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UK Temporary Worker Visas

Foreign nationals who would like to come to the UK to take part in temporary employment may need to apply for the UK Temporary Worker Visa. Learn more about the various UK visas and application process.

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    What is the UK Temporary Worker Visa?

    If you are a foreign national who is looking to work in the UK on a temporary basis, you must apply for Temporary Worker Visa. This visa type is for those who want to work in the UK on a temporary short-term basis, usually for a time period of fewer than 12 months. You can apply for this visa if you will be taking a role as a charity worker, artist, entertainer, diplomat, or sportsperson.

    To apply for a UK Temporary Worker Visa, you will usually need to have a job offer from a UK-based employer that is able to hire foreign workers. There are different categories of Temporary Worker visas which vary on what kind of role you will be taking on in the UK. In four of the sub-categories, you will need to meet the 40-point requirement. This includes a sponsor and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship, as well as proof of adequate maintenance funds.

    An exception to this rule is the Youth Mobility Scheme, which allows nationals of some Commonwealth countries to gain entry clearance without a job offer. Please note that the Youth Mobility Visa is not exclusively an employment route.

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    What are the Temporary Work Visa categories?

    There are a variety of different temporary work visas available. The type you should apply for will depend on the type of work you intend to do whilst in the UK. Overall, the visa categories are as follows:

    • Charity Worker Visa. This visa is available for foreign nationals entering the UK to work in unpaid and voluntary roles at a legitimate registered charity in the UK.
    • Creative Worker Visa. This visa is available to performers or artists who would like to temporarily work in their respective craft in the UK.
    • Sporting Visa. This visa is available to internationally recognized elite athletes and coaches who would like to enter the UK to take part in short-term employment.
    • Government Authorised Exchange Visa. This visa allows foreign nationals from countries who have signed onto an approved exchange scheme to come to the UK to take part in gaining work experience, training, academic research, or take part in an Overseas Government Language Programme.
    • International Agreement Worker Visa. This visa allows workers whose employment is covered by international law under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) program to enter the UK to work.
    • Religious Worker Visa: This visa allows religious workers entry into the UK to work for a religious order or organization in the UK.
    • Seasonal Worker Visa. This visa allows foreign nationals to come to the UK for the purposes of working in the agricultural sector as farm workers.
    • Youth Mobility Scheme Visa. This visa allows foreign nationals aged between 18-30 who are from an eligible country in the Youth Mobility Scheme to come to the UK for temporary employment or an internship.

    What are the general requirements for a Temporary Worker Visa?

    To qualify for the UK Temporary Worker Visa, temporary workers will need to meet the eligibility criteria specific to the individual visa category that they are applying to. In addition, they must also meet these general requirements:

    • The applicant is at least 18 years old
    • The applicant has received a formal job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid Sponsor Licence
    • The applicant has been issued a valid Certificate of Sponsorship by their UK employer
    • The applicant has the sufficient funds necessary to finance their first month’s stay in the UK (at least £1,270 in savings)
    • The applicant is able to demonstrate an adequate understanding of the English language by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) with a certified provider (if applicable)
    worker in the UK

    What are the requirements for a Creative Worker Visa?

    Foreign nationals who work in the creative industry as dancers, actors, models, film crew members, musicians, or other roles may apply for a temporary Creative Worker Visa. To qualify for this visa, they must be able to prove that only they can work in a role that can not be filled by a domestic worker in the UK.

    Furthermore, UK employers who intend to sponsor foreign workers who work in a creative role must be able to prove that the intended worker has the necessary specialist skills that can not be found elsewhere.

    What are the requirements for a Sportsperson Temporary Visa?

    Elite athletes and coaches who have been internationally recognized as being at the top of their level are eligible for a Sportsperson Temporary Visa.

    To be eligible for this visa, the sportsperson must have represented their team or country for at least 2 years previous to their visa application or the sportsperson has been internationally established as an elite athlete or coach in their specific sport.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on your Temporary Worker Visa. Contact Us

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      What are the requirements for the Authorized Government Exchange Visa?

      The Government Authorized Exchange category lets individuals stay in the UK on schemes with the UK government. People in this category must be coming to the UK to share knowledge, experience, and best practices or to experience UK social and cultural life. The International Agreement category also covers those who are entering to do work that is governed by international law. This includes employees of non-UK governments.

      What are the requirements for the International Agreement Visa?

      Foreign nationals who are coming to the UK to perform work duties covered by international law or treaty are eligible for an International Agreement Visa. This includes:

      • Individuals working for an overseas government or international organization
      • Individuals working as private servants in a diplomatic household
      • Individuals working as an employee in the household of someone who works for a recognized international organization

      What is the Youth Mobility Scheme?

      The Youth Mobility Scheme is open to foreign nationals whose country has agreed to participate in this program. Under this scheme, young individuals between the ages of 18-30 are eligible to come to the UK for a period of up to 2 years to pursue employment. This scheme is open to foreign nationals from the following countries:

      • Australia
      • Canada
      • Iceland
      • Japan
      • Monaco
      • New Zealand
      • Hong Kong
      • Republic of Korea (South Korea)
      • San Marino
      • Taiwan

      Applicants must have at least £2,530 in savings to be eligible for this scheme. Applicants who have traveled to the UK on any other type of working holiday visa in the past are not eligible for this visa.

      What is the application process for a Temporary Worker Visa?

      Applications for a Temporary Worker Visa can be made online through the website. After you have submitted your visa application form online, you will then need to pay the visa application fee and submit a variety of documents necessary for your particular visa.

      You can submit your Temporary Worker visa application from the United States at least 3 months before the date you intend to enter the UK or you are due to start work. This date will also be printed on your certificate of sponsorship.

      After all of the documents are submitted and necessary fees are paid, the applicant will then need to submit biometric information (a photo and fingerprints). The collection of this information will be collected at a designated visa application center. If your temporary worker visa application is approved, this information will later be used to create a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This permit demonstrates the foreign national’s right to live and work in the UK for a designated period of time.

      If you have completed your application forms completely, you will receive a response from the Home Office within 3 weeks if applying from abroad or 8 weeks if applying from within the UK. The waiting time might be shorter if you applied from within the UK.


      What documents are required for the UK Temporary Worker Visa?

      As part of your visa application, each applicant will need to submit a variety of documents. These may include the following:

      • Valid passport or another travel document
      • Proof that the applicant has received an official job offer from a UK employer
      • A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) (This will be issued to the prospective employee by the UK employer)
      • Bank statements or other financial documents that show the applicant has at least £1,270 in their savings (this must be in the applicant’s bank account at least 90 days before the application is made)
      • Tuberculosis test results (only if the applicant is applying from a country where that is required)
      • English language test results (if not from a country where this requirement is exempt)

      What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

      A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a digital reference number that is linked to information regarding the prospective employee’s job role and biographical details. This number is given to the foreign worker by their prospective UK employer. In order to give a Cos to a foreign worker, the employer must be a licensed sponsor.

      This CoS will be needed when applying for a Temporary Worker Visa and is valid for 3 months from the date when it was assigned


      If you have any questions about your UK visa application, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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        How much does it cost to apply for a Temporary Worker Visa?

        When applying for a Temporary Work Visa, all applicants will need to pay the following fees:

        • Temporary Worker Visa fee: £259
        • Healthcare Surcharge fee: the amount of money you will need to pay will be calculated at £624 per year of stay

        It should be noted that all applicants must have at least £1,270 in savings before they arrive in the UK. This amount may need to be more depending on if you have family members traveling with you to the UK on your visa.

        How to get help with your UK Work Visa application

        Whatever your circumstances, if you are a US citizen, our lawyers can help you understand which application is right for you. We will advise you on the right Temporary Work Visa UK for you and ensure that you are eligible to apply under the points-based system (PBS).

        Your lawyer will also complete your application forms and write a Letter of Representation. This letter supports your application, reaching out directly to UKVI. For more information, make an inquiry online or call +1 844 290 6312 to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Temporary Worker visas will be issued for the amount of time it takes to finish employment in the UK. This could be as long as 12 months or as little as 28 days.

                  A Temporary Worker Visa does not count towards ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) through the common five-year route.

                  Your time spent in the UK while on a temporary visa can, however, count towards your qualifying period.  This applies if you want to qualify for the 10-year-long residence route.

                  To qualify through the five-year route for ILR, you must hold one of the following UK visas:

                  You must leave the UK on or before the last date of your visa’s expiration. If you wish to return to the UK again in the future, once your Temporary Work Visa UK ends, you can do this. However, you must not overstay your visa as this can affect future visa applications.

                  The only Temporary Worker Visa that you are allowed to extend is the International Agreement Visa. To extend this visa, you must apply from within the UK before your current visa expires. Furthermore, you must still be able to meet the eligibility criteria for the visa and pay the necessary fees for an extension.

                  If granted an extension, you may stay in the UK for a period of stay of up to 2 years.

                  The expert team at IAS is able to help you pick the right UK Work Visa for your specific circumstances. We listen to your situation and guide you through the application every step of the way.

                  • Liaising with you in person, over the phone, or via Skype
                  • Ensuring you are eligible for your intended UK visa and advising you on relevant documentation
                  • Organizing your sponsorship and ensuring your UK sponsor avoids a civil penalty
                  • Preparing your application and completing your application forms
                  • Writing a personalized Letter of Representation to be submitted with it
                  • Maintaining contact with the Entry Clearance Office throughout the process

                  To discuss your eligibility and to maximize your chances of success, get in touch with IAS today online or by calling +1 844 290 6312.