What Is a Creative Worker Visa?

What Is a Creative Worker Visa?

A Creative Worker visa is a type of UK visa that allows certain individuals to come to the UK to work temporarily. The individual must be a part of the so-called creative industries and have a job offer from an approved sponsor within the UK. The Creative Worker visa was previously known as Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa but has been split into two categories: the Creative Worker visa and the International Sportsperson visa.

Let’s look at who qualifies for the Creative Worker visa, what you need to apply and everything else you need to know to come to the UK for work.

Who Is Eligible for a Creative Worker Visa?

Who Is Eligible for a Creative Worker Visa?

Creative work sounds relatively vague, but the UK government has outlined creative workers as people working in creative industries such as actors, dancers, musicians, models, film crew or even circus performers.

However, each person applying for a Creative Worker visa must also:

  • Have a job offer from a valid sponsor
  • Have a certificate of sponsorship reference number (the number works as the certificate)
  • Prove their skills are unique and will contribute to the UK economy
  • Be paid a minimum wage according to industry standards
  • Prove sufficient funds to support their first month in the UK

Although the visa is only for temporary work, applicants may also bring their family to the UK with them, provided they also pay the necessary fees and have sufficient funds to cover their stay.

What Are the Requirements for a Creative Worker Visa?

What Are the Requirements for a Creative Worker Visa?

To get a Creative Worker visa, you first need a job offer from a sponsor who has been approved by the UK government. Just having a job offer is not sufficient. The prospective employer must be an approved sponsor and they must provide you with a certificate of sponsorship reference number to be included in your application. This reference number provides important details about your employment, from the nature of your role to the proposed salary and working hours.

As well as your sponsorship number, you must also provide:

  • A valid (not expired) passport or other identity document with your date of birth and nationality
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to support you (and your dependants if you’re applying together)
  • Evidence of your relationship with your dependants or partner if you’re applying together
  • Evidence of you having a tuberculosis vaccination or negative tuberculosis test result if necessary from your country

The UK government considers £1,270 to be sufficient funds to support yourself for your first month in the UK, although if you’re financially supporting any dependants, you’ll need to have £1,270 per applicant. This money should be in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days in the 31 days before you apply to show that this is your money and you will still have access to it once you have arrived in the UK. This is sometimes known as the 28-day rule.

In some cases, your sponsor will pay for your first month’s costs, or pay your wage when you arrive, so you don’t need to have this money available to you in your accounts. However, you have to provide evidence that your employer will support you (and your dependants if they’re coming with you) when making your application.

Once you have made your application and paid the appropriate fees, you’ll get a response from the Home Office within 3 weeks if you’re applying from outside the UK, or 8 weeks if you’re applying from within. You can only apply from within the UK if you’re extending your visa or switching visas from one to another.

Who Can Sponsor a Creative Worker Visa?

Who Can Sponsor a Creative Worker Visa?

For most people, the one thing standing in their way of getting a work visa for the UK is getting a valid sponsor, as not just anyone can sponsor someone to come to the UK. To become an approved sponsor, a business has to apply to the Home Office for a sponsorship licence.

To get a sponsorship licence, you have to:

  • Pay the application fee
  • Prove you have a department dedicated to overseeing your foreign employees
  • Have a background check to determine if you or your company have committed any serious crimes, financial crimes or immigration crimes. If you have, you will not be allowed to become a sponsor

Once an application has been approved, a business can offer foreign nationals who fit the eligibility requirements the opportunity to work for them. Their sponsorship will be reassessed each year and revoked if any of the terms are not met.

What Is a Temporary Work Visa?

Temporary Worker visas for Creative and Sportspeople no longer exist, however, there are still different types of temporary work visas. They permit foreign nationals to reside and work in the UK for up to 12 months, or 28 days more than their work contract dictates, if it’s under 12 months. You can extend temporary worker visas, although there is a limit to the number of times you can extend them; the Creative Worker visa can only be extended up to a total of 24 months.

What’s more, while you’re in the UK on a temporary work visa, you can study and work, but you’re not allowed to start a business or claim any public funds i.e. unemployment benefits or child support. You can use the National Health Service as a regular British citizen, as you will be required to pay a health surcharge before entering the UK.

How Much Does a Creative Worker Visa Cost?

The application fee for a Creative Worker visa is £259 for all applicants, whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK. Each of your dependants will have to pay this charge as well. But you and your dependants are also required to pay the healthcare surcharge to cover you if you need to access NHS services. This charge is £624.

On top of the £883 you’ll have to pay for the visa application and health surcharge, you’re also required to have at least £1,270 per applicant in your bank account unless your employer can show they will cover your costs for you. Or, unless you’ve already been staying in the UK on a valid visa for at least 12 months and you’re extending your visa.

What’s the Difference Between a Creative Worker and a Skilled Worker?

What’s the Difference Between a Creative Worker and a Skilled Worker?

Both the Creative Worker visa and Skilled Worker visa have similar requirements, although there are several differences that mean some people are eligible for one visa and not another.

The Skilled Worker visa has a list of eligible occupations, so you can only obtain the visa if your job is on the list. For the Creative Worker visa, you can have any job in a creative industry, provided you can prove it’s essential you come to the UK as your job will benefit the economy. There are some creative jobs on the list of eligible occupations for the Skilled Worker visa, so if you would like to live permanently in the UK, or for longer than a year, a Skilled Worker visa may be more appropriate if you work as one of the following:

  • Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Portrait painter
  • Sculptor
  • Commercial artist
  • Designer (advertising)
  • Graphic artist
  • Graphic designer
  • Fashion designer
  • Glass, ceramics and pottery makers

The list of eligible occupations changes according to the necessity of these jobs in the UK market, so check before you make your application.

The main difference between the Creative Worker visa and the Skilled Worker visa, however, is that the Creative Worker visa is temporary; you can only stay in the UK for up to 12 months and can only extend your visa once. The Skilled Worker visa, on the other hand, is valid for up to 5 years and can be extended, or can lead to settlement in the UK and British Citizenship. Skilled Workers must thus prove their ability to speak, understand, read and write in English by completing an English exam, or providing exam results showing they have at least B1 level English or the equivalent.

Get Help with Your Creative Worker Visa!

Synergy Immigration Solutions are here to help with all your visa needs! Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your UK visa application.

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