1. Overview

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa if:

  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you’ll be contracted to do work covered by international law while in the UK, for example working for a foreign government or as a private servant in a diplomatic household
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Sponsorship

You need to be sponsored (have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer) before you can apply to come to the UK.

The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - International Agreement) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch by post in the UK Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service)
You £230 £230 £730
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £175 £175 £675
All dependants £230 each £230 each £730 each

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

In most cases you’ll be able to stay for 2 years, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus up to 28 days, whichever is shorter.

In certain cases you can only stay for 6 months in any 12 month period, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter. This applies if you’re providing a service:

You can enter the UK 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

You may be asked to leave the UK within 60 days if your job finishes early. It’s unlikely you’ll have to leave if your visa has less than 60 days remaining.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • study - for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list or one in the same sector as your main job for up to 20 hours per week (unless you are a private servant, a contractual service supplier or an independent professional)
  • study, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

You can’t: