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Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Charity Worker) visa

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Charity Worker) visa

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Charity Worker) visa if:

  • you want to do unpaid voluntary work for a charity
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Sponsorship

You must 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.

If you are unsure of your position or would like to ensure that your application is handled by a knowledgeable specialist, get in touch with one of our friendly team members now on 0203 384 4389 to find out exactly how we can assist you to get it right first time round, saving you time, money and the heartache of being refused.

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Further Information

How long it will take

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 stay 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 job.

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 at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • do a job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week
  • bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • receive any payment for work
  • take a permanent job
  • get public funds

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Charity Worker) visa you need:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK sponsor
  • £945 in savings – this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply

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.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a unique reference number that holds information about the job you will do and your personal details. It is not a certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you the certificate of sponsorship.

Your sponsor must also give you the information they used on your certificate about your job, for example your working hours.

Your sponsor must be recognised by the UK government to issue certificates of sponsorship.

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

Multiple entry

Your sponsor can give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship so you can leave and return to the UK.

Knowledge Of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways. Check the full visa guidance for detailed information.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances.

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • 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 (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

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 – Charity Worker) 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

You can apply to take your stay in the UK up to a maximum of 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 online and postal 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, for example because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • 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

Your family members (‘dependants’) 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 under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

They’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge is part of their application. Check how much they’ll have to pay before they apply.

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.

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.

When you apply, send a full UK birth certificate for each child showing the names of both parents.

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