How Do I Get a Creative Work Visa UK?

Applying for visas can be complicated work. Gathering all your evidence, filling out paperwork, paying various fees… It can seem like the process is never-ending. But you don’t have to go it alone. Our immigration experts at Synergy Immigration Solutions are ready to help you with any visa application to the UK to guarantee you success.

So, how do you get a Creative Work visa for the UK? Well, firstly you need a job offer from an approved UK sponsor, but then there are other bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Let’s look at the application process in detail.

What Is a Creative Work Visa?

What Is a Creative Work Visa?

A Creative Worker visa has replaced the former Temporary Work visa for Creatives and Sportspeople. There is now also an International Sportsperson visa for athletes to work in the UK. Creative work covers most jobs within artistic and creative industries, including:

  • Actors
  • Dancers
  • Film crew
  • Musicians
  • Fashion models
  • Circus performers

However, you don’t automatically get a UK Creative Worker visa if you work in one of these positions, you also need to prove the necessity of your job in the UK by showing your worth to the UK economy, and have a job offer from an approved sponsor. There are some artistic jobs in the list of eligible occupations for Skilled Workers, which allows you to stay in the UK for up to 5 years, so it’s worth checking the list to see if a Skilled Worker visa may be more appropriate for you.

Since Creative Worker visas are part of the temporary work visa category, your visa will only be given for whichever is shorter of up to 12 months, or the length of your work contract plus 28 days. You can extend your visa, but only up to a maximum total of 24 months.

What Is a Creative Work Visa?

What Are the Requirements for a Creative Work Visa?

To get a Creative Work visa in the UK, you need to meet a number of requirements to have your application approved.

You will need:

  • A job offer from an approved sponsor
  • A certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • Proof your skills are unique, necessary and will contribute to the UK economy
  • A guaranteed minimum wage according to industry standards
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support your first month in the UK (and your dependants if you’re applying together)
  • A valid (not expired) passport or other identity document with your date of birth and nationality
  • Evidence of your relationship with your dependants or partner if you’re applying together
  • Proof of tuberculosis vaccination or negative tuberculosis test result if necessary from your country

You won’t actually receive a piece of paper to act as your sponsorship certificate, but rather a reference number that will be attached to your application so that the Home Office can look up the number and see your job details. They need this to see the job details, work hours and proposed salary so they can approve your work permit.

“Sufficient funds to support yourself” has also been set out by the UK government as at least £1,270 which must be shown in your bank account when making your application, unless your sponsor has clearly stated that they will cover your costs while you’re in the UK.

How Much Does a Creative Work Visa Cost?

How Much Does a Creative Work Visa Cost?

The application cost for a Creative Worker visa is £259, much less than most other visas, and each person on your application must pay this charge (your partner and dependants if they’re coming with you). However, you and anyone else on your application are also required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when you apply, which is usually £624. Even if you have private or travel insurance to cover the length of your stay, you still have to pay the health surcharge in case you need to use any NHS services.

Like British citizens, you’ll be able to use National Health Services for free and have subsidised dental care and prescription charges. You won’t be able to claim any state funds like child support or disability benefits, so you won’t be entitled to free dental care or prescriptions.

As well as these application charges, you must also prove you have at least £1,270 in your account for each person on your application to support you during your first month in the UK. This money must be in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days in the 31 days before your visa application to demonstrate it is your money and you will still have access to it once you’re in the UK. This is sometimes known as the 28-day rule.

How Do You Find a Sponsor for Your Visa?

So, your job is unique and it’s necessary for you to come to the UK to pursue it, you’ve got the funds available for your application costs and to support you in the UK and you have your ID ready. How do you find an approved sponsor?

There are plenty of job searching websites like Indeed that can help you find jobs in your industry within the UK, and most will state if they’re able to sponsor overseas workers or not, so one option for finding a UK sponsor is simply applying for jobs online. However, this is time-consuming and can be unfruitful and demoralising. Fortunately, there is a list online of all of the UK sponsors who have been approved by the Home Office.

Just look up a company, find job vacancies on their website or send over your CV and cover letter in an email to make contact and see if they will consider sponsoring you. There are many approved sponsors, so it shouldn’t be too complicated to find the right fit, but you will have to search for a sponsor yourself before starting your Creative Worker visa application.

Can You Get British Citizenship on a Creative Worker Visa?

Can You Get British Citizenship on a Creative Worker Visa?

If you’ve been living in the UK on a valid visa for at least 5 years, you can apply to become a British Citizen. However, since the Creative Worker visa can only be granted for 12 months or a maximum of 24 months after extensions, it’s not possible to settle in the UK or naturalise as a British Citizen on this visa.

However, if you’re keen to stay in the UK once your visa approaches expiration, you can apply to switch to a different visa from inside the UK that will allow you to stay in the UK for longer. You must prove your eligibility for the new visa and pay the appropriate fees.

What’s the Difference Between Settlement and British Citizenship?

Settlement, also known as permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) allows you to live, work and in the UK on a permanent basis. Essentially, you have the same rights as British citizens, with permission to use public services and to travel in and out of the country as often as you’d like. You need to have been living in the UK on a valid visa for at least 5 years, you can apply for ILR.

Being a British citizen grants you the same rights, however, you would gain a British passport and would be eligible to vote in UK parliamentary elections. This may be a huge advantage for some people, but it may affect your rights in your native country, which would be unhelpful for others. You can apply to naturalise as a British citizen once you’ve lived in the UK for at least 5 years and have had settled status or ILR for at least 12 months.

Get Help with Your Visa Application Today!

Visa applications are complicated processes, especially when the requirements appear as vague as they do for a Creative Worker visa. But fear not! We have a team of experts ready to help each individual with their British visa applications, so no one has to struggle through it alone. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!

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