Immigration. Travel. Living.

UK: visa for volunteers

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If you work full time, you will be eligible for living expenses. Volunteers in Britain help children, the homeless, the elderly, and people with physical or mental disabilities, and take care of the protection of nature.

Immigration regulations

The rules for volunteering in the UK are the same as for paid work. EEA citizens can volunteer without restrictions. If you have a student visa, you can work part-time, provided that you work less than 20 hours a week during school days (you can work up to 40 hours during vacations). If you are not a student and want to volunteer full-time for 1 year, you can get a volunteer visa. You will need a letter from the charity you will be working for and you will have to prove that you have sufficient funds to live in the UK.

Among all the categories of temporary work visas to the UK, which can be found here, there is Tier 5 Charity Worker. It is intended for volunteers who are involved in charity work.

How to become a volunteer?

To become a volunteer, you first need to find an organization in England that provides temporary work. It must be chosen based on what kind of work the applicant is ready to perform, as well as what working and living conditions the organization provides. At this stage, the future volunteer must send his resume, motivation letter, and photo to the organization he likes.

After receiving a positive response from the UK organization, the applicant needs to find an accredited company in his hometown. She will act as a sender: she will issue a funding application and send it to the UK for consideration. If the answer is yes, you can collect and apply for a visa to England like Tier 5.

Conditions for applying for a UK visa for a volunteer

A Tier 5 visa is granted to volunteers who intend to work for a charitable organization at no cost. A temporary Charity Worker visa is issued for a period not exceeding 12 months.

As well as in the paperwork for any other visa, this type has its characteristics:

  • the host organization is required to provide a sponsorship certificate;
  • the applicant must demonstrate on his account 945 pounds, as well as provide an extract about him not earlier than 31 days before the submission of documents for a visa;
  • for a positive answer from the consulate, you must collect 40 points, which are given for the sponsorship certificate and funds on the account;
  • also, the applicant is obliged to provide a certificate that he did the test for tuberculosis.

Without these mandatory documents, a positive response from the British Embassy should not be counted on. Therefore, it is worthwhile to thoroughly approach the collection of information necessary for obtaining a visa.

The applicant can combine work in a sponsoring organization with work in a similar sector of the economy. It is also possible to choose a profession from the list of the most in-demand, but the working week should not exceed 20 hours, and the work will not generate income, since the type of Tier 5 Charity Worker visa is not entitled to paid work.

It is recommended to apply for this type of visa no earlier than 3 months before the trip, and the answer is usually given quickly – within three weeks.

All applicants for this type of visa should remember that they will not be able to switch to another type of visa. Therefore, the applicant should think carefully about what goals he pursues, and whether he wants to stay to live in England further. Perhaps he should choose a different visa to travel to the country.

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