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Personal Immigration

Short-term work visa

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Short Term Work Visa

The short term work visa is a temporary visa normally granted for any period upto a maximum of 12 or 24 months to those who meet criteria set out under each category. Under the current Points Based System, short-term work visas come under Tier 5 and the UK government has indicated that some of these routes will be extended to EU nationals from January 2021 and continue to operate as it is now. The current Tier 5 categories are as below.

  • Charity Worker
  • Religious Worker
  • Seasonal Worker
  • Creative and Sporting
  • Youth Mobility scheme
  • International Agreement
  • Government Authorised Exchange
Charity Worker

This category is for people coming to the UK to do voluntary unpaid work for a charity. The work must be directly related to the work of the applicant’s employer in the charity sector, who must also have a Tier 5 sponsor licence. The maximum period of visa duration granted under this scheme is 12 months and applicants must also meet the maintenance requirements.

Religious Worker

This route is for individuals to come to the UK, who want to engage in temporary religious work, such as preaching or working in a religious order, if sponsored by a Home Office approved religious organisation. The maximum duration for this type of leave is 24 months and applicants must also satisfy the maintenance requirement. If the applicants are looking for a longer duration and/or intend to engage in preaching and pastoral work, they should consider applying under Tier 2 Minister of Religion.

Seasonal Worker

This route is for workers to come to the UK to do farm work for a maximum period of 6 months. The applicants must be sponsored by an organisation approved by the Home Office as a Tier 5 sponsor and meet the maintenance requirements. The government indicated that this route will remain and provide employers with further ongoing flexibility in employing individuals into lower-skilled roles.

Creative and Sporting

The creative and sporting worker category is for people coming to the UK to work or perform as sportspeople, entertainers or creative artists. This visa is granted to sports persons for a maximum period of 12 months and no further extension is possible. For a Creative person, this leave is initially granted for 12 months and is possible to extend upto a maximum total stay of 24 months.

In order to qualify as a Sports person, the applicant must make a significant contribution to your sport at the highest level in the UK, sponsored by a Home Office approved sponsor and meet the maintenance requirements. The Creative sector applicants must also make a significant and unique contribution to the UK labour market and must meet the minimum salary requirements as set out by Equity, Pact or BECTU (with some exceptions) and meet the maintenance requirements.

Youth Mobility scheme

This scheme is for individuals from selective countries between the age of 18 and 30 to visit, live and work in the UK for a period of up to 2 years. The applicants must be from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. In addition to this, all British Overseas Citizens, Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals Overseas also qualify under this scheme. This scheme can only be applied once and applicants who previously applied for the old Working Holiday maker scheme or have children that live together or have financial responsibility will not qualify. This application has to be made from the applicant’s home country and no dependants are eligible to apply with the main applicant.

International Agreement

This scheme is for those people coming to the UK under contract to do work that is covered under international law while in the UK. This includes workers under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and similar agreements, employees of overseas governments and international organisations, and private servants in diplomatic households. The employers must issue a CoS and the applicants must meet maintenance requirements.

Government Authorised Exchange

This visa is for those wishing to come to the UK for a short period of time to undertake work experience or training, an overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorized exchange scheme. The UK government has set out various approved GAE programmes and applicants and their employers must contact the overarching body conducting the schemes for approval before making the visa application. This route is also popular among International students as a post-study work experience option, prior to the newly introduced graduate immigration route.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting skilled temporary workers and their employers across a wide range of industry and sectors in the UK. Over the last many years, we have assisted many international students and employers to apply under the Tier 5 GAE schemes successfully and continue to work with many overarching bodies. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Tier 5 GAE visa holder bring family members?

Tier 5 GAE visa holders are eligible to bring dependents like their partner or children under 18 along with them. The Dependants are allowed to work or study in the UK.

How long does it take to get a decision on a short-term work visa?

The applicants usually get a decision within 15 working days if an application is made outside the UK. The current processing time on the basis of country of application and visa category can be checked by visiting https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times.

What can I do if a Short-term work visa application is refused?

The PBS application refusals normally carry a right of administrative review. We can assess application refusal and see if a case working error has been made and if so, assist in making an Administrative Review of the decision.

What are the restrictions on a Seasonal worker visa?

The seasonal worker visa is for 6 months and can only work in the job specified in the CoS. Individuals can also undertake study, but in some cases would require an ATAS certificate. There are also n family members, second job or access to public funds permitted under this route.

Can I apply to switch to an International Agreement visa in the UK?

The applications may be made from the UK if the individuals were contracted for work covered under international law whilst being in the UK and want to continue working for their current employer.
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