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A Look at the Temporary Work - Creative Worker Visa

The Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa is open to applicants who wish to work in the creative industry in the UK. This route allows applicants to come to the UK on a temporary basis and does not lead to settlement. Your dependent partner and children under the age of 18 can join you in the UK. 

Creative Worker Visa Requirements

To be eligible for a Creative Worker visa, you must show that:

  • You have been offered a job as a creative worker;
  • Your sponsor holds a valid Temporary Work –  Creative Worker sponsor licence;
  • You have been assigned a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (‘CoS’);
  • You will be paid the salary which meets the requirement;
  • You are genuinely able to undertake the role and do not plan to undertake other employment;
  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK;
  • Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
  • You will need to provide a valid TB certificate if you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months and making an entry clearance application from a listed country.

Who Is Eligible for a Creative Worker Visa?

In the Immigration Rules Appendix Temporary Work – Creative Worker, a creative worker is ‘someone who can make a unique contribution to the UK’s rich cultural life, for example, as an artist, dancer, musician or entertainer, or as a model contributing to the UK’s fashion industry’. Support staff may also be eligible if their employment is directly related to the creative worker’s work in the UK.

Creative Worker Visa Financial Requirement

If you are applying for entry clearance or have been in the UK for less than 12 months, you must show that you have at least £1,270 for a 28 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of application. Your employer can also cover your costs during your first month in the UK to an amount of at least £1,270 by confirming this on your CoS.

If you have been in the UK with permission for 12 months or more, you will automatically meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds.

Creative Worker Visa English Language Requirement 

There is no English Language requirement for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa.

Creative Worker Visa Sponsorship Requirement

The Creative Worker route is a sponsored route and this means that the applicant needs to have an offer of a job as a creative worker from a sponsor that holds a valid Temporary Work – Creative Worker sponsor licence. 

The applicant must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship, an electronic certificate containing information such as the applicant’s name, details of the role they will be carrying out and the salary they will be paid. 

Your sponsor must comply with the relevant Creative Worker Codes of Practice where there is one for your occupation. If your role appears in the shortage occupation list, there is no need for your sponsor to follow a code of practice. If there is no code of practice for this role and your role does not appear in the shortage occupation list, your sponsor will need to take into account the needs of the resident labour market and must be satisfied that the work could not be carried out by a settled worker.

Creative Worker Visa Application Fees and Processing Times

The current Home Office fee for a Creative Worker visa is £259 plus the Immigration Health Charge, which is £624 per year. The current published processing time for the Creative Worker visa is 3 weeks for entry clearance applications and 8 weeks if you are applying from the UK.

Validity Period of a Creative Worker Visa 

If your application for a Creative Worker visa is successful, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for either up to 12 months, or the time stated in your CoS plus 14 days before and after the period of leave granted, whichever is shorter.

Conditions of Stay as a Creative Worker

You will not be permitted to access public funds. You will be able to work in the job you are being sponsored for and supplementary employment is permitted.

Other Options for Creative Workers

Skilled Worker

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must be aged 18 or over and have a valid CoS. You will still need to have a sponsored role that is skilled to the appropriate level and offers the appropriate minimum salary. You will also need to meet the English Language  and maintenance requirements. You can apply for settlement after you have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK if you meet the requirements.

Global Talent

This visa category is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology or arts and culture wishing to work in the UK. ‘Talent’ applicants will already be leaders in their respective fields while ‘promise’ applicants are potential leaders in their field.

In order to qualify for a Global Talent visa, you will need to be issued with an endorsement letter from a Home Office approved endorsing body or have been awarded a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes. In our blogpost here we look at the Top 10 FAQs about preparing applications for a Global Talent visa in the fields of arts and culture. This is not a sponsored role and it is a route which can lead to settlement.

Creative Visitor

The Creative Visit Visa is a sub-category of the Standard Visitor route, available for overseas artists, entertainers or musicians to come to the UK for a period of up to 6 months to undertake permitted activities. For musicians, dancers or those with a connection to the arts, read our article here about visiting the UK as an artist or entertainer.  

Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor

Professional artists, entertainers or musicians can also consider the Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa to undertake a paid engagement in the UK for up to one month. Your permitted paid engagement is pre-arranged with evidence of a formal invitation from a UK based organisation and the activity is directly related to your profession. Do have a read of our recent article here for further information about Permitted Paid Engagement Visa.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to applying for a Creative Worker visa, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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