Thousands of young people on youth mobility schemes and temporary workers of all ages come to the UK every year, with 2016 seeing 43,591 Tier 5 visas issued to young people on global exchange schemes and workers coming to the UK for short term employment. If you’re wishing to study in the UK, please see our guide on the Tier 4 visa, as you won’t be able to obtain a Tier 5 visa for that purpose. So how does a foreign national obtain a Tier 5 visa? Our expert immigration lawyers have compiled a short guide to ensure you’re fully aware of the requirements.
What do I need?
The full name of the visa you’ll need is the Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa. It’s specifically for those who are on an approved government authorised exchange scheme or are coming to the UK for temporary work, work experience or training. The type of work and activity permitted under a Tier 5 visa is split into 6 categories:
· Charity workers
· Religious workers
· Government authorised exchange
· Youth mobility scheme
· International agreement
· Creative/sport activity
Am I eligible?
In order to be eligible for a Tier 5 visa, you must first be applying from a nation outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, a requirement that will remain for as long as Britain is a member of the European Union. You must also have a certificate of sponsorship (a reference number containing details about you and the job) provided by a licensed sponsor. These can be a higher education institution, an organisation running an approved exchange scheme or a government department/agency and their work must be relevant to the work or training you’ll be doing whilst in the UK.
What documents do I need?
In addition to your certificate of sponsorship reference number you also need to provide a current passport or other relevant travel ID in addition to a bank statement showing you have at least £945 in your bank account and have had it for at least 90 days. However, you won’t need this if your sponsor states in your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll support you and you won’t claim benefits whilst you’re in the UK. Ensure each document is photocopied and that both this and the original are provided, as well as ensuring that each one is translated into English or Welsh.
How much do I need to pay?
You’ll need to pay £235 for yourself and a further £235 each for any dependents. If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia you’ll have to pay £180.
When can I apply?
The earliest opportunity you can apply for a Tier 5 visa is 3 months before you’re due to start work, and the date will be specified in the certificate of sponsorship. Your visa will then last for 12-24 months depending on the nature of your work, or until your work or exchange scheme has finished, whichever is shorter. You are also able to arrive in the UK 14 days before your work or scheme is due to start, and will expire 28 days after it’s ended. If you want to extend your visa, you must apply to do so before it has expired.
Immigration law is complex and you'll need all the help you can get, see what our expert immigration lawyers can do for you https://iasservices.org.uk/immigration-solicitors-in-london