as your visa is valid.
What are the restrictions?
You will be able to work in most jobs and study, with an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate needed for some courses.
You are also able to be self-employed and to set up a company, as long as your premises are rented, your equipment isn’t worth more than £5,000 and you don’t have any employees.
You are not able to extend your stay on the scheme, and you are also not allowed to work as a professional sportsperson (such as a coach), a doctor or a dentist in training, unless you can prove you qualified in the UK. You will not be able to access public funds.
Can you bring family members with you?
You are not able to bring any dependants with you whilst on the Youth Mobility Scheme. They will need to apply separately.
Does the Youth Mobility Scheme lead to ILR?
Not directly, however any time spent through the Youth Mobility Scheme can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) through the Long Residence route. You are eligible to apply for ILR through long residence when you have been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years.
How can we help?
Here at White Rose Visas we are experienced in dealing with all Tier 5 visa applications as well as the complicated process of getting a certificate of sponsorship. We are able to fully advise on and check all documents required for the application, and have assisted many clients switching from Tier 5 visas into new routes with the end goal of achieving ILR.
For more information regarding the services we offer, or if you have any further questions regarding Temporary Worker visas or the Youth Mobility Scheme, please contact us directly for a free initial consultation.