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Voluntary Workers

Here you can get information about how you can apply to come to the UK to take part in voluntary work.
There is no provision under the migration policy for voluntary workers to come to the UK. The information in this Page is a concession outside the rules that has been made to support charity work and youth mobility.
As a voluntary worker there are strict rules on the kind of work you can come to the UK to do and the strength of time you can spend in the UK.


The voluntary worker scheme is a short-term immigration category. You will only be given permission to stay in the United Kingdom as a voluntary worker for a maximum of one year. At the end of this period you will need to return home. There is no limit to the number of times you can come to the UK as a voluntary worker, however you must not stay longer than one year on any visit and you must not plan to live permanently in the United Kingdom.


If you are presently in the United Kingdom under a different immigration category you will be able to extend your stay to undertake voluntary work if you meet all the eligibility requirements for the voluntary worker category.

Here you can get information about how you can apply to come to the UK to take part in voluntary work.
There is no provision under the migration policy for voluntary workers to come to the UK. The information in this Page is a concession outside the rules that has been made to support charity work and youth mobility.
As a voluntary worker there are strict rules on the kind of work you can come to the UK to do and the strength of time you can spend in the UK.


The voluntary worker scheme is a short-term immigration category. You will only be given permission to stay in the United Kingdom as a voluntary worker for a maximum of one year. At the end of this period you will need to return home. There is no limit to the number of times you can come to the UK as a voluntary worker, however you must not stay longer than one year on any visit and you must not plan to live permanently in the United Kingdom.


If you are presently in the United Kingdom under a different immigration category you will be able to extend your stay to undertake voluntary work if you meet all the eligibility requirements for the voluntary worker category.

Eligibility

In order to come to the United Kingdom as a voluntary worker you must show that:

  • The work is completely voluntary; and
  • You will be working for an organisation listed in chapter 17 annex B of the immigration directorates instructions (IDIs) or for a registered charity; and
  • There are satisfactory arrangements for you to stay in the United Kingdom without the need for public funds; and
  • You intend to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your stay.

Extending your stay

This page explains how you can apply to extend your stay as a voluntary worker in the United Kingdom. Before you read this information you should make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for this category.

As a voluntary worker you can stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of 12 months. If you were originally given permission to stay for less than 12 months you can apply to extend your stay providing you are still working for the same organisation. You should make your application before your permission to stay in the United Kingdom ends.

Once you have been in the United Kingdom as a voluntary worker for 12 months you must return home. There is no limit to the number of times you can come to the United Kingdom as a voluntary worker, however you must not stay longer than 12 months on any visit and you must not plan to live permanently in the United Kingdom.


How to apply

We call extending your stay applying for further leave to remain. To apply for an extension of stay as a voluntary worker you must use application form FLR(O). This application form and the accompanying guidance notes are available to download on the right side of this page. You should make sure you read the guidance notes fully before you make your application.

You will need to provide us with the following documents to support your application:

1. Your passport;
2. A letter from the organisation you are working for confirming you services are still required;
3. Evidence that you can support and accommodate yourself without help from public funds.
4. You should provide the original document unless there is a good reason why you cannot.
5. You will need to pay a fee to cover the cost of processing your applications; you should read the page on cost for details.

What kind of work you can do

As a voluntary worker you must come to the United Kingdom to undertake work for a registered charity or one of the organisations listed in home office's website.

While you are in the United Kingdom you must do work that offers direct assistance to those the charity or organisation you are work for is there to help. This could include working with elderly, disable, vulnerable or homeless people.

You must not receive pay for the work you do. You are entitled to receive reasonable expenses. Some voluntary workers may receive subsistence payments; this will depend on the organisation you are working for. Any payments or benefits of any kind you receive must meet the terms of the National Minimum Wage Act exemption for voluntary workers.

Attention Please!

This immigration category closed on 26 November 2008. You may be eligible to apply under the charity workers category of the points-based system.

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