A Creative Worker Visa allows you to work in the UK in the creative sector. As a creative worker, you are expected to make a contribution to the cultural life of the UK by:
- An actor
- A dancer
- A musician
- An entertainer
- A photographer
- Technical crew
- Model in the fashion industry, etc.
Eligibility requirements for the Creative Worker Visa
To qualify for the Creative Worker visa, you must:
- Get a job offer in the UK as a creative worker.
- Make a contribution to the UK jobs market. For example, you are famous or in demand for continuity.
- Receive an income set by Equity, PACT or BECTU.
Have sufficient financial means to support yourself in the UK. You must have at least £1,270. You must have this amount of money available for 28 days within 31 days of applying for the visa. You do not need to meet this requirement if:
- You have been in the UK on a valid visa for one year.
- Your employer will cover your first month in the UK for a maximum of £1,270.
You must have a sponsorship certificate. A CoS Certificate of Sponsorship is an important electronic document that your authorized sponsor must provide to you before applying for the Creative Worker Visa. The Certificate of Sponsorship is a reference number containing information about you and the work you will be carrying out in the UK. Once you have the CoS, you have three months to apply for the visa.
Granting of creative worker visa
You can enter the UK without applying for a visa if:
- You have a valid CoS.
- You will come to work in the UK for no longer than three months.
- You do not usually need a visa to enter the UK as a visitor.
- You must still meet the eligibility requirements for the Creative Worker visa and cannot switch to another work visa or extend your stay in the UK.
What documents are required for the creative worker visa?
The documents required for the Creative Worker visa are:
- The Sponsorship Certificate reference number.
- A valid passport. You must have a blank page for your visa.
- Proof of sufficient money to support your stay in the UK if your employer does not support you.
- Proof of your relationship with the dependents who will accompany you.
- Your tuberculosis test if you are from one of the countries listed.
Please note: You must also provide a certified translation of documents that are not in Welsh or English.
While the list of documents will be provided during your online application, you may be asked to provide additional documents, depending on your circumstances.
How to apply for Creative Worker Visa?
To apply for the Creative Worker visa, you need to follow the steps below:
- Complete the Creative Worker Visa online application form. To apply successfully you must have your CoS reference number. All your answers should be in English.
- Upload your documents to the online application portal. Uploaded photos or scanned documents must be PNG, JPG, or JPEG. Scanned documents can also be PDFs.
- Pay the registration fee (£259) and health surcharge (£624). You must pay your fees online during your application.
Provide your biometric data at a visa application center. When you apply online you must book an appointment to provide your photo, fingerprints and additional documents if you have been asked to bring them. You can find a VAC by checking the Find Visa Application center on GOV.UK.
What Are the Fees of the Creative Worker Visa?
The fees for the Creative Worker visa are as follows:
- Application fee £259 as of April 2022
- Healthcare surcharge £624 per year
Creative Worker Visa Processing Time
The creative worker visa takes approximately eight weeks to process. If you want to get a faster decision, you have to pay an additional amount. Once the decision has been made, your biometric residence permit will take up to ten working days to arrive. If your request will take longer to process, you will be contacted.
After arriving in the UK on a creative worker visa
After your visa application has been approved and you have arrived in the UK, you need to see an immigration officer. Officer:
- Check if your CoS is valid.
- Check if you meet the financial requirements.
- Stamp your passport.
- Creative worker visa duration
You can stay in the UK for up to one year or for the time shown on your CoS plus a further 28 days, whichever is shorter. If you want to stay longer, you can extend your creative worker visa for another year, for a total of two years.
Can I extend my creative worker visa?
You can extend your creative worker visa if you meet the requirements. You need to apply online for a creative worker visa extension. You must apply before your current visa expires. However, you cannot extend your stay if you have used the Creative Worker Visa Grant to enter the UK.
If you want to stay with the same sponsor, you can extend the shorter period between:
- One zzyear.
- The time period specified in your CoS and an additional 14 days.
- The time necessary to extend the stay up to a maximum of 24 months.
- If you want to change sponsor you can extend for:
- The time period specified in your CoS and an additional 14 days.
- The time necessary to extend the stay up to a maximum of 12 months.
Can I switch to the Creative Worker Visa?
You can switch to the Creative Worker visa if:
- I am in the UK on a standard tourist visa or permitted paid engagement.
- Have carried out activities permitted by the Creative Worker visa.
- You received the CoS from your employer before coming to the UK.
- You cannot switch to this visa if you have used the Creative Worker visa grant.
Creative Worker Visa Conditions
With the Creative Worker visa you can:
- Work towards your job as outlined in your CoS
- Work a second job in the same industry and level as your primary job for no more than 20 hours per week
- Perform a job on the Skilled Worker Occupation List
- Bring dependents
However, you cannot:
- Get public funds
- Start your own business
- Extend your stay
- Switch to another visa
Can I change my sponsor?
If you have a Creative Worker Visa and wish to change your sponsor within the same organization or move to a new organization, you must reapply and meet the eligibility requirements.
Numerous jobs with the Creative Worker Visa
You can have more than one job with the Creative Worker visa, you just need a CoS from each employer. There cannot be a gap of more than 14 days between each job. If you leave the UK and return, time spent away will not count towards the 14 days.
Can I bring dependents on the Creative Worker Visa?
Yes, you can bring dependents on the Creative Worker visa. They must meet the eligibility requirements. The following are considered employees:
- Your civil partner, unmarried partner or spouse.
- Your child is under 18 years old.
- Your child aged over 18 who is currently in the UK as your dependent child.