Temporary Work Visa UK

The UK offers a range of temporary work options. If you are a Pakistani citizen and you wish to come to the UK for temporary work, a Temporary Worker visa might be the right fit for you.

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    Overview of UK Temporary Work Visa

    If you are a Pakistani citizen and looking to work in the UK on a temporary basis, you will likely require a Temporary Worker visa. There are a number of visas within this category, including the Government Authorised Exchange visa, the International Agreement Worker visa, the Religious Worker visa, the Charity Worker visa, and the Seasonal Worker visa.

    Temporary work visas generally allow the holder to remain in the UK for up to 6 months.

    Whilst some temporary work visas can be extended, they do not provide a direct route to permanent residence in the UK. In order to be eligible for eventual permanent residence, the holder must first switch to an eligible long-term visa type, such as the Skilled Worker visa.

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    UK Temporary Worker Visas and Eligibility

    There are a number of visas which fall under the Temporary Worker visa label. The different types will be summarised in this section, along with their general eligibility criteria.

    International Sportsperson Visa

    This visa type allows sportspeople to work in the UK for up to 12 months.

    If you are a sportsperson applying for the International Sportsperson visa, you must satisfy the following criteria:

    • You must have an internationally established reputation in your sport
    • Working in the UK must allow you to work at the highest level of your sport
    • Have a sponsor
    • Have a certificate of sponsorship, endorsed by an eligible governing body within your sport or industry
    • You must not already be working in the UK as either an entertainer or a sportsperson

    Creative Worker Visa

    This visa type allows entertainers and creative artists to work in the UK for up to 12 months.

    In order to be eligible, you must have the following:

    • A sponsor
    • A certificate of sponsorship, endorsed by an eligible governing body within your sport or industry
    • You must not already be working in the UK as either an entertainer or a sportsperson

    Government Authorised Exchange Visa

    This scheme allows you to live and work temporarily in the UK to complete work experience, training, research, or a fellowship, under an authorised government exchange scheme.

    In order to be eligible for this scheme, you must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

    • Have a sponsor. Your sponsor must be one of the following, as applicable:
      • An organisation which runs an authorised exchange scheme
      • A higher education institution (e.g. a university, if you are applying for this scheme as a researcher)
      • A government department or agency
    • Have a certificate of sponsorship
    • Have sufficient financial means to support yourself (generally savings of £1,270)

    International Agreement Worker Visa

    This visa type allows you to work in the UK in the capacity of carrying out work relating to an international law or treaty. This could include working for an overseas government, a recognised international organisation, or in a private capacity within a diplomatic household. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • You must be at least 18 when you apply
    • You must have a certificate of sponsorship
    • You must have sufficient financial means to support yourself (savings of £1,270 are generally considered sufficient)

    Charity Worker Visa

    This visa type allows the holder to work in the UK in the capacity of completing unpaid voluntary work for a charity. In order to be eligible, you will need to satisfy the following criteria:

    • You must be at least 18 when you apply
    • You must have a certificate of sponsorship
    • You must have sufficient financial means to support yourself (savings of £1,270 are generally considered sufficient)

    Religious Worker Visa

    Under this visa type, you can work temporarily in the UK in the capacity of a religious worker. This includes working in a non-pastoral role or for a religious order. In order to be eligible, the following conditions must apply:

    • You must be at least 18 when you apply
    • You must have a certificate of sponsorship
    • You must have sufficient financial means to support yourself (savings of £1,270 are generally considered sufficient)

    Seasonal Worker Visa

    This visa type allows you to work in the UK temporarily in order to perform seasonal work. The two main categories are as follows:

    • Working in horticulture for a maximum of 6 months, e.g. picking fruit, vegetables, or flowers
    • Working in poultry in the run-up to Christmas, specifically 2nd October- 31st December

    This visa type allows for a shorter stay than many of the other Temporary Worker visas and is not eligible for extension. However, you may apply for this visa type annually, working seasonally in the UK on an annual basis.

    Required Documents for UK Temporary Worker Visa Application

    The specific documents which you require for your application will depend on the type of Temporary Worker visa for which you are applying. Certain application types may require a higher amount of evidence. In general, however, you will require the following documents:

    • Your passport
    • The passport(s) of any dependent(s) applying with you (if applicable)
    • Any other travel or identity documents
    • A certificate of sponsorship from a licenced business or organisation
    • An eligible offer of employment
    • Evidence that you have sufficient savings to support yourself
    • Evidence of your relationship with any dependents applying with you, e.g. birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.
    • If you have lived in Pakistan for 6 months or more or were living there within the last 6 months, you will need to provide tuberculosis test results. Even if this does not apply to you, you may still need to fulfil this requirement, depending on the country or countries in which you have been residing. You should check whether this requirement applies in your particular case before applying

    Note that the documents which you provide must be translated into either English or Welsh. You must make sure to select a certified translator when completing this requirement, in order for the translations to be accepted.

    You may also need to provide further documents in addition to those listed, depending on your specific application and visa type.

    How to Apply for UK Temporary Worker Visa

    Recent changes to UK immigration law mean that visas are now generally granted on a points-based basis. This means that you must score a certain number of points in order to be eligible to work in the UK on a work visa. In the case of the Temporary Worker visa in particular, you will generally need to secure 40 points. 30 of these points are awarded for your certificate of sponsorship and 10 points are awarded for your fulfilment of the maintenance requirement, i.e. your possession of at least £1,270 in savings with which you can support yourself. Note that this money must have been available to you for at least 28 days, with those 28 days being within 31 days of your visa application.

    You will generally need to submit temporary work visa applications from outside the UK. When applying for a Temporary Worker visa, you can submit your application online. You should do this via the UK government website. This is also where you will submit your required documents.

    You will generally also need to provide your biometric data (your photograph and fingerprints), in order to receive a biometric residence permit. You should book an appointment at a visa application centre, at which you will provide this information. These centres can be found in numerous global locations. In Pakistan in particular, there are visa application centres in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Mirpur.

    Once you have submitted your application, it will be processed by the relevant decision body. If you are successful, you will be granted a visa and will then be authorised to legally work in the UK.

    For assistance applying for a UK temporary work visa, speak with our specialists today. Contact Us

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      Fees for UK Temporary Worker Visa

      The application cost for a Temporary Worker visa is generally £298 per applicant. You will also need to have at least £1,270 in savings which you can use to support yourself. If you are including dependents as part of your application, you will need an extra £285 for your spouse, £315 for the first child, and £200 for each additional child after the first child.

      You will likely also need to pay the annual healthcare surcharge, which allows you to access healthcare from the National Health Service (NHS). This is generally £624.

      In some cases, you may also choose to pay for legal assistance with your application. This often makes the application process smoother, especially if you are unsure which visa route is the right fit for you. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more.

      Processing Time for UK Temporary Work Visa

      As of December 2023, it is taking approximately 3 weeks for Temporary Worker visas to be processed. However, note that this is subject to change based on how many other applications are also being processed at the time of your application.

      Applications may also take longer to process if you are applying from outside the UK- the estimated processing time is currently at around 8 weeks for applications submitted from outside the UK.

      In addition, your application may take longer to process if it contains any inaccuracies or is missing any information. In order to minimise the processing time of your application, make sure that you satisfy all of the eligibility criteria and submit all documents correctly and fully. If you are asked to provide additional information, make sure to do so promptly.

      Obtaining a Sponsor For Your Application

      You will generally require a sponsor in order to apply for a Temporary Worker visa in the UK. The sponsor will need to satisfy a number of conditions, such as being an eligible business or organisation and offering you a job which is eligible for sponsorship.

      Your sponsor will require a ‘Temporary Worker’ licence in order to sponsor your application. They can apply for this online, using the government website. If their application is successful, they will then be granted a licence rating.

      Eligible sponsors will be able to provide you with a certificate of sponsorship. This electronic record will be an essential part of your application so it is important that you obtain this before you apply for your visa. Your sponsor will have to pay a fee in order to assign this certificate to you, which is generally £25.

      Note that you will not always require a sponsor, even if you are not from the UK. Specifically, you will not require a sponsor if:

      • You are an Irish citizen
      • You have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (a scheme which was introduced after Brexit)
      • You have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK (the UK version of permanent residence)

      We can help with the application process of obtaining a UK temporary work visa. Contact Us

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        Bringing Dependents with the UK Temporary Work Visa

        Only certain Temporary Worker visa types allow you to bring your spouse and children. The Government Authorised Exchange visa, Creative Worker visa, and Charity Worker visa all allow you to include family members as part of your application. The Seasonal Worker visa, on the other hand, does not allow this.

        If you are on an eligible Temporary Worker visa type, your spouse, minor, or dependent children will likely be eligible to join you. In this case, they will generally be granted leave to remain in the UK for the same amount of time as you, and will be expected to leave the UK once this time expires.

        If you are including dependents as part of your application, you will be required to prove that you have access to a higher amount of savings than would otherwise be necessary. This is to ensure that you have the financial means to support both yourself and any dependents who are included in your application. This will be an extra £285 for your spouse, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child after that.

        Extending the UK Temporary Worker Visa

        You should generally be able to extend all Temporary Worker visas, with the exception of the Seasonal Worker visa.

        In order to apply for an extension of your visa, you will need to make sure that you continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria.

        You may also choose to switch to a new visa type. This will be necessary, for example, if you wish to eventually become eligible to settle in the UK. The UK’s Temporary Worker visas do not provide a direct path to indefinite leave to remain (ILR); you will first need to switch to a different, eligible visa type.

        Path to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) with UK Temporary Work Visa

        Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is the UK term for permanent residence in the UK. Once you have been granted indefinite leave to remain, this means that you can permanently reside in the UK, without the need to secure further visas.

        UK Temporary Worker visas do not provide a direct route to ILR in the UK. If you wish to eventually settle in the UK, you will need to switch to an eligible long-term visa type. One such example of this is the Skilled Worker visa, a long-term visa which will eventually allow you to apply for UK settlement.

        Our specialist lawyers can align your visa application with the best possible chance of success. Contact Us

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          How Can Total Law Help?

          The UK is a country which offers its residents a thriving economy and numerous professional opportunities. In order to utilise these opportunities, many people choose to live and work in the UK, some of whom prefer to do so on a temporary basis. If you wish to come to the UK in order to work temporarily, you will generally need to obtain a Temporary Worker visa. This also applies to citizens of Pakistan, meaning that if you are a Pakistani citizen, you will likely require a temporary work visa in order to work temporarily in the UK.

          However, the process of applying for this visa type can be confusing, especially in light of recent changes to UK immigration law. At Total Law, our immigration experts have years of experience in advising on similar cases, and are able to offer bespoke legal advice to assist you with your own immigration journey. Contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online to learn more.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The UK has now moved to a points-based immigration system. As such, you must generally earn a specific number of points in order to qualify for a UK work visa. The number of points varies based on the particular visa type.

                    If you are able to demonstrate that you successfully score enough points to be eligible for a UK work visa, your application is significantly more likely to be successful. However, in order to score enough points, you will generally need to have already secured a job offer, have a certificate of sponsorship, and have a sufficient amount of savings to support yourself and any dependents.

                    If you are unable to satisfy these conditions, your application will generally be unsuccessful. The easiest way to obtain a work visa is thus to identify the route which is best suited to your circumstances and ensure that you satisfy all of the eligibility criteria before submitting your application.

                    The Temporary Worker visas mentioned in this article require the applicant to have a certificate of sponsorship. This certificate will form an important part of your visa application. However, a certificate of sponsorship is not a paper certificate. Instead, it is a reference number given to you by your sponsor which confirms your job role and personal details.

                    Note that the sponsor which provides you with this reference number must relate to your particular area of work, training, or expertise.

                    If you meet the eligibility criteria and submit your application correctly, you are likely to be able to obtain a temporary visa to the UK.

                    In order to maximise your chances of a successful application, make sure to submit your application fully and accurately and to promptly provide any further information which is requested. Any missing or inaccurate information in your application could lead to delays, or to your application ultimately being unsuccessful.

                    Ordinarily, the length of time for which you can stay in the UK on a Temporary Worker visa can be as low as 2 months or up to a year. However, in the case of the Government Authorised Exchange visa, you can stay for up to 24 months (2 years).

                    You can also apply to extend your Temporary Work visa if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria once your current visa expires, or apply to switch to a long-term work visa.

                    The Youth Mobility Scheme is a scheme which allows young people from eligible countries to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years.

                    Young people from eligible countries can generally apply until the age of 30-35, depending on their home country and the nature of the agreement which they have with the UK. Pakistan is not one of the countries included in this scheme.

                    However, you can apply for this scheme if you are a British overseas citizen, a British overseas territories citizen, or a British national (overseas). You may therefore still be eligible under this scheme.

                    Note that, in order to be eligible for this scheme, you will need to have at least £2,530 in savings.