Tier 5 – International Agreement | Temporary workers
The international agreement category is for people coming to the United Kingdom under contract to do work that is covered under international law, including:
- the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS);
- similar agreements between the United Kingdom and another country;
- employees of overseas governments and international organisations; and
- private servants in diplomatic households.
Who can apply under the international agreement category?
Before you apply under the international agreement category, you must have:
- a sponsor; and
- a valid certificate of sponsorship.
When you apply, you are awarded points based on your sponsorship and available maintenance (funds).
You can apply under the international agreement category now if you are:
- applying for permission to enter the United Kingdom (known as ‘entry clearance’) under the international agreement category;
- already in the United Kingdom under the international agreement category and you want to extend your permission to stay if you have been here for less than 24 months, which is the maximum time you are allowed to stay. The exception to this is for those applying as private servants in diplomatic households, or as employees of overseas governments and international organisations only, who can apply for an extension for a maximum of 12 months at a time, up to a total of six years. (See also our additional guidance below on the handling of applications for private servants in diplomatic households – this covers transitional arrangements for those working in the United Kingdom on or before 26 November 2008, and changes to settlement provisions for those entering the United Kingdom under tier 5 on or after 27 November 2008.)
Switching is not allowed into or out of the international agreement category.
How long can you stay for?
You will be able to live and work in the UK for a maximum of 24 months, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus 28 days, whichever time is shorter.
This is unless you are applying as a private servant in a diplomatic household or as an employee of an overseas government or international organisation only, where you can apply for an extension for a maximum of 12 months at a time, up to a total of six years.
If you need to be able to come and go from the United Kingdom with your job
If you need to leave and come back to the United Kingdom quite a few times as part of the job you are doing, you can get a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship. Your sponsor will give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship that allows you to come and go from the United Kingdom a number of different times during the length of your certificate.
If you have permission to come (entry clearance) for any length of time, you will be able to leave and come back to the United Kingdom during the time you have permission.
If you leave the United Kingdom and you were given six months or less permission to stay (leave to remain), you will not be able to come back as your permission to stay ends when you leave the United Kingdom. You must apply again to be able to come back.
Application for Tier 5 – International Agreement
You are able to apply for this visa category if you are not a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and want to enter or stay in the UK to work in tier 5 of the points-based system.
You should apply if you are:
- already in the United Kingdom under tier 5 and want to extend your permission to stay in your existing category or change job; or
- applying from outside the United Kingdom for permission to enter (known as ‘entry clearance’) under tier 5.
Who are unable for Tier 5 – International Agreement?
You do not have to apply under the points-based system if:
- you are an EEA or Swiss national;
- you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
- you are a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom because at least one of your grandparents was born here;
- your spouse or civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner, or (if you are under 18) one of your parents has permission to stay in the United Kingdom under tier 5 of the points-based system (although you should apply as a dependant); or
- you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.
How nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia should apply
If you are a national of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia, you will need to register under the Worker Registration Scheme if you want to work in the United Kingdom, unless you are exempt. look Worker Registration Scheme for details.
How Bulgarian and Romanian nationals should apply
If you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania you must not work until we have given you permission, unless you are exempt. See Bulgarian and Romanian nationals for details.