The Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa is for individuals who have been offered short-term work in the UK for up to 12 months within the creative sector.
A creative worker is someone who can make a unique contribution to the UK’s creative industries, for example, as an actor, dancer, musician, entertainer, fashion model or film crew. Technical or support staff (‘entourage’) may accompany eligible creative workers.
The Creative Worker visa is not a route to settlement, but applicants can extend their stay up to a maximum of two years with the same employer. Creative Worker visa holders can also be joined by a dependent partner and children under the age of 18.
In order to qualify for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
In order to obtain a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa you will need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by a Home Office approved sponsor for the job you are applying to undertake in the UK. Your sponsor will need to hold a valid Temporary Work – Creative Worker sponsor licence.
Your sponsor will be operating in the creative sector. Examples include, but are not limited to: a national arts body, an events organiser, a producer, a venue, an agent, a promoter or promotion company, a production company or a media organisation. Your sponsor may or may not be your direct employer.
When your sponsor issues a Certificate of Sponsorship they will confirm that:
Sponsors in the creative sector can issue certificates of sponsorship to individual creative workers. They can also issue group certificates of sponsorship for a performer and their entourage. An entourage can include people whose work is directly related to the employment of an entertainer, cultural artist or a dramatic production. Members of an entourage must have proven technical or specialist skills.
Unless you have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months or your sponsor agrees to cover your costs during your first month in the UK (and this is confirmed on your Certificate of Sponsorship) you will need to have at least £1,270 in your bank account, held for at least 28 days, ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Creative Worker Visa application.
The Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa has no English language requirement.
If your Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa application is successful you will be permitted to enter and remain in the UK for either 12 months, or the time stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus up to 14 days before and after the period of leave granted, whichever is shorter.
Creative Workers who wish to continue working for the same sponsor may apply to extend their stay for up to a maximum of 24 months. Creative workers who wish to change employers may only stay in the UK for a maximum of 12 months.
Those who entered the UK for up to 3 months under the Creative Worker Visa Border Concession (see further below) cannot extend their stay in the UK on the Creative Worker route.
The Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa is not a route to settlement. However, it may be possible to switch into another immigration route which can lead to indefinite leave to remain.
Switching into the Creative Worker route from within the UK is not normally permitted.
There is a very limited exception for individuals who, before entering the UK, were assigned a valid CoS on the Creative Worker route on or before 8 November 2022 and who subsequently had permission as a Standard Visitor undertaking permitted creative activities or as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor.
If your application for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa is successful you will be able to work for your sponsor in the job described on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
You will also be able to have a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week and do a job on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week.
If you are not a national or citizen of a country or territorial entity listed in Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list (i.e. you are an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen or other non-visa national), you have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from an approved sponsor for the Creative Worker route and the total length of your paid engagement or engagements in the UK will be 3 months or less then you may qualify to travel to the UK without a visa and instead ask for permission to enter when you arrive at the UK border under the Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa concession.
Most Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa applications are decided within 3 weeks. It may be possible to secure a faster decision if the visa application centre offers a priority service.
Most applications from Creative Workers to extend their stay are decided within 8 weeks. You can also secure a decision within 5 days if you apply via the Priority Service or by the end of the next working day if you apply via the Super Priority Service.
If you are granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a Creative Worker you can be joined or accompanied by a dependent partner and dependent children under the age of 18.
If your application for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa is refused, you may be able to make a fresh application or apply for Administrative Review of the refusal decision.
Our team of immigration barristers has experience in assisting creative workers and their entourage across a variety of disciplines. Our barristers can help you to ensure that you meet your start date and that your career progression will fit your immigration goals.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to artists, dancers, musicians, entertainers and models as part of a professional and friendly service.
As specialist immigration solicitors, we pride in having one of the best team of specialist immigration solicitors with wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with all types of UK visa and immigration matters. Our top rated immigration solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with all types of UK visa and immigration applications, immigration appeals, Administrative Review, Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review.
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