Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Immigration Corner | Planning charity work

Published:Tuesday | July 11, 2017 | 7:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I have been invited to do some charity work in the United Kingdom. What type of visa should I be applying for?

- BA

Dear BA,

Persons can apply for a Tier 5 (temporary worker - charity worker) visa if: they want to do unpaid voluntary work for a charity; they are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland; they meet the other eligibility requirements.

It is necessary for those persons to have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer before applying to go to the United Kingdom to work. The work that they do in the United Kingdom must relate to the work of their sponsor organisation.

The earliest that persons can apply for a visa is three months before the date that they are due to start work. This date would be on the certificate of sponsorship and usually a decision will be made on the visa within three weeks. However, it is advisable to check the guide processing times to see how long getting a visa might take from the country where the application is made.

How much persons pay for a Tier 5 (temporary worker - charity worker) visa will depend on their situation, where they are and how they apply.

When persons are applying for themselves from outside of the United Kingdom the cost would be £235 and if extending online or by post over there the cost would be the same. However, if extending in person over there using premium service the cost would be £825. It should be noted that for applications for all dependents, the application cost would be PS180 and if extending online or by post over there the cost would be the same. However, if extending in person over there using premium service the cost would be PS770.

Persons will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application. It is best to check how much this will cost before making the application.

Persons can stay for up to 12 months or the time given on their certificate of sponsorship plus 28 days, whichever is shorter. Persons can enter the country up to 14 days before the start date of the job.

While there, persons can: study for some courses but they will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate; work for their sponsor in the job described in the certificate of sponsorship; do a second job in the same sector at the same level as their main job for up to 20 hours per week; do a job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week; bring family members with them. However, persons cannot: receive any payment for work; take a permanent job; get public funds.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email:lawbassie@yahoo.com