Tier 5: Visas for Temporary Workers and Youth Mobility

This tier covers cultural exchanges or working holidays in the UK undertaken by young people.

Tier 5 also caters to a range of specific temporary employment opportunities including professional sports people or professional musicians who want to come to the UK to participate in a specific event such as the Olympics, a football match, or a concert.

Youth Mobility Schemes

Tier 5 will be available to you if you are from a participating country and you are aged 18-30 years old. If your application is successful you will be granted leave to enter the UK for a maximum period of 24 months. You will be required to return to your home country at the expiry of your visa as this category does not lead to permanent residence in the UK. Furthermore, you are not allowed to be self-employed in the UK or to function as a professional sportsperson and you cannot bring any dependents into the country or switch to any other tiers of the system.
Applications for this visa will require a certificate of sponsorship to be issued by their home Government. This certificate will serve as an assurance that you will abide by the terms of the scheme undertaken.

Temporary workers

Tier 5 visas for the UK also accommodate the following categories of temporary workers immigrating to Britain who do not qualify under the requirements of a tier 2 visa. The maximum duration of leave is 24 months and switching to other tiers is not permitted. Dependants will be admitted but will only be allowed to work in the UK if the principle applicant is afforded more than 12 months leave.

Creative/Sporting (12 months maximum)

UK visa applications can be made by creative artists, sportspeople or entertainers provided that a sponsor has been organised. Sponsors must be able to confirm that applicants pose no threat to the domestic workforce and will engage only in the specified activity.

Voluntary Workers (12 months maximum)

If you are a volunteer worker seeking to enter the UK via this route you will need to provide evidence of sponsorship from a charity or benevolent organisation. Your sponsor must be able to demonstrate that the activity is directly relevant to the organisation and that it will not be permanent.

Religious (24 months maximum)

With the exception of ministers of a faith who engage in a preaching and pastoral capacity, religious workers may visit the UK if they are sponsored by the faith community.

Exchange (12 months maximum)

Entering the country as part of an accredited exchange, development or knowledge sharing scheme is permitted subject to sponsorship by the organization running the scheme is question.

International Agreement (12 months maximum)

In some circumstances, the UK is obliged to allow specific categories of immigrants into the country to work. International agreements Such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) 1961 relating to diplomatic household servants would be examples of this. The sponsorship role would be fulfilled by means appropriate to the specific agreement.

Please call our immigration lawyers on 020 8952 1587 for your free initial assessment.


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