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Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Charity Worker) visa

If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Charity Worker) visa if:

  • you want to do unpaid voluntary work for a charity
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Obtaining Sponsorship

You need to be sponsored - ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer - before you can apply to come to the UK to work. The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

You can stay for up to 12 months or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 28 days, whichever is shorter.   You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your job.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Charity Worker) visa you need:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK sponsor
  • £900 in savings (£945 from 1 July) - this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply

You won’t need £900 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a unique reference number that holds information about the job you will do and your personal details. It is not a certificate or paper document. Your sponsor will give you the certificate of sponsorship.  Your sponsor must also give you the information they used on your certificate about your job, eg your working hours.   Your sponsor must be recognised by the UK government to issue certificates of sponsorship. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your certificate of sponsorship.

Multiple entry

Your sponsor can give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship so you can leave and return to the UK.

Documents you must provide with your application

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport size colour photograph
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £900 in savings (£945 from 1 July) continuously for 90 days before you apply - this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay. 

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Application

If you’re applying outside the UK then you must apply online for this visa. You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

Extending your visa

You can apply to extend your Tier 5 (Temporary worker - Charity Worker) visa.  You can only extend your existing visa if you’re already in the UK.  You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend - including children who have turned 18 during your stay.  You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility to extend your visa

You must continue to meet the eligibility rules. You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

You can apply to take your stay in the UK up to a maximum of 12 months, or the time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

Family members

Your family members (‘dependants’) must apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

Savings to prove that you can support your dependants

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.  Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself. You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

If your dependants applying are outside the UK then your family members must apply online. They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of their application.

If your dependants applying in the UK then you either apply online or apply by post. It’s best to send your dependant’s application at the same time as yours but they can apply at a later date, either by post or in person at a premium service centre.

It should be noted that members of your family can’t apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a 2nd job in the same sector at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • do a job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week
  • bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • receive any payment for work
  • take a permanent job
  • get public funds