Sections

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) 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 - International Agreement) visa if:

  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you’ll be contracted to do work covered by international law while in the UK (eg working for a foreign government or as a private servant in a diplomatic household)
  • 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.  The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

In most cases you’ll be able to stay for 2 years, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus up to 28 days, whichever is shorter.

In certain cases you can only stay for 6 months in any 12 month period, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter. This applies if you’re providing a service:

  • under contract as set out in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
  • under similar trade agreements, such as the EU-Chile free trade agreement

You can enter the UK 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship. You may be asked to leave the UK within 60 days if your job finishes early. It’s unlikely you’ll have to leave if your visa has less than 60 days remaining.

Eligibility for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa if you have:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • £945 - 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 £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.

Work covered by international law

Your work in the UK must be any of the following:

  • covered by the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
  • covered by similar agreements between the UK and other countries
  • for an overseas government or international organisation
  • as a private servant in a diplomatic household or in the household of an employee of an international organisation

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a unique reference number that holds information about you and your job. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.  Your sponsor will give you the certificate of sponsorship.  Your sponsor will 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 the 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 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.

Applying for a for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa

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.  You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you’re already in the UK.

Extend your visa in this category

You can apply to extend your Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa.  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 be in the UK to extend your visa. You must continue to meet the eligibility rules.

You can apply to extend your visa for up to 2 years at a time up to a total maximum stay of 6 years unless:

  • you are a private servant in a diplomatic household and applied for your visa on or after 5 April 2012 - your total maximum stay can only be 5 years or until the last date of your employer’s posting, whichever is shorter
  • you are a contractual service supplier or independent professional - you can only stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months in any 12 month period

Switch to your visa to a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa

You can apply to switch into a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa while you are in the UK if you want to continue working for your current employer and you:

  • have a work permit
  • work for an overseas government or international organisation

You should apply before your current visa expires. You can stay for 2 years or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus up to 28 days, whichever is shorter.

Family members/Dependants

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 aged under 18
  • your child aged 18 or older if they’re already in the UK as dependants

It’s best to send your dependant’s application at the same time as yours. Read the guidance on dependant applications before you apply.

Savings to prove 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 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 are in the UK then they can apply online or by post.  It’s advisable 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.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list or one in the same sector as your main job for up to 20 hours per week (unless you are a private servant, a contractual service supplier or an independent professional)
  • study, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • start working before you get your visa