Following are the various frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Tier 5 Creative & Sporting worker visa category:

FAQs: Tier 5 Creative & Sporting Workers

Tier 5 Creative & Sporting category is for applicants in the creative and sporting sector who are entering the United Kingdom for short term contracts/engagements in the United Kingdom.

For sportspeople, you must be internationally established at the highest level in your sport and/or your employment will make a significant contribution to the development and operation of that particular sport in this country; coaches must also be suitably qualified to fulfil the role in question.

In order for a Certificate of Sponsorship to be assigned for a sportsperson under Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting), the sponsor will need to have an endorsement for you from the appropriate governing body for your sport. The endorsement will confirm that:

  • you are internationally established at the highest level; and/or
  • your employment will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport at the highest level in the UK; and
  • your post could not be filled by a suitable settled worker.

The endorsement will be obtained from the governing body by your sponsor. You must provide the original letter issued by the governing body containing the endorsement as part of your application for leave or entry clearance.

Entry clearance as Tier 5 Creative & Sporting will be granted for a maximum of 12 months period, or the time given on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days after the end date given on the Certificate of Sponsorship and up to 14 days before the start date, whichever is the shorter.

Creative workers can also apply for an extension for a maximum of 12 months at a time up to a total of 24 months if they remain with the same sponsor.

Sports or entertainer visitors, or visitors (excluding visitors for permitted paid engagements, marriage or civil partnerships or transit) who entered the UK undertaking permitted activities in the sports or creative sectors on or after 24 April 2015, are allowed to switch into the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Creative and Sporting sub- category, if they have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship that was assigned to them before they came to the United Kingdom.

If you are a non-visa national seeking entry to the United Kingdom for three months or less, and are not coming via Ireland, you can apply for leave to enter at the border. If you want to do this, you will require a Certificate of Sponsorship, but will not be required to obtain entry clearance. Separate arrangements, consistent with the principles of sponsorship, will enable appropriate checks to be made at the port of entry. You will need to tell the Immigration Officer your Certificate of Sponsorship number when you arrive in the United Kingdom. The Immigration Officer will also ask you to provide your evidence of meeting the maintenance requirements. It may take the Immigration Officer some time to process the application. If you do not bring all the necessary evidence, it may result in your application being refused and you will not be allowed to enter the United Kingdom.

Where you are granted leave to enter for up to three months by an Immigration Officer on arrival in the UK, your leave will automatically lapse once you travel outside the Common Travel Area (the Common Travel Area encompasses the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey). This means that you will not automatically be able to re-enter the UK on the basis of your original grant of leave. However, you may need to come back to the UK to fulfil your engagements for your sponsor here. In this instance, you must tell the Immigration Officer your original Certificate of Sponsorship number on arrival. The Immigration Officer will ask you to provide your evidence of meeting the maintenance requirements again. The Immigration Officer will carry out checks to ensure that the sponsor has not withdrawn their sponsorship of you since your original entry, and may wish to speak to the sponsor again to confirm the details on the Certificate of Sponsorship. Provided you meet all the criteria, the Immigration Officer will be able to grant leave to allow you to complete the engagements for your sponsor within the period of your original grant of leave.

You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the job start date as given by your sponsor in your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Under Tier 5 (Temporary Worker), you must score:

  • 30 points for possessing a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (Appendix A of the  Immigration Rules); and
  • 10 points for Maintenance (Funds) (Appendix C of the Immigration Rules).

You can find the list of all approved governing bodies for Tier 5 Creative & Sporting workers in Appendix M of the Immigration Rules.

For a creative worker and their entourage operating in dance, theatre, or film and television, the sponsor must commit to following the specified code of practice specified in the Immigration Rules, which includes taking into account the needs of the resident labour market in that area. Where your job is not covered by a specific code of practice, your sponsor must show that the post could not have been filled by a settled worker. Examples to demonstrate this might be recruitment activity undertaken, written support from an appropriate industry representative body or sector labour market information.

You will be able to bring your entourage using a group Certificate of Sponsorship. An entourage can include people whose work is directly related to the employment of an entertainer, cultural artist, sportsperson or a dramatic production. The person should have proven technical or other specialist skills.

Due to the nature of the creative sector, at times you may need to perform a number of engagements at a number of venues. If you have a single sponsor, for example, an agent, and there is no more than a maximum of 14 calendar days between each engagement, that sponsor can assign a single Certificate of Sponsorship to cover the whole period.

If you are sponsored by individual venues, producers or promoters, then it is still possible for each sponsor to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to cover its own show. The periods of work stated on the Certificates of Sponsorship must not overlap (you may need to co-ordinate the periods of work with your sponsors). If there is a gap of more than 14 days between engagements, you will have to leave the United Kingdom and apply for entry clearance again as a new application.

You can challenge the refusal of your Tier 5 Creative & Sporting worker application by seeking Administrative Review (AR) of the Home Office UKVI decision.

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