If you are a foreign national wanting to work in the UK but you are subject to immigration control, you must first apply for a UK workers visa. The Home office applies a points-based system in conjunction with other category-specific requirements under the Immigration Rules.
As a temporary worker you can apply to enter the UK for a short time although generally you will need an employer in the UK willing to sponsor you. There are 5 categories of temporary worker under Tier 5 of the points-based system (4 of which have been sub-categorised below as the same points requirements apply). Note, the additional youth mobility scheme is not an employment route.
TIER 5 Temporary Worker Visa
Creative and sporting – you can apply for a Tier 5 visa under this category if you are coming to work or perform in the UK for up to 12 months as a sports person, entertainer or creative artist. Sports people must be internationally established and/or their job must make a significant contribution to the development and running of their sport at the highest level. To apply you must have a sponsor and a valid certificate of sponsorship with an endorsement from a recognised governing body. You also need to score 40 points, comprising of 30 points from your certificate of sponsorship and 10 points for maintenance funds.
The creative and sporting category is not for people who want to come or who are already in the UK as entertainers or sports visitors. Click here for Visitors Visas.
Charity workers, religious workers, government authorized exchange or international agreement – charity workers are people coming to the UK to do voluntary work for a charity for up to 12 months. The religious workers category is for people coming to the UK for preaching, pastoral or non-pastoral work, or work in a religious order such as a monastery or convent. The government authorised exchange category is for people coming to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice, and to experience the UK’s social and cultural life. The international agreement category covers people coming to the UK under contract to do work that is governed by international law, eg, employees of overseas governments. All of these circumstances may mean you are eligible to enter the UK on a Tier 5 visa.
In all 4 sub-categories, to apply you must have a sponsor and a valid certificate of sponsorship. You also need to score 40 points comprising of 30 points from your certificate of sponsorship and 10 points for maintenance funds.
Youth mobility scheme – this is a scheme for young people from participating countries and territories that want to experience life in the UK. These countries include Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. Your national government will be your sponsor during your stay. You will need to score 50 points based on your nationality, age (18-31) and maintenance funds. You must also be outside the UK to apply.