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Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Visas

You must apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) visa if:

  • you’ve been offered work in the UK as a sports person or creative worker
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

You’ll still need to apply for this visa if you’re travelling to the UK from the Republic of Ireland and you’re from outside the EEA and Switzerland.

A creative worker is someone who works in the creative industry, for example an actor, dancer, musician or film crew member.

Speak to our assessment team now to confirm your eligibility and options for free on 0203 384 4389.

Further Information

Sponsorship

You need to have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer before you can apply to come to the UK to work.

The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

How Long It Takes

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before the date you’re due to start work. This date is on your certificate of sponsorship.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK for a maximum of up to 12 months, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus up to 28 days, whichever is shorter.

You may be able to extend your visa.

Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

What you can and can't do

You can:

  • study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate)
  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • do a job on the shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week
  • work as a sportsperson for your national team and as a sports broadcaster if you’re here under the sporting subcategory
  • bring your family

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • start your own business

Eligibility

Certificate of sponsorship

You need a licensed sponsor to give you a certificate of sponsorship before you can apply to work in the UK.

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.

They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, for example how much you’ll be paid.

Your certificate of sponsorship is valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to you.

Changing your sponsor

You must apply again and meet all the eligibility rules if you want to change your sponsor within the same organisation or move to a new organisation.

Changing your sponsor doesn’t change how long you can stay in the UK. You can only stay the maximum length of time allowed by this visa.

Multiple entry

Your sponsor needs to give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship if you need to leave and come back to the UK as part of the job you’re doing.

Multiple jobs when you’re a creative worker

Your sponsor can give you a certificate that covers the entire length of your stay, even if you need to perform at more than 1 engagement. If you’re working for more than 1 sponsor, you can get a certificate from each sponsor. There can’t be a gap of more than 14 days between each job.

Documents you must provide

When you apply, you’ll need to provide:

  • your current passport or travel document, and your old passports
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings continuously for 90 days before you apply – this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a letter of endorsement from your sport’s governing body, if you’re applying as a sportsperson or coach

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.

You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Extend your visa

You can apply to extend your Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must continue to meet the eligibility rules.

You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

How long you can stay

Creative worker

You can extend your visa for whichever is the shortest of:

  • up to 12 months
  • the time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
  • the time needed to extend your stay to the maximum of 24 months

You must stay with the same sponsor.

Sports person

You can extend your visa up to 12 months, or the time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

How long it takes

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for postal and online applications
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Switch to this visa

You can switch to a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) visa if you’re in the UK as a sports or visitor, and your sponsor gave you a certificate of sponsorship for this visa before you came to the UK.

You can also switch to this visa if you enter the UK as a sports or entertainer visitor after 28 April 2015.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

How long you can stay

You can stay for a maximum of up to 12 months after switching to a Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Creative and sporting) visa.

How long it takes

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for postal and online applications
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Family Members

You or your dependant must apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

A dependant is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child aged under 18
  • your child aged 18 or older if they’re already in the UK as dependants

You should send your dependant’s application at the same time as yours.

They’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application.

They must complete their visa application by 5 July if they’ve already paid the immigration health surcharge or they might have to pay it twice. They’ll get a refund for their first payment.

You can use the if you’re a dependant applying in the UK on your own or you’re applying for your UK-born child to stay.

Savings

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.

You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

Example:

You must have £2,205 if you want to bring your partner and 1 child with you to the UK (£945 to support yourself + £630 for your partner + £630 for your child).

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with them.

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