The UK divides their visas into five tiers, each with a unique purpose. The first three cover various work visas, from long-term, skilled work to short-term, unskilled labor. The Tier 4 visa is for students who are 16 or older and have earned a place at a registered UK educational establishment. The Tier 5 visa is designed to allow temporary workers to migrate to the UK for a variety of purposes, such as charity work, entertainment, and religious work. The Tier 5 visa has six subcategories for temporary skilled workers, and it presents opportunities for companies and employees to experience the benefits of temporary employment in the UK.
What is a Tier 5 Visa?
The Tier 5 visa allows people to enter the UK on a short-term basis and work within one of the visa’s six categories, specified below:
- Youth Mobility Scheme: Applies to persons aged 18-30 who want to live and work in the UK for up to two years, and come from an eligible country
- Charity Workers: Designated for those who wish to perform unpaid volunteer work in the UK for an approved charity and are from a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. This subcategory allows workers to stay in the UK for up to one year.
- Creative and Sporting: For those who have been offered a position in the UK as a sports or creative worker and are a citizen of a country outside the EEA and Switzerland. This visa is valid for up to one year.
- International Agreement: Employees of foreign governments that reside outside of the EEA and Switzerland can use this visa to work for a maximum of two years in the UK. Employees must be contracted to work covered by international law while working in the UK.
- Religious Workers: Applies to those who wish to perform religious work, such as preaching or working for a religious order, for up to two years. Applicants must be citizens of a country outside of the EEA and Switzerland.
- Government Authorized Exchange: Allows persons outside of the EEA and Switzerland to work in the UK for up to two years for an approved government authorized exchange scheme.
The most common use of the Tier 5 visa is for those participating in the Government Authorized Exchange program. This subcategory is sought after because it offers training, work experience, global connections, and cultural experiences that can benefit companies and employees alike.
How Employees Apply for a Tier 5 Visa
Employees that want to apply for a Tier 5 visa need to make sure they meet the specified criteria for their desired subcategory. For instance, those applying to the Government Authorized Exchange category need to ensure their sponsoring organization works through one of the authorized exchange schemes. Several of the authorized schemes are designed for current university students or recent graduates, but others offer opportunities for more experienced individuals as well. With each of the above subcategories, workers need to have a position at a sponsoring business in place before applying for their visa.
In order to receive any type of Tier 5 visa, a person must apply online through the UK Visa and Immigration Office within three months of the beginning of their stay. In the application, the employee will need to prove their identity, and prove that they can financially support themselves without relying on public funds. In addition to the application fee, there is a health surcharge employees must pay to help cover the cost of government health care. Decisions regarding approval of Tier 5 visas are typically made within three weeks of the application submission.
Benefits of the Tier 5 Visa for Businesses
For companies in the UK, the Tier 5 visa allows them to directly benefit from the influx migration to the country. Companies that want to bring in workers using the Tier 5 visa must first apply through the UK Visas and Immigration Office. Tier 5 is similar to the Tier 2 visa in that both are intended for use to bring in skilled workers. However, Tier 5 enables companies to bring in those that do not meet the requirements of the Tier 2 visa on a temporary basis, as well as utilize the visa for short-term projects.
The Tier 5 visa gives UK companies the chance to see how they can benefit from temporary employment practices. This practice allows companies to take advantage of global mobility and give them the chance to evaluate new talent without making long-term commitments. Additionally, this practice lets companies lets companies attract a younger workforce by giving them the flexibility they are looking for from employers.
Designed to foster international connections, this visa provides ample opportunities for UK businesses looking to diversify their talent pool and get an international perspective for their business. For individuals, the Tier 5 visa allows them to experience the unique culture and business landscape of the UK on a temporary basis.
Learn how the Tier 5 visa can show your UK company the benefits of temporary employment practices. Reach out today to see how the experts at Velocity Global can help you hire global employees and capitalize on the available opportunities through this or any other visa.