Applying for a UK Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa

Applying for a UK Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa: A Comprehensive Guide

As a non-EEA national seeking to work temporarily in the United Kingdom, a Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa might be your key to unlocking the door to the UK’s job market. This temporary work visa allows you to be hired by a sponsoring employer for up to 12 or 24 months and work in a ‘skilled’ profession or engage in work placements and voluntary services.

If you’re thinking of applying for a Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa, this guide will help you navigate the application process from start to finish.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for a Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

– You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a licensed sponsor in the UK.
– You must be 18 years or older.
– You must have a good command of the English language, either through an approved English language test or by being a national of a majority English-speaking country.
– You must have enough money to support yourself during your stay in the UK.

Types of Tier 5 Temporary Working Visas

The UK government offers six different types of Tier 5 Temporary Working Visas. However, the application process, eligibility criteria, and permitted activities vary depending on the visa type. The six types of Tier 5 Temporary Working Visas are:

1. Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting)
2. Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Charity Worker)
3. Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Religious Worker)
4. Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange)
5. Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – International Agreement)
6. Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)

Because the Youth Mobility Scheme is the most popular Tier 5 visa among young people, this guide will focus on the application process and eligibility criteria for this visa.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) is for young people aged 18 to 30 who want to live and work in the UK for up to two years. To apply for a Tier 5 (YMS) Visa, you must:

– Be a citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Taiwan or hold a British National (Overseas) passport.
– Have £1,890 in your savings account or another form of financial support.
– Have a valid passport from your participating country.
– Be able to prove you have no dependents.
– Not have previously participated in the Youth Mobility Scheme.

Application Process

The application process for a Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa typically involves the following steps:

1. Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship

In most cases, before applying for a Tier 5 visa, you’ll need to have a job offer from a UK employer who holds a sponsor licence. Your sponsor will then provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which a necessary requirement for your visa application.

2. Gather Required Documents

Before applying for a visa, you’ll need to gather the following documents:

– A valid passport
– Proof of your financial support
– A tuberculosis test result
– A criminal record certificate if you have spent more than 12 months in the UK in the past 10 years
– Evidence of your English language proficiency

3. Apply for a Visa

Once you have collected all the required documents, you can begin your visa application. You can apply online or by completing a printed application form. Your application must be submitted within three months of receiving your CoS and no earlier than six months before the start date of your employment.

4. Attend a Biometric Appointment

As part of your application, you will be asked to attend a biometric appointment. This is when you will have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

5. Receive an Outcome

You can expect the visa decision to take around three weeks.


1. What happens if my job offer falls through or my employer cannot sponsor my visa?

If your job falls through or your sponsor is no longer able or willing to sponsor your Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa, your visa application will likely be refused.

2. Can I extend my Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa?

Yes, you may be eligible to apply for an extension of your visa. However, this is subject to strict eligibility criteria, and you must apply before your current visa expires.

3. Can I switch from a Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa to another visa category?

Yes, in some cases, you can switch to another visa category if you meet the eligibility criteria.

4. Can I bring my dependents with me to the UK on a Tier 5 visa?

No, you cannot bring any dependents with you if you are applying for a Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa.

5. Is it possible to apply for UK citizenship through the Tier 5 visa?

No, Tier 5 visa applicants are not eligible for UK citizenship. To be able to apply for UK citizenship, you must have spent enough time lawfully in the UK on a different visa category.

In conclusion, obtaining a Tier 5 Temporary Working Visa requires following a strict visa application process and meeting stringent eligibility criteria. With careful preparation and thorough research, however, you can increase your chances of success and fulfill your ambitions of working in the United Kingdom.

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