USA and the UK
UK Temporary Work Visa for US citizens
If you are a foreign national who is looking to work in the UK on a temporary basis, you must apply for a Tier 5 Visa UK. This visa type is for those who want to work in the UK for less 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.
For a Tier 5 Visa UK application, you will usually need to have a job offer from a company which is able to hire foreign workers. There are different categories of UK Tier 5 Visa 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 for 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.
How to find a UK Tier 5 Sponsor from the US
To be eligible for a UK Temporary Work Visa, you must hold a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor. This is needed to confirm that your work or training in the UK is related to what your sponsor organization does.
Your sponsor can be any of the following:
- A higher education institution
- An organization running an approved exchange scheme
- A government department or agency
When to apply for a Tier 5 Visa from America
You can submit your Tier 5 application from America 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.
If you have completed your application forms completely, you will receive a response from the Home Office within 3 weeks. The waiting time might be shorter if you applied from within the UK.
Applying for a Tier 5 Visa extension
Eligible US citizens who are already in the UK on a successful application, can apply to extend a UK Tier 5 Visa for up to:
- 12 months if you are involved in work experience or an internship
- 24 months if you are involved in research or training
- 24 months if you are enrolled in the Overseas Government Language Programme
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 +1844 290 6312 to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer.
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If you are coming to the UK as a sportsperson, entertainer or artist for up to 12 months, you will be able to apply for the Tier 5 Visa. You can do this under the Tier 5 ‘Creative and Sporting’ bracket. It is important to note that sportspeople must fulfill the following criteria for their application. They must be:
- International established in their field;
- Or making a significant contribution to the development or running of their sport.
You must have a UK sponsor and valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) before you apply. You must also have an endorsement from a recognized governing body. You will need to score 40 points – 30 from the CoS and the rest from proof of maintenance funds. The Tier 5 Creative and Sporting category is not for those who have to leave to enter as entertainment or sporting visitors.
The Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa UK route is also open to those who wish to work in the charity or religious sector. You can enter the UK for up to 12 months to conduct voluntary charity work under this Temporary Work Visa. The ‘Religious Worker’ category allows individuals to enter the UK for religious work. This includes for preaching, pastoral or non-pastoral work.
You must leave the UK on or before the last date of your Tier 5 expiry. 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 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, best practice 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.
If these circumstances are relative to you, then you may be eligible for the Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa UK.
The expert team at IAS are able to help you pick the right UK Tier 5 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 the Tier 5 Visa and advising you on relevant documentation;
- Organising 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 +1844 290 6312.