Temporary worker visa
Basic information on temporary work visas for short term work, training and work experience in the UK.
We can’t offer detailed advice or support with these types of visa applications.
Temporary Worker has five sub-categories:
- Charity worker (voluntary work)
- Religious worker
- International agreement (work covered by international law and employees of international organisations or other countries' governments)
- Seasonal worker
These schemes allow you to undertake specific types of work in the UK for a period of one or two years, depending on the scheme.
It requires sponsorship and the sponsor must issue a certificate of sponsorship (CoS). T5 Sponsors are listed together with skilled worker sponsors, visit:
It doesn’t lead to settlement but you can have dependants.
Visit the relevant links above for more information about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
Temporary work – government-authorised exchange visa
You can apply for this visa if you:
- want to come to the UK for a short period to undertake work experience, training, research or to do an overseas Government language programme
- have a sponsor
- meet other eligibility requirements
The sponsor can be:
- an approved government-authorised exchange scheme
- Higher Education Institution (if you are a sponsored researcher or visiting academic)
- a government department or agency
This visa will be granted for 1 or 2 years and allows you to:
- study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate)
- work in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
- do a second job for up to 20 hours per week
- do a job on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week as well as your main job
- apply to change (‘switch’) to a Global Talent visa if you’re in the government-authorised exchange scheme for sponsored researchers
- bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
- take a permanent job
- get public funds
The sponsored researcher route includes academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers and other skilled research technology specialists who may wish to come to the UK on a temporary basis to:
- Conduct research on a formal project or collaboration
- Undertake a period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement
- Undertake skill development/knowledge transfer
- Undertake a series of lectures, which doesn’t amount to a formal teaching post
- Undertake external examinations
How to apply
You must obtain sponsorship from the host (eg University) who will need to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
You cannot be self-funded. You must be funded by the host, overseas employer, or an independent UK or non-UK funding body. The funding must be equivalent to or exceeding National Minimum wage.
You must not be filling an advertised position. The role must be supernumerary which means over and above the University’s normal staffing requirements, such that if the sponsored researcher was not there, the role would not be filled by another person.
The University’s Human Resource Department deals with this type of visa sponsorship. Please contact them for further information.
If you’re a visiting academic or student researcher, you may be able to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
If you’ve recently completed your studies and meet the requirements for the new Graduate Route visa, this could be a better option for temporary work, internships or work experience.
Youth Mobility Scheme
You can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you:
- want to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
- are aged 18 to 30
- have £2,530 in savings
- have certain types of British Nationality or are from certain countries or territories
- meet the other eligibility requirements
This visa has replaced the Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5).
- study - for some courses, you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
- work in most jobs
- be self-employed and set up a company - as long as your premises are rented, your equipment is not worth more than £5,000 and you do not have any employees
- work as a professional sportsperson (for example as a coach)
- extend your stay and it does not lead to settlement
- get public funds
- bring in dependants on your application - they must apply separately.
Information for students
The Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) answers a range of general student related enquiries