Tier 5 visas cover cultural exchanges or working holidays in the UK undertaken by young people. The Youth Mobility scheme is the replacement for the popular Working Holidaymaker programme. Tier 5 also caters to a range of specific temporary employment opportunities including professional sports people or professional musicians who want to come to the UK to participate in a specific event such as the Olympics, a football match, or a concert.
Applications for the tier 5 visa require a certificate of sponsorship to be issued by the Government in your home country. This certificate will serve as an assurance that you will abide by the terms of the scheme undertaken.
Youth Mobility Schemes
The new tier 5 visa replaces a range of youth mobility schemes such as the Working Holidaymaker visa and the Au Pair Programme with a single visa system. Tier 5 is available to you if you are from a participating country and you are aged 18-30 years old. If your application is successful you will be granted leave to enter the UK for a maximum period of 24 months. As with tier 3 visas and tier 4 visas, immigration to the UK via this route is temporary and you will be required to return to your home country at the expiry of your visa.
Unlike a tier 1 visa or a tier 2 visa, the tier 5 visa category does not lead to permanent residence in the UK. Furthermore, you are not allowed to be self-employed in the UK or to function as a professional sportsperson and you cannot bring any dependents into the country or switch to any other tiers of the system.
Tier 5 visas for the UK also accommodate the following categories of temporary workers immigrating to Britain who do not qualify under the requirements of a tier 2 visa. Once again, the maximum duration of leave is 24 months and switching to other tiers is not permitted. Dependents will be admitted but will only be allowed to work in the UK if the principle applicant is afforded more than 12 months leave.
UK visa applications can be made by creative artists, sportspeople or entertainers provided that a sponsor has been organised. Sponsors must be able to confirm that applicants pose no threat to the domestic workforce and will engage only in the specified activity.
If you are a volunteer worker seeking to enter the UK via this route you will need to provide evidence of sponsorship from a charity or benevolent organisation. Your sponsor must be able to demonstrate that the activity is directly relevant to the organisation and that it will not be permanent.
With the exception of ministers of a faith who engage in a preaching and pastoral capacity, religious workers may visit the UK if they are sponsored by the faith community.
Government authorised exchange
Entering the country as part of an accredited exchange, development or knowledge sharing scheme is permitted subject to sponsorship by the organization running the scheme is question.
n some circumstances, the UK is obliged to allow specific categories of immigrants into the country to work. International agreements Such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) 1961 relating to diplomatic household servants would be examples of this. The sponsorship role would be fulfilled by means appropriate to the specific agreement.