Charity Worker Visa UK: Temporary Work Visa

Charity Worker Visa UK: Temporary Work Visa

The Charity Worker visa, a variation of the UK Temporary Worker visa, is a unique opportunity to contribute to a charitable cause in the UK. Formerly known as the Tier 5 Charity Worker visa, this document allows foreign nationals to enter the UK and stay for 12 months while performing voluntary work. It’s important to note that this visa is for temporary employment only. You cannot accept a permanent job offer in the UK, and you must leave the country before the visa expires.

The charity worker visa is a legitimate way to enter the UK as an unpaid worker and remain there for up to a year. This post will describe the requirements for applying for a UK volunteer visa and how it works.

With the charity worker visa, you have a range of rights and privileges while in the UK:

  • You’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate to study for specific courses.
  • To work up to 20 hours a week at the same level in a second job in the same industry
  •  To work for the sponsoring organization in the way specified in your sponsorship certificate
  • Bring your kids and partner if they qualify.

A charity worker needs to understand the limitations of this visa. You have no right to take permanent employment or receive payment for any work you perform while you are in the UK. Additionally, you cannot use any government funds.

Eligibility for the Charity Worker Visa UK

To qualify for a Charity Worker visa, you must receive a job offer from a UK-based company for a position that meets the necessary qualifications. It must be a position that would only sometimes be available for compensation and directly promote the sponsor’s charitable objectives. Fundraising, retail, or administration jobs are not acceptable for this work. In addition, there are many more requirements for anyone wishing to apply for a charity worker visa in the UK:

  • You must meet the following requirements: you must be at least eighteen years old
  • You must have a valid Sponsorship license and an official Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK-based charity
  • You must be able to support yourself financially during your stay, as evidenced by having at least £1,270 in your bank account
  • You must genuinely intend to carry out charitable work in the UK, as stated in your application

These requirements could change depending on your position and other factors. It can be beneficial for you to speak with immigration attorneys to learn more about your eligibility.

Suppose you were granted a Religious Worker or Charity Worker visa within the previous year. In that case, you are ineligible for this visa unless you can demonstrate that you were outside the United Kingdom during that period.

Your workplace must meet employer responsibilities under UK employment law. If your company doesn’t take these actions, your application will be rejected.

Sponsorship certificate

A sponsorship certificate is a unique reference number that contains data on your personal information and the work you will perform. It isn’t a printed document or a certificate. Your sponsor will give you the sponsorship certificate. You must also obtain the data, such as your working hours, that your sponsor uses to create your employment certificate.

For the UK government to grant sponsorship certificates, your sponsor must be authorized. After the date of issuance, your sponsorship certificate remains valid for three months.

Money Required to Maintain Yourself

You should have at least £1,270 in your financial account to demonstrate your ability to support yourself in the UK. This amount must have been available to you for a minimum of 28 consecutive days, with Day 28 falling within 31 days of your application for this visa.

Generally, you will need to provide evidence of this when you apply, unless one of the following applies:

  • Either you have been in the UK for at least 12 months on a valid visa,
  • Your employer can pay up to £1,270 toward your initial month of living expenses.

Your partner and children must also demonstrate their ability to support themselves in the country; check how much they’ll need.

Application Process for a Charity Worker Visa

You apply for a visa more than three months before the day you plan to arrive. Use the application form available on the official government website. You can apply for it online on the UK website.

Apply from outside the UK

  • This visa requires an online application. You will need to provide identification as part of your application. Completing this varies depending on your passport type and place of origin.
  • You’ll choose to obtain a biometric residence permit by having your fingerprints and photo taken at a visa application center. Scan your identity document with the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app.
  • Create or log into your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account.

If an appointment is necessary, then:

The center might need to hold your passport and supporting documentation while they proceed with your application. You may need to go to the closest visa application center, which may be in another country. You will be capable of making a decision more quickly.

Apply inside the United Kingdom

You can extend your visa only after you are in the UK. Applying before your current Charity Worker visa expires will allow you to prolong your temporary employment.

Documents Required for Charity Worker Visa

When applying, please provide:

  • Your employer will provide you with your certificate of sponsorship reference number.
  • A valid passport or other document proving your identity and nationality
  • Proof that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself while in the UK, such as bank statements (unless your certificate of sponsorship indicates your employer can support you),
  • Evidence of your relationship with your spouse or children, if they are applying on your behalf
  • Your tuberculosis (TB) test results depend on whether you live in a nation requiring testing.
  • For your visa, you must have an empty page in your passport.
  • All non-Welsh or non-English papers need to be officially translated.

Depending on the circumstances, you may have to provide further documentation.

Application Fee for Charity Worker Visa 

The £298 application fee must be payable by you and every family member, including children, when you apply for a UK visa for charity work. This sum remains constant whether you apply from within the nation. You will also be assessed a healthcare surcharge, typically worth £1035 each year of the visa, if your stay exceeds six months.

Remember that to demonstrate your ability to provide for your family’s needs during their visit, you will usually also need some money in your bank account. However, it’s not an expense because you do not have to spend this amount on living in the UK and do not have to keep the amount throughout your stay.

Bring Your Family via a Charity Worker Visa

Your spouse and kids can seek a visa and reside in the country as your dependents. If their visa application is approved, your expiration date will correspond. Your family members must, however, meet specific standards and qualify for a visa. You must demonstrate that you have lived with your partner for at least two years before submitting your application or that you are married to them in a civil partnership.

Your children over 16 must live with you and depend on your financial assistance if you wish to bring them with you. You can be required to present any form of documentation as evidence for this, such as an address verification or a letter from your school.

You and your spouse must have extra money for each member of your family that is adequate for their financial support if you wish to travel with them.

  • £285 for your significant other
  • £312 for one child
  • £200 for every other child.

These sums add up; for instance, you must demonstrate that your family has at least £1,867 in your account if you wish to bring your spouse and child.


For 12 months, those with a job offer can perform voluntary work in the UK under the Charity Worker Visa route. While a spouse and children under 18 may apply as dependents on this route, the Charity Worker Visa is not a path to permanent residence.

Non-UK citizens may be sponsored by a registered charity in the UK to enter and remain in the country for a year or for the most extended amount of time permitted by the sponsorship certificate. The personal information and the work the non-UK nationals will perform for the sponsor’s charity purpose upon arrival in the UK are provided in the Certificate of Sponsorship, which has a unique reference number.


Who can sponsor a temporary worker applicant for a charity worker visa?

Suppose you are an A-rated licensed sponsor with a valid certificate of sponsorship. In that case, you can sponsor foreign temporary workers and hire them as a corporation, business, or organization in the United Kingdom.

How many employees can I sponsor with a charity worker visa?

You are unlimited in how many people you can invite to work for your charitable organization in the UK.

How much time is required before I receive a sponsorship certificate?

The approval process for a specific COS may require roughly one business day. It can take longer, though, if the Home Office requires more explanations of the provider information.

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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