Community, Diaspora and Immigration

Work permits for artists performing from Africa: UK VISA under Tier 5 Temporary Worker

By  | 

These schemes allow you to undertake specific types of work in the UK for a period of one year or for two years, depending on the scheme. You must have a Tier 5 sponsor under the scheme of relevance to you. Your Tier 5 sponsor must issue a certificate of sponsorship to you before you can make your immigration application.

In order to find out more about any scheme that you are interested in, you should contact the Tier 5 sponsor to ask for full details of eligibility and how to apply. Tier 5 sponsors are listed together with Tier 2 sponsors. In order to find sponsors with the type of sponsor licence you are interested in, open the full list of Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors [^] and search (using Ctrl F) for Creative & sporting, Voluntary workers, Religious workers, Exchange or International agreements. There is a separate list of Tier 5 (Government authorised exchange) sponsors [^].


Click for a list of sponsors.


You must be able to show that you have held funds of £900 in an account that is acceptable to the Home Office for a period of 90 consecutive days. This sum is £945 if you apply on or after 1 July 2014 and you must have held this level of funds for the full 90-day period. Alternatively, you do not have to provide any evidence of funds if your Tier 5 sponsor is A-rated and is willing to confirm on your certificate of sponsorship that you will not claim public funds during your stay in the UK with Tier 5 immigration permission.

In most cases, you cannot switch into this immigration category from within the UK. Instead, you need to leave the UK and apply for entry clearance. The only, very limited, exception is for those who apply under Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) in order to undertake professional training or, since 1 October 2013, an internship.


As an exception to the usual rules for this category, you can make an application to stay in the UK under Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) if you meet all the following requirements:

  • you have student leave (Tier 4 (General) leave or leave under one of the student-related categories that preceded the introduction of Tier 4)
  • you have obtained a UK recognised degree during your most recent grant of leave
  • you are being sponsored under Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) either to undertake a period of postgraduate professional training or work experience which is required to obtain a professional qualification or professional registration in the same field as your UK qualification or you are being sponsored for up to 12 months to undertake an internship which directly relates to your UK qualification
  • your employer does not intend to employ you in the UK once your training or work experience for which you are being sponsored has ended.

The only professional training schemes to which this provision currently applies are for pre-registration optometrists and pharmacists. The scheme for pharmacists is very limited and covers only those who graduate with an MPharm qualification between 2012 and 2015 and whose pre-registration training post is not in the National Health Service.

Tier 5 information provided by the College of Optometrists [^].

Tier 5 information provided by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society [^].

In order to find out which Tier 5 sponsors can offer internships, see the list of Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) schemes [^] and contact relevant sponsors to obtain full details of their internship programme.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.