CHARITY WORKER (T5) VISA
The Charity Worker (T5) visa route is for individuals (and their dependants) who wish to undertake voluntary work in the UK for up to 12 months. The Tier 5 Charity Worker visa is not a route to settlement.
Requirements for a Charity Worker (T5) visa
In order to qualify for a Charity Worker (T5) visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:
- You are aged 18 or over, or have valid written consent;
- The charity work meets certain specified requirements;
- You hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role;
- You genuinely intend, and are able, to undertake the role for which you are being sponsored;
- You have sufficient funds;
- You have provided your biometric information;
- You do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
- Where applying for leave to remain, you are not in breach of immigration laws, or on immigration bail.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Charity Worker (T5) visa permitted voluntary work
In order to qualify as charity work under the Charity Worker (T5) visa, the work you are planning to undertake must meet three criteria.
First, it must be voluntary fieldwork which directly contributes to your sponsor’s charitable purpose. This includes activities which would not normally be offered for a wage or salary. It does not include supportive work such as routine administrative, retail, or fund-raising roles.
Second, the work cannot be paid or remunerated, unless it is for reasonable expenses incurred in order to perform your duties.
Finally, you must not be filling a position (even temporarily) which is required on a permanent basis.
Charity Worker (T5) visa Certificate of Sponsorship requirement
In order to qualify for a Charity Worker (T5) visa you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a Home Office ‘A-rated’ licensed sponsor (unless you are applying for an extension to work for the same employer as in your previous grant of leave to remain). The Certificate must confirm that the role you intend to undertake meets the voluntary work requirements. It must not have already been used in an application which was granted or refused.
The Certificate of Sponsorship must have a start date of no more than 3 months before the application date. The Certificate will be valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to you. If you apply for a Charity Worker (T5) visa after this date, your application may be rejected. The Certificate of Sponsorship must not have been withdrawn or cancelled since being assigned.
Financial requirement for a Charity Worker (T5) visa
Unless you have been in the UK with permission for over 12 months, in order to qualify for a Charity Worker (T5) visa you must have funds of at least £1,270 which you have held for at least 28 consecutive days within the 31 days before your application.
You can also satisfy this requirement if your sponsor confirms on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will maintain and accommodate you with at least £1,270 up to the end of your first month in the UK.
If you are applying with dependants, they will also need to prove that they can support themselves. The financial levels are £285 for your partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child.
Charity Worker (T5) visa applications by children
If you are under 18 years old, you must provide written consent from both parents, one parent (if they have sole legal responsibility), or a legal guardian. This must demonstrate support for your application, travel and living arrangements.
Applying for entry clearance as a Tier 5 Charity Worker
If you are seeking entry clearance on the Charity Worker (T5) visa route, you must apply for and be granted a visa from outside of the UK. You must not have had permission on this route within the 12 months immediately before your application, unless you can prove that you were not in the UK at all during that period.
You must provided a valid tuberculosis certificate, if required.
What else do I need to know about the Tier 5 Charity Worker visa application process?
Applications for Tier 5 Charity Worker visas are submitted online. You will need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
The application fee for Charity Worker (T5) visa is currently £244. If applying with dependants, you must each complete an application and pay the fee separately. The fee is automatically reduced by £55 if you’re from:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
If you are applying to extend your stay as a Tier 5 Charity Worker, you must apply before your current visa expires.
You should receive a decision within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.
What if my application for a Charity Worker visa is refused?
If your application for a Charity Worker visa is refused, then it may be possible to apply for Administrative Review of the decision, or submit a fresh application. You may wish to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Conditions of stay as a Charity Worker
If your application for a Charity Worker (T5) visa is approved, your visa will allow you to enter and stay in the UK for up to 12 months or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter. You will be able to enter the UK up to 14 days before your job’s start date.
You will only be allowed to work in the role you are sponsored for, although volunteering with other organisations is permitted. You will be allowed to study (for some courses you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate).
How our immigration barristers can help
Our team of business immigration barristers has experience in assisting with all types of visa applications. Our barristers are experts in the immigration options for Tier 5 visa applicants and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to Tier 5 applicants as part of professional and friendly service.
We can also assist with
Applications to enter the UK under alternative immigration routes
The UK offers a range of personal and business immigration routes. Details of all the main immigration routes are available on our website. However, some of the most popular routes are as follows:
The Tier 1 Investor visa category is for non-EEA nationals who are able to make a substantial investment in the UK. You will need to have access to £2 million and be willing to invest your funds in UK government bonds or actively trading UK companies.
The Skilled Worker visa is open to individuals of all nationalities (except British and Irish) who have an offer of an eligible skilled job in the UK from a Home Office-approved sponsor.
The Start-up visa is for individuals who are new entrepreneurs and want to establish a business in the UK for the first time.
The Innovator visa category is for individuals who are experienced businesspersons seeking to establish a business in the UK.
The Student visa category is for individuals who are aged 16 or over and who wish to study on a further or higher education course in the UK.
The Graduate visa route will allow international students who have completed a UK degree to stay in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies.
Fresh applications, Administrative Reviews and Judicial Review for Tier 5 Charity Worker migrants
If your application for entry clearance or as a Tier 5 Charity Worker migrant has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.
If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.
If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.