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23rd April 2021

Update – New Visas for Overseas Voluntary Workers coming to the UK

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Overseas nationals wanting to undertake unpaid voluntary work for a charity in the UK need to apply for a T5 visa.

Certain eligibility requirements must be met:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number from a UK sponsor; and
  • sufficient money to support oneself in the UK, unless exempt. The Government advises that this should be at least £1,270, evidenced by an account balance above that amount for at least 28 consecutive days in the month before applying for the visa.

To support applications, sponsors are required to provide each volunteer with a certificate of sponsorship, showing the reference number to be added to the T5 application and information about the voluntary work to be undertaken. Certificates are valid for three months and can only be issued by organisations recognised by the UK Government.

Should a volunteer wish to bring their partner and children to the UK, they will also need to prove that they can support ‘dependants’ during their stay. Besides evidencing the relationship of the partner and child to the applicant, an additional £285 is required to support the partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child. For example, a volunteer bringing a partner and one child to the UK would need to have £1,870 in total to meet the minimum support threshold for a T5 visa. Details of how to apply for each dependant can be found on the .GOV website.

If you think you might need legal advice to support your charity, we are always happy to arrange an initial conversation to see if we can help. Please contact our Charities, Education and Social Enterprise team.