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Charity Worker Visa

The charity Worker Visa route is for individuals who have a job offer to undertake voluntary work in the UK for up to 12 months. A charity Worker Visa is not a route to settlement, but a partner and children under the age of 18 can apply as dependants on this route.


In order to qualify as charity work under the Charity Worker Visa, the work you are planning to undertake must meet three criteria.

First, it must be voluntary fieldwork which directly contributes to your sponsor’s charitable purpose. This includes activities which would not normally be offered for a wage or salary. It does not include support work such as routine administrative, retail, or fund-raising roles. Second, the work cannot be paid or remunerated, unless it is for reasonable expenses incurred in order to perform your duties.

Finally, you must not be filling a position (even temporarily) which is required on a permanent basis.

Charity Worker Visa General Requirements

In order to qualify for a Charity Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • The charity work meets certain specified requirements;
  • You hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role;
  • You genuinely intend, and are able, to undertake the role for which you are being sponsored;
  • You satisfy a financial requirement;
  • You have not had permission as a Religious Worker or Charity Worker in the previous 12 months (unless you were not in the UK throughout);
  • You do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
  • You have provided a TB certificate if required.

Charity Worker Visa Certificate of Sponsorship Requirement

In order to qualify for a Charity Worker Visa you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a Home Office ‘A-rated’ licensed sponsor (unless you are applying for an extension to work for the same employer as in your previous grant of leave to remain).  Your sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor the job under the Charity Worker route.

The Certificate must confirm that the role you intend to undertake meets the voluntary work requirements. It must not have already been used in an application which was granted or refused.

The Certificate of Sponsorship must have a start date of no more than 3 months before the application date. The Certificate will be valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to you. If you apply for a  Charity Worker Visa after this date, your application may be rejected. The Certificate of Sponsorship must not have been withdrawn or cancelled since being assigned.

Financial Requirement for a Charity Worker Visa

Unless you have been in the UK with permission for over 12 months, in order to qualify for a Charity Worker Visa you must have funds of at least £1,270 which you have held for at least 28 consecutive days within the 31 days before your application.

You can also satisfy this requirement if your sponsor confirms on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will maintain and accommodate you with at least £1,270 up to the end of your first month in the UK.

If you are applying with dependants, they will also need to prove that they can support themselves. The financial levels are £285 for your partner, £315 for one child,  and £200 for each additional child.

Applying for a Charity Worker Visa

If you are seeking entry clearance on the Charity Worker Visa route, you must apply for and be granted a visa from outside of the UK. You must not have had permission on this route or the Religious Worker route within the 12 months immediately before your application unless you can prove that you were not in the UK at all during that period.

You must provide a valid tuberculosis certificate if required.

Charity Worker Visa Application Process

Applications for Charity Worker Visas are submitted online. You will need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

The application fee for a  Charity Worker Visa is currently £244. If applying with dependants, you must each complete an application and pay the fee separately. The fee is automatically reduced by £55 if you’re from:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

If you are applying to extend your stay as a  Charity Worker, you must apply before your current visa expires.

You should receive a decision within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

What if My Application for a Charity Worker Visa Is Refused?

If your application for a Charity Worker Visa is refused, then it may be possible to apply for an Administrative Review of the decision or submit a fresh application.   You may wish to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

Conditions of Stay as a Charity Worker Visa

If your application for a Charity Worker Visa is approved, your visa will allow you to enter and stay in the UK for up to 12 months or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.  You will be able to enter the UK up to 14 days before your job’s start date.

You will only be allowed to work in the role you are sponsored for, although volunteering with other organisations is permitted. You will be allowed to study (for some courses you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate).

How Our Immigration Advisers Can Help

Our team of business immigration advisers have experience in assisting with all types of visa applications. Our advisers are experts in immigration options for temporary workers and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our client’s needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to temporary workers as part of a professional and friendly service.

Contact us today

Nexus Visas assists international clients in obtaining UK visas, residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.

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