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Creative and Sporting Category | Temporary Work Visa

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting) visa if:

  • you’ve been offered work as a sports person or creative worker;

  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland;

  • you meet the other eligibility requirements.

A creative work is someone who works in the creative industry, eg an actor, dancer, musician or film crew member.initial 

If you would like to get some initial advice, click here to complete our visa assessment form. 

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.

How long it takes
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 find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees
How much you pay for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

How long you can stay
You can come to the UK for a maximum of up to 12 months or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus up to 28 days, whichever is shorter. You may be able to extend your visa. Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

What you can and can’t do
You can:

  • 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 and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week;

  • do a job on the shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week;

  • work as a sportsperson for your national team and as a sports broadcaster if you’re here under the sporting subcategory bring your family.

You can’t:

  • get public funds;

  • start your own business.

Sports person
You need to make a significant contribution to your sport at the highest level in the UK to be eligible for this visa. You’ll also need all of the following:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number;

  • £945 in savings - 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.

Creative worker
You need all of the following to be eligible for the Creative category:

  • make a unique contribution to the UK labour market, eg you are internationally renowned or are required for continuity;

  • certificate of sponsorship reference number;

  • be paid the minimum salary as set by Equity, PACT or BECTU (except for models or circuses);

  • £945 in savings - 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.

Certificate of sponsorship
You need a licensed sponsor to give you a certificate of sponsorship before you can apply to work in the UK. A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document. Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number. They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, eg how much you’ll be paid. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your certificate of sponsorship.

Changing your sponsor
You must apply again and meet all the eligibility rules if you want to change your sponsor within the same organisation or move to a new organisation. Changing your sponsor doesn’t change how long you can stay in the UK. You can only stay the maximum length of time allowed by this visa.

Multiple entry
Your sponsor needs to give you multiple entry certificates of sponsorship if you need to leave and come back to the UK as part of the job you are doing.

Multiple jobs when you’re a creative worker
Your sponsor can give you a certificate that covers the entire length of your stay, even if you need to perform at more than 1 engagement. If you’re working for more than 1 sponsor, you can get a certificate from each sponsor. There can’t be a gap of more than 14 days between each job.

How long you can stay
Creative worker

You can extend your visa for whichever is the shortest of:

  • up to 12 months;

  • the time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days;

  • the time needed to extend your stay to the maximum of 24 months;

  • you must stay with the same sponsor.

Sports person

You can extend your visa up to 12 months, or the time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

Biometric information

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You can give your biometric information:

  • at certain Post Office branches if you applied online (this costs £19.20);

  • at a premium service centre if you applied in person.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.

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, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified;

  • if you need to attend an interview because of your personal circumstances (for example 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.

Call ICS Legal on 0207 237 3388 to get some legal advice. 

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