The Temporary Worker (T5) visa category offers a variety of options for overseas nationals to take on short-term work in the UK that will satisfy cultural, charitable, religious, or international objectives.

This route includes a number of sub-routes, each with its own eligibility requirements. Regardless of the type of your temporary work, your UK employer must hold a valid Sponsor Licence to provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

You can apply for this category to do unpaid voluntary work for a charity if you have a certificate of sponsorship and sufficient funds to support yourself while you are in the UK.

Your Charity Worker visa will be granted for 12 months.

This category is for temporary workers within the creative and sporting fields. Sportspersons need to make a significant contribution to their field of sport at the highest level to be eligible for this visa. Creative workers must make a unique contribution to the UK labour market. Both need a certificate of sponsorship to apply.

Your Creative and Sporting visa will be granted for 12 months.

This category is for those who want to do religious work, such as preaching or working in a religious order in the UK.

Your Religious Worker visa will be granted for 24 months.

This category is for farm workers who have a sponsor and want to work in the UK.

Your Seasonal Worker visa will be granted for a maximum of 6 months in a 12-month period.

This category can be used for those seeking entry to the UK for a short period of time for work experience or to do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research, or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme.

Your Government Authorised Exchange visa will be granted for 24 months if you are coming for research, an overseas language programme, or a training programme. If you are coming for work experience, your visa will be granted for 12 months.

This category is for those contracted to do work covered by international law or treaty while in the UK, for example working for a foreign government, working as a private servant in a diplomatic household or providing a service under contract.

International Agreement visa will be granted to private servants in a diplomatic household or employees of an overseas government or organisation for the period of 24 months. For contractual service suppliers or independent professionals, the visa will be granted for 6 months in any 12-month period.

Certificate of Sponsorship

Your Certificate of Sponsorship will hold your personal details and information about the job you have been offered, including the salary and the start and end date of the employment.

Your employer must hold a valid Sponsor licence, which will allow to issue you a CoS reference number that must be included with your application. You must apply for your visa within 3 months from the date your CoS is issued.

Your Job

You must show that the role meets the requirements for sponsorship. You must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage.


You must normally show that you have sufficient funds of at least £1,270 for your maintenance in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you can apply. You do not need to show maintenance funds if you have been in the UK for at least 12 months before you apply, or if your employer certified your maintenance on your CoS.

Other requirements

As with most visa categories, you must be at least 18 years old to apply and meet the English Language requirement.

Conditions of your Temporary Work visa may vary depending on the type of your visa. The following conditions will apply to your stay regardless of your type of Temporary Work visa:

You will be permitted the following activities on your Temporary Work visa:

  • Work for your sponsor in the job described in your CoS and study.

You will not be able to do the following in the UK on your Temporary Work visa:

  • Settle in the UK on a Temporary Work visa
  • Claim public funds (most benefits)

Fairmont Lawyers can help you navigate the requirements and provide you with professional legal assistance every step of the way to obtain a Temporary Work visa.


No, you must only work in the job that you were sponsored for.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring family members to the UK with you as your dependents on this visa.

No. This category does not allow you to switch to other visa categories inside the UK.

This is possible, but each member of your Start-Up team will need to obtain their own individual endorsement from an endorsing body.

Yes you can, but your endorsing body will need to be satisfied that you continue working and developing your business and can show reasonable progress.

The current visa application fee for a Start-Up visa (from October 2021) is £363 for applications made outside the UK and £493 for applications inside the UK (plus £19.20 foe biometric enrolment if you are in the UK). The Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) is £624 per each year of the visa unless you are exempt. The fees are the same for your dependents. The Home Office reviews its fees and these may be subject to increase in the future.

It takes around:

  • 3 weeks if you apply from outside the UK
  • 8 weeks if you apply from inside the UK

However, some delays may occur depending on your individual circumstances or the Home Office/UKVI.

You may be able to choose Priority Service, subject to availability. You will need to pay an additional fee to use this service, and the cost depends on the visa centre.

Your endorsing body must confirm that you have demonstrated enough progress to meet the “Innovator – same business” criteria. If you are successful, you will be able to switch to an Innovator category without the need to show the required funds of £50,000. The Innovator visa will enable you to settle in the UK if you meet other settlement eligibility criteria.