Creative Worker Visa

Creative and Sporting visa

The Creative Worker Visa is a temporary visa. It allows creative workers to come to the UK for up to twelve months.

The Home Office define creative workers as persons who work in the creative industry, such as actors, dancers, musicians or film crew members.

How to qualify for the Creative Worker Visa

The applicant needs to have a job offer in the UK as a creative worker. The UK employer needs to provide the applicant with a certificate of sponsorship to apply.

The work, the applicant, does in the UK must relate to the work of the sponsor organisation.

Creative workers need to make a unique contribution to the UK labour market. One can fulfil this requirement by being internationally renowned or being required for continuity.

You also need to receive a minimum salary as set by Equity, PACT, or BECTU. This requirement does not apply to models, musicians or circuses.

Maintenance Requirement

You have to fulfil a maintenance requirement. You thus have to have enough money to support yourself in the UK. There are exemptions in cases where your employer will be supporting you. The employer has to indicate this support on the certificate of sponsorship.

Length of Stay

It is possible to come to the UK for a maximum of twelve months, or the time provided on your certificate of sponsorship plus 28 days, whichever time is the shortest.

Your stay in the UK must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

Creative Workers who intend to come to the UK for less than three months may apply for the Creative Worker visa concession. However, if you make use of this concession, you cannot extend your stay under the Creative Worker Visa route.

It is possible to extend your visa. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant as specific rules apply regarding the extension of your Creative Worker Visa.

Switching to the Creative Worker Visa

It is possible to switch to the Creative Worker Visa from within the UK under the following circumstances:

  • You are currently in the UK with a standard UK Visitor Visa or Permitted Paid Engagement; and
  • You are doing activities that are permitted in the creative sector; and
  • The UK sponsor gave you a Certificate of Sponsorship before you came to the UK.

If you want to switch to this route under the above circumstances, you must apply before your current visa expires.

Right to Work

You can do the following:

  • Study, but for some courses, you might need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
  • Work for your sponsor as per the job described in your certificate of sponsorship.
  • Take up a second job in the same sector at the same job level for up to 20 hours per week.
  • Take up a position on the Skilled Worker Shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week.

You cannot do the following:

  • Access public funds.
  • Start your own business.

Spouses and dependants on the Creative Worker Visa  

You can apply for your partner and dependants to accompany you to the UK, provided they are eligible.

The Home Office defines a partner and dependants as follows: 

  • A husband or wife, civil partner or unmarried partner
  • Your children under the age of 18 years old
  • Any children over the age of 18 years old provided they are currently in the UK as your dependants.

Your partner and children will also need to fulfil the maintenance requirement in the UK.

Immigration Health Surcharge

You have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your application for the Creative Worker Visa.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

As the Creative Worker Visa is a temporary visa, it does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. However, the visa provides a valuable opportunity for creative workers to live and work in the UK temporarily.

How Breytenbachs can help you

If you are interested in applying for the Creative Worker Visa, please contact one of our consultants to guide you through the process. We have a dedicated team of consultants who will be happy to assist!