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Charity Worker Visa

If you are looking to carry out temporary charity or voluntary work in the UK then you could be eligible for the Charity Worker Visa – one of the many UK visas available.

Our lawyers can assist you with your Charity Worker Visa application, to find out more get in touch with IAS today on 020 4502 8582.

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    What is the Charity Worker Visa?

    The Charity Worker Visa is a sub-visa of the popular UK Temporary Worker Visa. This visa allows holders to do unpaid work during their time in the UK. It was previously known as the Tier 5 Charity Worker Visa.

    Holders of the Charity Worker Visa are able to stay in the UK for up to 12 months or to the expiry date on their Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days – which ever is the shorter date.

    While in the UK, holders are able to do unpaid voluntary work for a sponsor but they can also study or take on a second job if it is in the same sector or is a role on the Shortage Occupation List – there is no need to apply for a separate Worker Visa.

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    Do I qualify for the Charity Worker Visa Route?

    To be eligible for a Charity Worker Visa, you must be doing unpaid voluntary work in the UK but there are rules on what that work can entail – you can not be involved in administrative tasks, retail, fund raising or the maintenance of premises.

    The role must be include “activities which would not normally be offered at a waged or salaried rate, and which contribute directly to the achievement or advancement of the sponsor’s charitable purpose”.

    As well as the work meeting immigration restrictions, you must able meet the following requirements:

    • Be over the age of 18
    • Hold a Certificate of Sponsorship from a charity that holds a valid UK Sponsor Licence
    • Be able to financially support yourself whilst in the UK, you will need to have at least £1,270 of personal savings available in your bank account

    Applying for the Charity Worker Visa

    It is possible to apply online for the Charity Worker Visa for up to 3 months before you plan to travel and start working in the UK. The visa application must be paid online and you will be required to provide a range of supporting evidence and the appropriate application fee.

    You will also need to prove your identity as part of the visa application process and how this can be done depends on what time of passport you currently hold. You may be able to scan your passport on the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, or you may be required to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to have your biometric information, such as your fingerprints and photograph, taken.

    Once you submit your Charity Worker Visa application, you can usually expect to receive a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. It is crucial that you submit all evidence when applying otherwise it could lead to delays or a possible visa refusal.

    You may want to consider using IAS to check all your paperwork is in order to avoid any additional costs or long-term impact on your immigration status.

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      Documents needed for the Charity Worker Visa

      You are required to submit supporting paperwork when applying for the Charity Worker Visa application. It is likely you will need to provide the following in support of your application:

      • A valid passport or another national identity document
      • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number
      • Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself whilst in the UK such as bank statements
      • Your tuberculosis test results if you are travelling from a country that requires the test

      If you intend to bring any dependents with you to the UK on the Charity Worker visa, then you will also need to submit documents to prove your relationships with them such as marriage certificates or birth certificates.

      Can you Bring Dependents with a Charity Worker Visa?

      Temporary worker visa holders are able to bring some family members to UK including:

      • Spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners
      • Children under the age of 18
      • Children over the age of 18, if they are already living in the UK as your dependent

      Any dependent relatives joining you in the UK must make a separate visa application and will need to be an application fee.

      In addition, to qualify to be your Charity Worker Visa dependents, they will need to be able to prove their relationship with you and must show that they have enough money to be financially supported whilst in the UK. You will need to show they have access to the following amounts of funds to support themselves during the first month of living in the UK:

      • £285 for your partner
      • £315 for one child
      • £200 for each additional child

      How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

      Our immigration lawyers are here to help workers with their visa applications. If you wish to volunteer in the UK our team of immigration experts can assess whether you are eligible for the Charity Worker Visa and can help you to apply. Our lawyers will be there to support you throughout the entire process, from filling in the application form to helping you to gather all of the documents that you will require. We will make sure that your application is completed to the highest standard.

      For more information about the services that our London Immigration Lawyers can offer, get in touch today by calling 020 4502 8582.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                The application fee for the Temporary Worker Charity Visa is £259. Applicants from some countries are eligible for a £55 reduction on this visa fee; these countries include:

                Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

                As well as the visa application fee, you will also need to pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge, which is usually £624 per annum.

                Any dependent relatives coming to the UK will also need to pay the full visa application fee and Immigration Healthcare Surcharge.

                It may be possible to extend your Charity Worker Visa. You can only extend your visa if you have not already reached the maximum period of stay which is 12 months, it is possible to extend your visa up to 12 months if it was initially issued for a shorter period than this.

                If you plan on staying in the UK for more than 12 months you will need to switch to another type of visa.

                If your Charity Worker Visa application is refused it may be possible to seek a review of the decision. You will be told why your application was rejected and you may wish to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer to see what the next steps are.