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