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Charity Workers | Temporary Work Visa

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.

Speak to ICS Legal on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us your query on If you a Sponsor Licence holder and require advice on applying/assigning an allocation, please speak to our dedicated Sponsor Licence Team.

Complete our visa assessment form, by clicking here

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.

How long it will take
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. Check the guide processing times to see how long getting a visa might take in your country.

How long you can stay
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.

What you can and can’t do
You can:

  • the study - for some courses, you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate);

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship;

  • do a second 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.

Extend your visa
You can apply to extend your Tier 5 (Temporary worker - Charity Worker) visa. You should include any dependents 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.

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

How long you can stay
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.

How long it takes
A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for postal and online applications;

  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example, because: your supporting documents need to be verified, and you need to attend an interview of your personal circumstances (eg if you have a criminal conviction). Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

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