- UK Temporary Workers Categories
- Who is eligible for a Tier 5 Visa?
- The Genuine Tier 5 Migrant Test
- Tier 5 Visa Requirements for South African Sportspeople
- Eligibility Criteria for South African Creative Workers
- Tier 5 Requirements for Charity Workers from South Africa
- Conditions of Stay for South African Religious Workers
- Tier 5 Visa for Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) Applicants
- International Agreement Applicants
- Seasonal Workers
- Tier 5 Visa validity
- Tier 5 Visa Maintenance Requirements
- Frequently asked questions
- How can I get help from the IAS
Tier 5 Visa for South African Temporary Workers
The Tier 5 Visa grants entry to work in the UK to those working in specific fields, such as entertainers, sportspeople, diplomatic staff, and charity workers.
Eligible applicants need a job offer from a licensed Tier 5 sponsor, unless applying under the Youth Mobility Scheme.
To find out your options to enter the UK on a Tier 5 Visa from South Africa, you can get in touch with IAS UK immigration lawyers.
One of our experts will be happy to follow you through each step of your application.
UK Temporary Workers Categories
You can make an application for the Tier 5 Visa from South Africa if you fall into one of the following categories:
- Creative and sporting, for those coming to the UK from South Africa to work or perform as sportspeople, creative artists or entertainers.
- Religious workers, for applications who work as non-pastoral duties. If you wish to fill a preaching or pastoral role, you should apply for a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa.
- Charity workers, for those travelling from South Africa to the UK to do voluntary and not paid work for charity.
- Seasonal works, which is an immigration route targeted at those working in the horticulture sector that need to hire seasonal employees.
- International agreement, if you are coming to the UK under contract to provide a service which is covered under international law.
Who is eligible for a Tier 5 Visa?
The Tier 5 Visa is one of the PBS (Point-Based System) permits, meaning that you must score enough points and send appropriate supporting evidence to obtain entry clearance.
The points available for this application are:
- Maintenance requirement: 10 points
- Certificate of Sponsorship: 30 points
Additional points may be obtained depending on the nature of the role stated on your visa. To find out more about the eligibility criteria to obtain a Tier 5 Visa for South African applicants, you can get in touch with one of IAS’ UK immigration attorneys.
The Genuine Tier 5 Migrant Test
To approve your application, the Home Office must be satisfied that you are capable and willing to undertaking the role for which your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned. Besides, the UKVI needs to confirm that you won’t undertake employment in the UK other than that permitted by your visa.
In making its assessment, the Home Office will base its decision based on:
- Your knowledge of the role;
- Your relevant experience and skills required to do the role;
- Eligibility of your Sponsor in the UK;
- Explanation of how you were recruited abroad;
- Any other relevant information based on the supporting documents you submitted.
Tier 5 Visa Requirements for South African Sportspeople
To apply for a Tier 5 as a Sportsperson, you must be:
- Currently playing or coaching in any capacity, at a professional or semi-professional level of sport;
- Receiving payment for your playing or coaching activities;
- Being currently registered to a professional or semi-professional sports team.
- Have represented your national or regional team within the two years before your application.
- Have an established international reputation in your sport.
Eligibility Criteria for South African Creative Workers
To be recognized as a creative writer and qualify for a Tier 5 Visa, you must:
- Work in dance, film, theatre, television, or as a model in the fashion industry;
- Have a UK-based sponsor who is committed to following the code of practice;
- Have a sponsor who can demonstrate how the recruitment activity was undertaken
- Have written support from an industry representative body.
Tier 5 Requirements for Charity Workers from South Africa
South African citizens who are travelling to the UK to undertake unpaid voluntary work can apply for a Tier 5 visa, provided that their activities contributed directly to the achievement of the sponsor’s charitable purpose in the UK.
To qualify, you must:
- Not receive any form of payment or remuneration for your activities.
- Not be filling a permanent position, including temporarily.
- Leave the UK when your leave to stay expires.
Conditions of Stay for South African Religious Workers
To qualify as a religious worker, you must have a UK-based sponsor, which must:
- Be a registered UK charity or ecclesiastical corporation.
- Be the structure for a faith-based community with a common system of belief and spiritual goals.
- Receive financial and material support from its congregation or community on a voluntary basis.
Tier 5 Visa for Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) Applicants
This subcategory is available to those coming from South Africa to the UK through approved schemes aimed at sharing knowledge, experience and best practice through work placements.
Only licensed associations can sponsor under this tiers, which is not available to individual employers and organisations.
Speak to one of our UK immigration experts to find out more about the list of approved GAE schemes and sponsors.
International Agreement Applicants
This subcategory is for those travelling to the UK from South Africa on a Tier 5 to provide service covered under international law, including:
- Private servants in diplomatic households.
- Employees of overseas governments and international organisations.
- General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
- Any official and eligible agreement between the United Kingdom and South Africa.
To apply as a UK seasonal worker from South Africa, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Not intend to establish a business in the UK
- Only take employment in a seasonal job permitted by the scheme, and in the horticultural sector
- Leave the UK when your visa expires.
The scheme is subject to an annual quota of 2,500.
Tier 5 Visa validity
The Temporary Worker visa grants you leave to remain for up to 12 or 24 months, or the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 28 days. The overall validity of your leave to stay may vary based on the category you are applying for.
If you wish to remain in the UK with the same sponsor, you can apply to extend your visa for up to a maximum of 24 months.
Tier 5 Visa Maintenance Requirements
To qualify for entry clearance on a Tier 5, you must meet the maintenance requirement. This means that you must demonstrate either that:
- Your sponsor will maintain and accommodate you for a month;
- You have at least £945 of personal savings, which have been held for 90 consecutive days in your bank account for at least 31 days before your application.
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If you are in the UK on a Tier 5 visa, you can seek permission to change your employment, unless you are in the country as a private servant in a diplomatic household. You can change your role either within the same organization or with a new company.
You will need to obtain a new Certificate of Sponsorship for the role you are applying for. Besides, you will demonstrate that you meet any additional eligibility requirements.
If your employment ends before your period of leave, your visa may be curtailed to 60 days. If you wish to remain in the UK, you will need to make a new application.
If your application was refused, you will receive a letter from the Home Office stating the reasons for the rejection. If you believe that the UKVI has made a mistake in its decision, you can request an administrative review.
To receive professional advice and representation with your administrative review application, we recommend seeking the help of an expert UK immigration lawyer.