This visa replaced the Temporary Worker – International Agreement Worker (T5) visa. The Temporary Work Visa – International Agreement is suitable for those who will be tasked with carrying out work covered by international law or treaty whilst in the UK.
The UK International Agreement Visa is a temporary work visa for foreign nationals who have been appointed to carry out work covered by international law or treaty in the UK. Although it is a temporary work visa, in some cases it is possible to stay in the UK for up to 2 or 5 years on an International Agreement visa. In this article we will explain who is eligible for an international agreement visa, how long you can stay and what you can and cannot do with this visa.
Who is the international visa aimed at?
The International Agreement Visa, which replaces the “Temporary Worker – International Agreement Worker (T5)” visa, is for those who have employment in the UK covered by international law, including for:
- foreign governments or international organizations
- diplomatic families as private servants, or
- the household of a person who works as an employee for a “recognized international organization”.
The UK Government publishes a list of recognized international organizations; these include, but are not limited to:
- African Development Bank
- Asian Development Bank
- European Council
- European Atomic Energy Community
- European Community
- European Court of Human Rights
- European Court of Justice
- European Patent Organisation
- European Union
- Food and agricultural organization
- International Fund for Agricultural Development
- World Health Organization
- World Meteorological Organization
- World Trade Organization
Who is eligible for an international agreement visa?
To qualify for an International Agreement visa, applicants must:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Have a job offer in the UK for jobs covered by international law and for one of the recognized international organisations
- Be sponsored by an international organization recognized in the UK (i.e. they must hold a sponsor’s license granted by the Home Office)
- Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
- Have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK (typically at least £1,270)
- If you do not have the required support funds, you can ask your UK sponsor to support you; to do this your CoS must have the wording “sponsor certifies maintenance”.
What are the conditions of the visa with international agreement?
As an International Agreement Visa holder, you will be allowed to:
- work for your sponsor in the UK
- work a second job for up to 20 hours per week in a role that is on the Skilled Worker Shortage Occupations List or is in the same industry as your primary role (this does not apply if you are employed as a private servant)
- travel freely to and from the UK, e
- bring your partner and children to live with you in the UK:
However, you cannot receive public funds (i.e. benefits).
The time you can spend in the UK on an International Agreement visa depends on the type of work you will be doing. If you work for a foreign government or international organization, the total length of your stay will be limited to 2 years. Those working as private servants in a diplomatic household can stay in the UK for up to 5 years. It is important to note, however, that you can only apply for a maximum of 2 years at a time when you apply for your visa or the time shown on your CoS, whichever is shorter.
Can I extend my stay in the UK with an International Agreement Visa?
If you plan to stay in the UK longer, you may be able to extend your international visa, but only up to a maximum of 2 or 5 years, depending on your job. It is essential to apply for a visa extension before your current visa expires. Another option is to switch to another visa, such as the Skilled Worker Visa, from the UK. The Skilled Worker Visa will not only allow you to further extend your stay for as long as you wish, but you will also be able to apply for permanent residency after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.
Documents required for a work visa with an international agreement
You need to collect the listed documents to apply for the International Agreement Worker Visa:
- A valid passport with a blank page.
- Your CoS reference number.
- Proof of enough money to support yourself unless your sponsor supports you.
- Evidence of your relationship with your dependents.
- A valid ATAS certificate if your work involves a sensitive research topic.
- A tuberculosis test if you are from one of the countries listed.
- You must submit a certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh.
Conditions for a work visa with an international agreement
You must meet the following conditions to apply for the International Agreement Worker Visa:
- You must be over 18 years old.
- You must have a Sponsorship Certificate Reference Number.
- You must have sufficient financial means to support yourself in the UK, unless your UK employer supports you.
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a reference number that contains information about your work. You must receive the CoS from an authorized sponsor. The CoS can only be used once and must be used within three months.
You must meet the financial requirements of the International Agreement Work Visa. You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account as proof. You do not have to meet the condition if your sponsor will support you with a minimum of £1,270. The same applies if you have lived in the UK in the last 12 months.
Request for a work visa with an international agreement
You can apply for the International Agreement Worker Visa by following the steps below:
- Complete the online application for the International Agreement Worker Visa. You must have your CoS number in order to apply. All answers provided must be in English.
- Upload documents online. You can submit scanned or photographed documents in the online application form.
- Pay the required fees. You must pay the health surcharge (£624) and registration fee (£259) online.
Book an appointment at a visa application center when you apply online. You can find a VAC by checking the ‘Find a Visa Application Centre’ section on GOV.UK. You must provide your biometric information (photo and photograph) at one of these visa application centers to obtain a biometric residence permit once you enter the UK.
Required fees for work visa with international agreement
When you apply for the International Agreement Worker Visa, you need to pay the following required fees:
- Entry fee £259
- Health surcharge £624
- The duration of the work visa with international agreement
The International Agreement Worker Visa is valid for two years or the period of time indicated in your CoS, plus 28 days, whichever is shorter.
Visa Processing Time for International Agreement Workers
The processing time for the International Agreement Worker Visa is three weeks if you are applying from outside the UK. If you apply in the UK, you will receive a decision in around eight weeks.
Can I extend my work visa with an international agreement?
You can extend your International Agreement Worker Visa for up to two years or for the time described in your Cos plus 28 days, whichever is shorter. The visa can be extended by 24 months at a time for a total of five years if you are a private servant in a diplomatic family. To apply for the International Agreement Visa, you must apply online before your current visa expires.
Can I bring dependents on an international agreement work visa?
You can bring the following dependents with you to the UK on the International Agreement Worker visa:
- Your spouse, civil partner, and unmarried partner.
- Child under the age of 18.
- Child over the age of 18 if in the UK as a dependent.