Update: The UK Charity Worker visa has replaced the Temporary Worker – Charity Worker visa (T5).
UK Charity Worker visa – Overview
Applicants can apply for a UK Charity Worker visa if they want to do unpaid voluntary work for a charity.
The UK Short-term work visas are a part of the Tier 5 visas and come under the UK’s Point-based system.
The UK Short-term work visas are also known as ‘Temporary Workers Visas’. The visas under this category are listed below:
UK Charity Worker visa.
UK Creative Worker visa.
UK Government Authorized Exchange visa.
UK International Agreement visa.
UK Religious Worker visa.
UK Seasonal Work visa.
UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
UK Graduate visa.
List of documents
The eligibility criteria for a UK Charity Worker visa are listed below:
The applicant must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from their UK sponsor.
The applicant must have enough money to support their stay in the UK – a minimum of £1,270 in the applicant’s bank account is mandatory. The money must be available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.
The applicant must be 18 years old or above 18 years when they apply.
The documents required to apply for a UK Charity Worker visa are listed below:
A Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer.
A valid passport with enough blank pages for the visa.
Evidence of enough personal savings to support the applicant’s stay in the UK. For example, bank statements.
Proof of relationship with the partner or children, if they apply.
Tuberculosis (TB) test results (if required).
The applicant will need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
Certificate of Sponsorship to apply for a UK Charity Worker visa
Yes, the applicant must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed employer before they can apply to come to the UK to work.
The applicant’s charity work in the UK must relate to the work of their sponsor organisation.
Applying for a UK Charity Worker visa
The applicant can apply for a UK Charity Worker visa up to 3 months before the day they are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on the Certificate of Sponsorship.
Permitted and not permitted activities in the UK on a UK Graduate visa
The applicant is permitted to:
Work in most jobs.
Look for work.
Live in the UK with their partner and children, if they’re eligible.
Do voluntary work.
Travel abroad and return to the UK.
The applicant is not permitted to:
Apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension.
Work as a professional sportsperson.
Bringing a partner and children to the UK on a UK Charity Worker visa
The applicant can bring along a partner and children (under 18 years) to join them in the UK as their ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible.
If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as the main applicants.
A dependent partner or child is any of the following:
Husband, wife, civil partner, or an unmarried partner.
Children under 18 years – including if they were born in the UK during the main applicant’s stay in the country.
Children over 18 years if they’re currently in the UK living as a dependant.
Extending a UK Charity Worker visa
The applicant can apply to extend their UK Charity Worker visa before their current visa expires.
The UK-based employer – also known as a ‘Sponsor’ – must provide the applicant with a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ stating all the information with regards to the job role for which the applicant is employed in the UK.
It’s an e-Certificate. That means, it is an electronic record and not a paper document.
The applicant will need the reference number from the Certificate of Sponsorship to apply for the visa.
The Certificate of Sponsorship must be valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to the applicant.