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Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting) visas

The creative and sporting worker category is for people coming to the UK to work or perform as a sportsperson, entertainer or creative artist for up to 12 months. Before you can apply under the creative and sporting worker category you must have:

  • A sponsor; and
  • A valid certificate of sponsorship.

When the application is submitted, you will be awarded points based on your sponsorship and available maintenance (or funds). In order to be granted entry or leave to remain in the UK, you must obtain a total of 40 points under the Immigration Rules. 30 points are awarded for a valid certificate of sponsorship and 10 points are awarded for meeting the maintenance requirement.

Certificate of Sponsorship

In order to score the 30 points, you must be issued with a valid certificate of sponsorship. The certificate of sponsorship acts as an assurance that you can and will do the job assigned to you. A certificate of sponsorship must contain the same details as in your passport, be assigned to you by your sponsor no more than three months before the date of your application and not have been withdrawn.

For work in dance, theatre, film or television, either as a performer or worker, your sponsor must commit to following the specified codes of conduct within the immigration rules which take into account the needs of the resident labour market test in these areas. If your job is not covered by a particular code of conduct, your sponsor will need to show that the post could not be filled by a settled worker.

When issuing your certificate of sponsorship, your sponsor must confirm that you:

  • want to come to the United Kingdom to work or perform in the relevant sector;
  • are not planning on setting up a business in the UK;
  • pose no threat to the resident labour market;
  • will comply with the conditions of your permission to stay.

In the event that you need to perform at a number of engagements, possibly at a number of different venues, your sponsor can give you a single certificate of sponsorship to cover all your engagements provided that there are no more than 14 calendar days in between each engagement.

If you are sponsored by a number of different venues, producers or promoters, each of them can give you a certificate of sponsorship to cover their show(s) only. The period given in each certificate sponsorship should not overlap, and there must be no more than 14 calendar days in between each engagement.  The UKBA will then grant you permission to stay to cover the total time applicable to all your certificates of sponsorship.


You must score 10 points for maintenance (funds). These points will be awarded if you are applying for permission to stay in the UK and have:

  • £900 in available funds, which you have held in your bank account for 90 consecutive days ending no earlier than 1 month before the date when you apply; or
  • a certificate of sponsorship from an A-rated sponsor which confirms that you will not claim benefits while in the UK. Your sponsor should provide a letter stating that they will maintain and accommodate you during your first month in the UK. However, your sponsor cannot maintain your dependents.

You can make an application under the creative and sporting worker category now if you are applying for entry clearance to come to the UK, or if you are already in the UK as a sportsperson and want to extend your stay for up to 12 months. Alternatively, if you are already in the UK as a creative worker who has been in the UK for 12 months or less, you will then be able to extend your stay for a maximum period of 24 months.  Your job must continue with your original sponsor.

If you were granted leave to enter the UK as a sports or entertainer visitor, you may use your previous certificate of sponsorship to ‘switch’ into the Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Creative and Sporting) category if you are still in the UK. However, you may only extend your visa for a maximum period of two years.

Whilst in the UK you will need to observe conditions attached to your leave to remain. The conditions of stay are that:

  • you have no access to state benefits; and
  • you must register with the police if this is required: and
  • you will only work with a certificate of sponsorship for a licensed sponsor

You will be permitted to take extra or supplementary work, to the job that you have been granted a certificate of sponsorship for.  You may undertake supplementary work provided that the work is for no more than 20 hours per week and the work is outside the usual working hours for which you were granted the certificate of sponsorship.

If you decide to change your job, either within the same organisation or with a new organisation, another application will need to be made under Tier 5, with evidence demonstrating that you meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

If you would like further advice on applying to enter the UK under the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting) category, or if you are already in the UK and are considering switching into the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting) category, then please contact our immigration barristers in Covent Garden, London on 0203 617 9173 or email


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

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