Tier 5 Visa: Creative worker and sportsperson


For many artists and sportspeople around the world, working overseas is a career goal. If the UK is at the top of your list then a Temporary Worker Visa might be the solution.

Working abroad on a short-term basis can be an enriching experience. You get the chance to pursue new skills and meet different people without the long-term commitment of emigrating to a new country.

And if you work in the creative industries or as a sportsperson there is a specific UK immigration route available as part of the Tier 5 visa class.

But before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a quick look at the definition of a temporary worker and what Tier 5 is all about.

What does ‘temporary worker’ mean?

A temporary worker is someone that works, trains or conducts research in the UK for a limited period of time. For example, to take part in a high-level sporting event or perform in a theatre production.

Even though the work might not be long-term or involve a permanent move to the UK, most people will still need a visa. That means anyone from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

The visa that is required for this type of work is the Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa.

Due to the temporary nature of this route, applicants need to be part of a Government Authorised Exchange Scheme. Or be sponsored by an organisation with a Tier 5 sponsored licence.

The work, training or research also has to be directly related to the work conducted by the sponsor organisation.

There are five categories in the Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa:

  • Creative worker or sportsperson – internationally renowned in a creative sector or likely to make a significant contribution to sport at the highest level in the UK
  • Charity worker – unpaid voluntary work for an authorised organisation
  • Religious worker – preaching, pastoral work or non-pastoral work
  • Government Authorised Exchange Scheme – an internship or research programme with an approved organisation
  • International agreement – for workers such as overseas government employees

So, what does the creative worker and sportsperson category entail? Let’s find out.

Who is a creative worker or sportsperson?

The creative industries covers a broad spectrum of occupations. To make it clearer, here is the UK government’s definition of a creative worker:

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

To be eligible to apply for the Tier 5 Visa as a creative worker, you need to show that you will make a unique contribution to the UK labour market in your field. For example, you’re an internationally renowned comedian or performer.

For the sportsperson category, you need to make a significant contribution to your sport at the highest level. An example of this is a professional footballer or tennis player.

Applying for a Tier 5 Visa

The application process for the Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa is online on the British government website.

Both the creative worker and sportsperson categories need a certificate of sponsorship reference number for the application. Along with evidence of £945 in maintenance funds to support yourself.

You will also have to provide biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).

The fee for this visa application is £244. Or £189 if you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia. To include dependents on the application, there is an additional cost of £244 for each person.

Successful applicants can stay in the UK for up to 12 months. And visa holders can work at a second job for up to 20 hours per week.

However, you cannot access public funds or start your own business.

As you can see, the Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa is designed to welcome talented people to the UK for a limited time. It’s a chance to accept short-term career opportunities and get a taste for British culture.

But for anyone with long-term plans to live and work in the UK, a Skilled Worker Visa or Global Talent Visa might be more suitable.

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Article Created By Hayley Maguire