The tier 5 visa has a number of categories which permit workers to come to the UK for work or entertainment purposes on a temporary basis. The maximum length of time a person can stay under a tier 5 visa is 12 or 24 months (depending on the specific scheme), although extensions are available for qualifying temporary workers. For those workers looking to apply for a tier 5 it is essential to seek immigration legal advice.

Oratto and tier 5 visas

Oratto is a web-based platform which links consumers of legal services with high end lawyers. Experienced immigration solicitors from Oratto will be able to offer skilled, practical legal advice on applying for a tier 5 visa. To access this legal advice swiftly, select a lawyer from the list on this page and Oratto will put you in touch. Alternatively, you can fill in our online form so we can use our Match function to identify the best immigration solicitor for your needs.

There are exacting criteria to fulfill in order to travel under a tier 5 visa and conditions depends upon the category which applies to you. There are five possible categories:

  • Creative or sporting purposes
  • Charity workers
  • Those who are travelling as part of the Youth Mobility Scheme
  • People who are travelling under a Government Authorised Exchange
  • Workers who are migrating under an International Agreement

Tier 5 visa for creative and sports people

If you fit into this category then you are allowed to come to the UK for a maximum of 12 months as an entertainer, creative artist or as a sportsperson. To qualify as a sportsperson, the job in the UK must contribute significantly to the running of and development of the sport or the person must be established internationally in their sport at the very highest level. All coaches must be appropriately qualified.

A sportsperson is allowed to apply to extend their visa for a maximum of 12 months and a creative person can apply for an extension of up to 24 months.

Tier 5 visa for charity workers

To come to the UK as a charity worker under a tier 5 visa, you must be sponsored by an organisation and the work in the UK must be directly related to this organisation. It's possible to apply from outside the UK, or inside if you currently have a tier 5 visa. If you've travelled to the UK under a separate immigration category then you cannot apply to switch to a tier 5 visa.

Other tier 5 categories

The other categories are:

  • Youth Mobility Scheme - which is designed to allow young people from Taiwan, New Zealand, Monaco, Canada, Japan or Australia to visit and experience life in the UK.
  • Government Authorised Exchange - schemes approved under this category allow people to travel to the UK with the aim of sharing their experience and knowledge as well as simultaneously experiencing the social and cultural life in the UK.
  • International Agreement - this is for those people who are contracted to do work in the UK which is regulated by international law. For example, people who work under The General Agreement of Trade in Services.


All people who apply for a tier 5 visa will need a sponsor and a valid certificate of sponsorship. It's necessary for the sponsor to receive endorsement from an official body relating to the activity and this body must be recognised by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA).

Contact an Oratto member immigration solicitor today for further information and advice about applying for a tier 5 visa.