UK Charity Worker Visa

Did you know that you can work for a UK charity using a UK Charity Worker Visa?

Home > UK Visas > Temporary Worker Visas > Charity Worker Visa

A quick look

The UK Charity Worker Visa allows you to stay for up to 12 months.

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

Please note that we are NOT a recruitment agency, and cannot assist with job placements.

You are allowed to:

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

You are not allowed to:

  • Receive any payment for work
  • Take a permanent job
  • Access any public funds/benefits

UK Charity Worker Visa

If you are a foreign national who wishes to do unpaid voluntary work for a charity, then you will need to apply for a Charity Worker Visa. 


The visa requires you to demonstrate that you:

  • Already have a certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • Have enough money to support yourself in the UK – usually at least £1,270, though some people are exempt
  • Be at least 18 years of age when you apply
  • Have a job offer from a Home Office-approved sponsor

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. 

How long can you stay?

You can stay for up to 12 months or 14 days longer than the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship, whichever is shorter.

You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your job.

How much does a Charity 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.

Extra information

With the UK Charity 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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