Creative Worker Visa

The Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa is tailored for individuals offered short-term employment opportunities within the vibrant creative sector in the UK.

A creative worker encompasses a wide range of roles such as actors, dancers, musicians, entertainers, fashion models, and film crew. Additionally, technical or support staff, known as ‘entourage,’ may accompany eligible creative workers.

To qualify for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa, you must meet the following criteria:

 

  1. Possess a job offer as a creative worker from a sponsor holding a valid Temporary Work – Creative Worker sponsor license.
  2. Be remunerated according to minimum salary standards set by Equity, PACT, or BECTU (except for models, musicians, or circuses).
  3. Demonstrate a genuine intention and ability to fulfill the sponsored role without engaging in other employment.
  4. Have personal savings to support yourself in the UK.
  5. Comply with the general grounds for refusal.
  6. Provide a valid TB certificate if required.
  7. Obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation if necessary.

To secure a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa, you must possess a valid Certificate of Sponsorship granted by a Home Office-approved sponsor for the specific job you intend to undertake in the UK. Your sponsor must hold a valid Temporary Work – Creative Worker sponsor license, operating within the creative sector. Examples of eligible sponsors include national arts bodies, events organizers, producers, venues, agents, promoters, production companies, or media organizations. Your sponsor may or may not be your direct employer.

Upon issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship, your sponsor will confirm:

 

  1. Your compliance with the relevant Creative Worker Code of Practice (if applicable),
  2. Your role’s appearance in the shortage occupation list (if relevant), or
  3. Consideration of the resident labor market’s needs, ensuring the work cannot be fulfilled by a settled worker before assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship.

 

Sponsors within the creative sector have the authority to issue certificates of sponsorship to individual creative workers or group certificates for performers and their entourage. An entourage may include individuals whose work is directly associated with an entertainer, cultural artist, or dramatic production, provided they possess proven technical or specialist skills.

Unless sponsored or in the UK for over 12 months, applicants must demonstrate savings of at least £1,270 held for 28 consecutive days within the last 31 days before the visa application.

The Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa has no English language requirement.

Upon successful approval of your Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa application, you’ll be granted permission to enter and stay in the UK for either 12 months or the duration specified on your Certificate of Sponsorship, plus a grace period of up to 14 days before and after the granted leave period, whichever is shorter.

 

Creative Workers can apply to extend their stay for up to a maximum of 24 months if they wish to continue working for the same sponsor. However, those seeking to change employers may only stay in the UK for a maximum of 12 months.

 

Please note that individuals who entered the UK for up to 3 months under the Creative Worker Visa Border Concession are ineligible to extend their stay in the UK under the Creative Worker route.

The Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, individuals may explore alternative immigration routes that offer the possibility of indefinite leave to remain.

 

Switching into the Creative Worker route from within the UK is generally not permitted. Nonetheless, there’s a narrow exception for individuals who were assigned a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) on the Creative Worker route on or before 8 November 2022. Subsequently, if they held permission as a Standard Visitor engaging in permitted creative activities or as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor, they might qualify for switching into the Creative Worker route.

Visa holders can work for their sponsor as per the CoS and may undertake a second job in the same sector and level for up to 20 hours per week. They can also work in jobs on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week.

If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, or another non-visa national not listed in the Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list, and you hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from an approved sponsor for the Creative Worker route, and your total paid engagement or engagements in the UK will last three months or less, you may qualify to travel to the UK without a visa. Instead, you can request permission to enter when you arrive at the UK border under the Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa concession.

The processing times for most Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa applications are typically around 3 weeks. However, expedited decisions may be available through priority services offered by the visa application center.

 

For Creative Workers seeking to extend their stay, decisions are usually made within 8 weeks. Alternatively, applicants can opt for faster processing times of 5 days through the Priority Service or even by the end of the next working day via the Super Priority Service.

 

Additionally, if you are granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a Creative Worker, your dependent partner and children under the age of 18 can accompany or join you during your stay.

 

In case your application for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker Visa is refused, you may have the option to submit a fresh application or apply for an Administrative Review of the refusal decision.

Our experienced team specializes in assisting creative workers across various disciplines. We provide proactive and reliable immigration advice to ensure your career progression aligns with your immigration goals.