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Youth Mobility Schemes Tier 5 Visas / Temporary Workers Visa

Tier 5 of the points based tier immigration service is designed to accommodate two different groups of people immigrating to the UK on a temporary basis. Fifth tier visas apply to people who wish to immigrate to the UK in order to participate in a youth mobility scheme. In addition, they cater for a range of specific temporary employment opportunities.

As a specialist UK immigration consultancy, we can offer complete UK visa services for all tiers of the new system and can help you to establish which is the most suitable for your needs. Our immigration consultants can offer immigration lawyer advice at every stage of your application and can manage your relocation to the UK offering on arrival services to help you adjust to working in the UK.


The introduction of the UK tier visa structure is intended to simplify and rationalize outgoing UK immigration services into a more straightforward and transparent structure. As part of this process, visas for the fifth tier will replace a range of youth mobility schemes such as the Commonwealth Working Holidaymaker (WHM) and the Au Pair Programme with a single system which introduces a uniform set of requirements.

Tier five is available to applicants from participating countries aged 18-30 and will grant leave to enter the UK for a maximum period of 24 months. As with tier 3 visas and tier 4 visas, British immigration through this route is a temporary entitlement and applicants will be obliged to return to their home country at the expiry of the grant.

Unlike a tier 1 visa or a tier 2 visa, both of which are intended as routes to settlement in Britain, the fifth tier does not afford any benefits of permanent residence in the UK. Applicants may not be self-employed or function as professional sports people, and like tier 3 visas, they cannot bring dependents into the country or switch to any other tiers of the system.

Fifth tier immigration does not provide a route to settlement nor the opportunity to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) often known as permanent residency. UK visas for immigration at this level will not constitute a first step to those wishing to apply for British naturalization as a UK citizen. With this in mind, spouse immigration and dependent immigration are not permitted. Whilst the marriage visa, fiancé visa and De Facto visa or unmarried partner visa categories will function outside the new structure, they will not be relevant to applications of this kind.


Applications for UK visas for immigration must be accompanied by a certificate of sponsorship. This is true of all tiers with the exception of a tier 1 visa which directly replaces the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, or HSMP. In the fifth immigration tier, certificates are issued by the applicant’s home Government and serve as an assurance that an applicant will abide by the terms of the scheme undertaken.


Fifth tier visas for the UK also accommodate the following categories of temporary workers immigrating to Britain who do not qualify under the requirements of a tier 2 visa. Once again, the maximum duration of leave is 24 months and switching to other tiers is not permitted. Dependents will be admitted but will only be allowed to work in the UK if the principle applicant is afforded more than 12 months leave.

Creative/Sporting: (12 months Maximum)

UK visa applications can be made by creative artists, sports people or entertainers providing that a sponsor has been organized. Sponsors must be able to confirm that applicants pose no threat to the domestic workforce and will engage only in the specified activity.

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