The Creative Worker visa (Temporary Work) is a type of visa introduced by the UK government to allow non-UK resident workers to come to the UK for a limited time period to work in the creative sector. This visa is designed to enable creative professionals to gain valuable work experience in the UK and provides a way for them to bring their skills and expertise to the UK creative industry.

The Creative Worker visa is available to individuals who are sponsored by a licensed UK organisation. This may be an organisation in the creative sector such as a theatre company or film production studio, or a company in another sector that requires the services of a creative professional.

This visa allows workers to stay in the UK for up to 12 months and can be extended for a further 12 months. Applicants for the Creative Worker visa must provide evidence of their employment contract, and proof of their accommodation arrangements in the UK, and may be required to provide other documentation relating to their work experience and qualifications.

It should be noted that the Creative Worker visa is a temporary visa and does not provide a route to permanent settlement in the UK.

This visa has replaced the Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting visa (T5). If you're a sportsperson, you can work in the UK with the International Sportsperson visa.

Requirements for Creative Worker visa

You need all of the following to be eligible for the creative category:

  • make a unique contribution to the UK labour market, for example you're internationally renowned or are required for continuity
  • certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • be paid the minimum salary as set by Equity, PACT or BECTU (except for models, musicians or circuses)
  • enough money to support yourself in the UK - you'll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you're exempt)

You must meet all other requirements depending on your circumstances.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It's not an actual certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number. You'll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your visa application form - you can only use it once. Your certificate of sponsorship is valid for 3 months from the date it's assigned to you.

Supporting documents

When you apply, you'll need to provide:

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number - your employer will give you this
  • a valid passport or other documents that shows your identity and nationality
  • evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example, bank statements (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you)
  • proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they're applying with you
  • your tuberculosis test results if you're from a country where you have to take the test

This is a general list of documents. You must provide all other supporting documents depending on your circumstances.

Your partner and children

Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your 'dependants' if they're eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.

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