Creative Worker Visa

The Creative Worker Visa allows you to work in a creative industry in the UK

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A quick look

You can stay for 12 months, or 28 days after time given in your certificate of sponsorship. 

Yes, and the sponsor needs to be registered to do so by the UK Home Office.

You are allowed to:

  • Study (an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate may be required for some courses)
  • Work for a sponsoring organisation in the job described in your Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Have a second role in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • Do a job on the Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation List for up to 20 hours per week
  • Bring your partner and/or children with you, if eligible

You are not allowed to:

  • Access any public funds/benefits
  • Start your own business

Creative Worker Visa

A creative worker is someone who works in the creative industries. This could be as an actor, musician, dancer, or film producer. 

If you are a foreign national who works in the creative industry and you want to come to the UK to practice your profession on a temporary basis, you will need to get yourself a Creative Worker Visa. 

You will require a Creative Worker Visa if you have already been offered work as a creative worker. You will also need to meet all the other eligibility requirements. 

Please note: If you are a professional sportsman, you can no longer apply for this visa and must instead apply for an International Sportsman Visa. 


To be eligible for the visa, you must meet several requirements. 

The visa requires you to demonstrate that you:

  • Are able make a unique contribution to the UK labour market for example you are internationally renowned or are required for continuity
  • Already have a certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • Are to be paid the minimum salary requirements (set by Equity, PACT or BECTU)
  • Have enough money to support yourself in the UK – usually at least £1,270, though some people are exempt

The minimum salary requirement does not apply to models, musicians or circuses.

Certificate of Sponsorship

A Certificate of Sponsorship is a reference number that holds information on the job and your own personal details. It is not an actual certificate or paper document. It is a number that corresponds to the job you have been offered. 

As well as the reference number, your sponsor will also give you information to help you to apply for the visa, for example how much you will be paid. This helps to prove you meet the job and salary requirements for the visa. 

Your sponsor can also sponsor support staff to accompany you on this route. The work they do must be directly related to the work you will be doing in the UK. Examples include production crews and non-technical assistants.

How long can you stay?

With the Creative Worker Visa, you can come to the UK for a maximum of up to 12 months, or 28 days after time given in your certificate of sponsorship, whichever is shorter. 

How much does a Creative Worker Visa cost?

The application fee for each person applying is £298.

The fee is fixed, and does not change based on whether you apply from inside or outside the UK. 

You, along with any family members that come with you, will also each need to pay the healthcare surcharge which is currently £1,035 per year, in addition to the base fee. 

Entering the UK without a visa

There is a concession for the Creative Worker Visa, where you can enter the UK without applying for a visa.

This option is available for those who are coming to work in the UK for 3 months or less. Your stay cannot be extended, nor can you swap to another visa.

You will still need to meet the requirements for the visa, such as having a Certificate of Sponsorship. 

If you have a partner or children, they can travel with you if they also do not normally need a visa.

Extra information

With the Creative Worker Visa, you are able to: 

  • Study
  • Work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • Do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • Do a job on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week
  • Bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they are eligible
The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on

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