Temporary Worker – Creative Worker Visa (UK)

The Creative Worker visa is one of the UK’s immigration routes for temporary workers. Learn more about whether you are eligible here.


What is a Creative Worker visa?

A Temporary Worker – Creative Worker visa is a temporary route that allows someone to work within the creative sector of the UK for a maximum period of 12 months, and is one of several UK visas available to temporary workers. There are many eligibility criteria you must meet and immigration rules to follow, and you will need support from a licensed sponsor in order to qualify for this visa; so, while this route has in some ways made it easier for creative professionals to work in the UK after Brexit, there are still legal concerns to be aware of.

If you need support in applying for a Creative Worker visa or you want advice on whether this route is the most suitable option for you to work in the UK, do not hesitate to get in touch with the expert team at Latitude Law. Our immigration specialists have helped many people to come to the UK via the Creative Worker route and have the knowledge and experience to give you the best chance of success with your visa application.

To speak to a solicitor about making an application for a Creative Worker visa, call us on 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185, or fill in our contact form to request a call back

Who is eligible for a Creative Worker visa?

A creative worker applies to someone who can make a unique contribution to cultural life in the UK through their work in a creative industry. Creative workers include artists, dancers, musicians, entertainers or models who want to work in the UK entertainment industry.

Any migrant in this category must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship received from a sponsor who has been authorised by the Home Office. This will typically be the organisation that intends to hire the temporary worker, and this Certificate of Sponsorship should confirm details about the role, and that it meets all requirements.

What are the Creative Worker visa eligibility requirements?

The first requirement for this type of visa is that a company with a valid Creative Worker sponsor licence has offered you a role in a type of temporary work. Creative Worker visa applicants must prove a genuine intention to only undertake this type of work, which will be detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship they receive from their prospective employer. They are also expected to fulfil a maintenance requirement to show that they can maintain themselves while in the UK, or that the sponsor organisation can do so by certifying maintenance.

Applicants will need to provide supporting documents that will prove their identity and show that they have at least £1,270 in savings in their bank account (if they are not exempt from the maintenance requirement, or if their employer certifies maintenance). They will need to demonstrate that they will be paid the minimum salary specified by the relevant industry body.

Eligibility for this visa is also determined by your employer’s ability to demonstrate that you will make a unique contribution to the UK’s creative industries, such that it is necessary for you to come to the UK and do the work for which you have been hired – for example, if you are internationally renowned. This can be difficult to determine, and it is often best to work with a solicitor with expertise in this field when applying for a UK Creative Worker visa. Our experts can help to ensure you meet the relevant eligibility requirements for this route, and support you in making your application to give you the best possible chance of success.

How can we help?

Requirements for worker applications in all categories can be complicated, particularly for organising sponsorship. It is important to ensure an application is prepared carefully to avoid refusal. You may also be aware that there are other mechanisms for creative workers to legally enter the UK, and we can advise you to ensure that you choose the most appropriate route for your requirements.

At Latitude Law, our expert solicitors can assist with all aspects of a Creative Worker visa application, including preparation and submission of your application, and assisting any prospective sponsor to attain a Certificate of Sponsorship. We can provide Creative Worker visa guidance or help you to find the visa route that will best meet your needs.

Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation in relation to a Creative Worker visa application. Call on 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185, or complete our contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

Creative Worker Visa FAQs

Do I need a Creative Worker visa to work in the UK?

Normally yes, but there is a concession to the Creative Worker Visa. A visa may not be required if you have a valid Creative Worker Certificate of Sponsorship and will be working for less than three months. This is provided you do not normally need a visa to enter the UK – that is, you are not a “visa national”.

What if I am coming to the UK for a shorter engagement?

You may be able to enter using the Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa. This allows for a visit of up to a month, provided you fulfil all necessary eligibility and suitability requirements. You should speak to a solicitor about your plans before determining whether the Creative Worker visa route or another path is the most suitable option for the type of temporary work you intend to perform while in the UK.

Can I bring family with me?

A spouse or civil partner and any children under 18 can apply to enter the UK under this visa, provided they meet the relevant requirements. This includes providing proof of your relationship and a maintenance requirement, which means that you must demonstrate that you have enough money in your personal savings to maintain your child during your trip. A dependent child over the age of 18, or a child who is not financially dependent on you, cannot apply through this route, but may be able to accompany you to the UK through a different valid visa route.

If your child turns 18 during your stay in the UK, they can apply from inside the UK to extend or switch their visa. Our experts can support you with any such visa application and advise you on the most suitable approach to meet your family’s desired objectives.

Can I extend or switch my Creative Worker visa?

Provided they continue to meet eligibility requirements, Creative Worker visa holders can extend their leave to stay in the UK.

If the extension is with the same sponsor, you can do so for a total of 24 months. If you are changing sponsors, you can extend your visa up to a maximum of 12 months.

You are not able to extend your stay if you have used the Creative Worker visa concession. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa route under these circumstances. Speak to our experts to learn about the Skilled Worker visa and other alternatives to the Creative Worker route that might be applicable in your circumstances.

How much does a Creative Worker visa cost?

The application fee is £298. You will need to pay a healthcare surcharge if your visa is for more than 6 months. From February 2024, this will be £1,035 per year of visa. There is also a maintenance requirement, which means you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient savings to maintain yourself in the UK during your stay, unless your sponsor certifies maintenance.

Our immigration solicitors can advise you on the financial requirements that will apply in your specific case, and help to give you the best chance of success when applying to perform valid temporary work in the UK.

When should I apply for my Creative Worker visa?

You can apply for this visa up to three months before your expected start date, but it can take time to gather the evidence you will need to support your visa application. For this reason, we recommend you contact a legal expert at the earliest opportunity to discuss your options and ensure your application has the best chance for success.

How long does the application take?

The time it takes to apply for a Creative Worker visa varies according to several factors, including the country from which you are applying, which means there is no standard timeframe for the application process. For example, you will need to provide documents that prove your identity, which can often be done online. However, in some circumstances, you may be asked to bring these to an appointment at a visa application centre, which can delay the process.

Once you have made your application and submitted the necessary documents to prove your identity, you should receive a decision within three weeks if you are applying from outside the UK. If you are applying from within the UK, the decision may take up to eight weeks.

What documents do I need to provide?

There are several types of documents you may be asked to provide to support your Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa application. These will be needed to demonstrate your eligibility for the visa and prove your identity. You may be asked to submit documents online or to bring them to an appointment at a visa application centre.

The documents you will need include:

  • A passport, to show your nationality and prove your identity
  • Bank statements or other documents to show you can support yourself financially
  • A certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • A valid tuberculosis test certificate, if you are applying from a country where this is required

If family members are applying with you, you may also need to provide proof of your relationship to support the application.

The documents you will need to apply for a Creative Worker visa can differ based on a variety of factors, and it is not always clear. To give yourself the best chance of success with your application, speak to the team at Latitude Law. Our expert immigration solicitors can aid you to find the visa route that will best suit your needs, help you to navigate the application process, and give you the best chance of success in securing a UK visa.

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All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 11/10/2022